It has been announced that the 146th Kentucky Derby, which was scheduled for May 2, 2020, has now been rescheduled.
The 146th Kentucky Derby will now be raced on Saturday, September 5, 2020. The 146th Kentucky Oaks, which was scheduled for May 1, 2020, will now be raced on Friday, September 4, 2020. The dates are contingent upon final approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. It is expected that the approval will be issued this week.
“Throughout the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority has been how to best protect the safety and health of our guests, team members and community,” Churchill Downs Incorporated CEO, Bill Carstanjen has been quoted as saying. “As the situation evolved, we steadily made all necessary operational adjustments to provide the safest experience and environment. The most recent developments have led us to make some very difficult, but we believe, necessary decisions and our hearts are with those who have been or continue to be affected by this pandemic.
“Our team is united in our commitment to holding the very best Kentucky Derby ever and certainly the most unique in any of our lifetimes. While we are always respectful of the time-honoured traditions of the Kentucky Derby, our company’s true legacy is one of resilience, the embracing of change and unshakeable resolve."
Churchill Downs also took the opportunity to provide a general update regarding what measures have been taken at the track in light of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
An excerpt from Churchill’s release on the situation appears below.
The safety and health of our guests, team members and participants remains our primary concern at Churchill Downs Racetrack. We are monitoring COVID-19 developments with steadfast vigilance in connection with resources provided by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control as well as public health officials and experts.
We encourage anyone planning to visit Churchill Downs Racetrack to follow the preventative actions outlined by the CDC and make informed decisions based on the official and most recent information provided. If you plan to attend a private event held at Churchill Downs, you should contact the organizer directly. All scheduled events will continue at the discretion of our clients.
In the best interest of our guests, employees and the community around us amid public health concerns regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, Churchill Downs Racetrack has made the difficult decision to voluntarily suspend simulcasting operations, effective Sunday, March 15 at midnight, for 14 days. There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Churchill Downs Racetrack. We sincerely apologize for this abrupt notice and any inconvenience it may cause.
The Churchill release also states that in order to ensure the utmost safety of guests when they visit the property, the track has instituted a set of practices, which can be accessed here.
(With files from Churchill Downs)