There was supposed to be plenty of sports action this weekend, between NBA playoffs, MLB regular season and, of course, the Kentucky Derby. But unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all professional sports have been brought to a hault.
No, horses cannot contract the coronavirus, but the people who attend the race in large numbers every year can. That’s why Churchill Downs Incorporated opted to postpone the race to a later date.
Here’s everything you need to know about the rescheduled Kentucky Derby.
When is the Kentucky Derby in 2020?
The Kentucky Derby, originally scheduled for May 2, has been postponed until Saturday, Sept. 5.
It is traditionally the first leg of the Triple Crown, which also includes the Belmont Stakes and Preakness. Both races have also been postponed with dates still to be determined.
Triple Crown schedule 2020
Why was the Kentucky Derby postponed?
In hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic will have slowed enough by to allow guests to safely attend the race, Churchill Downs Incorporated decided to postpone the race, which normally takes place the first Saturday in May, to the first Saturday in September.
“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 said in a statement. “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-honored traditions of the Kentucky Derby, our Company’s true legacy is one of resilience, the embracing of change and unshakeable resolve.”
Kentucky Derby horses 2020
Typically, 20 horses qualify for the Kentucky Derby, with up to four “also eligibles” in case of a late withdrawal from the field. However, several prep races that were part of qualifying were canceled in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Churchill Downs is currently considering adding more qualifying races to the series with points to be determined. Here is the current top 24, according to the leaderboard on the Kentucky Derby website.
How to get tickets to the 2020 Kentucky Derby
For those who already bought tickets for the race when it was scheduled in May, those tickets will be valid for the rescheduled race, according to the
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