Kentucky Derby rescheduled for September 5

TwinSpires Staff

March 17th, 2020

The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby has been rescheduled for September 5 due to public health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) announced Tuesday. The 146th Kentucky Oaks has been moved to September 4.

“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,” CDI’s CEO Bill Carstanjen said. “As the situation evolved, we reached the difficult conclusion that we needed to reschedule. At no point did we ever consider canceling the Kentucky Derby.” 

The Kentucky Derby has been run every year since 1875, and 2020 marks the first time since 1945 it will not be held on the first Saturday in May. The Labor Day Weekend dates are contingent upon final approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which is expected to be received on March 19.

CDI worked with broadcasting partner NBC and the city of Louisville, Kentucky, to locate the best date in early September. Details have yet to be finalized, but the Road to the Kentucky Derby points system will remain in effect. Officials will identify existing races to incorporate into the points system over the summer, and points that have already been accumulated will continue to count toward a berth in a 20-horse Kentucky Derby field.

Maryland Jockey Club and New York Racing Association officials are looking at dates in September-October to possibly reschedule the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, respectively.

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