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Kentucky Derby to be run without fans this year amid pandemic

Coronavirus

TAMPA (WFLA) – Churchill Downs Incorporated has announced the 146th Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 will be run without fans.

The famous horse race was originally scheduled for May 2 this year.

In a statement Churchill Downs Incorporated said, “The Kentucky Derby is a time-honored American tradition which has always been about bringing people together. However, the health and safety of our team, fans and participants is our highest concern. Churchill Downs has worked diligently over the last several months to plan a safe Derby with a limited number of spectators in attendance. We were confident in that plan, but dedicated to remaining flexible using the best and most reliable information available. With the current significant increases in COVID-19 cases in Louisville as well as across the region, we needed to again revisit our planning. We have made the difficult decision to hold this year’s Kentucky Derby on September 5 without fans. Churchill Downs and all of our team members feel strongly that it is our collective responsibility as citizens of Louisville to do all we responsibly can to protect the health, safety and security of our community in these challenging times.”

The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of what’s known as the triple crown of U.S. horse racing.

The only other time it was postponed was in 1945 because of World War II.

NBC will televise coverage of the Kentucky Derby and undercard racing on Sept. 5 from 2:30-7:30 p.m.

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