Churchill Downs announced today that the 146th Kentucky Derby has been postponed and rescheduled for Saturday, Sept. 5.
This marks the first time in 75 years that the Kentucky Derby will not be held on the first Saturday in May.
“We are changing a time-honored date that hasn’t been touched in 75 years. It had to be done,” Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said on a conference call Tuesday. “At no point did we ever consider canceling the Kentucky Derby.”
The new date was set following discussions with state and local officials and NBC, which broadcasts the event. Churchill Downs announced last week that it had “been working carefully and diligently with relevant health experts and authorities to ensure we make the most responsible decision,” regarding the continued concerns of the COVID-19 outbreak and public health pandemic.
The Kentucky Derby was last rescheduled in 1945 when it was held on June 9 due to World War II.
The 146th Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies is rescheduled for Friday, Sept. 4 over Labor Day weekend.
What happens to the Derby prep races?
The horse racing hiatus has hit the racetracks. But many tracks continue racing “spectator free,” allowing only licensed personnel, racing officials, essential staff, horsemen, owners, accredited media and limited friends and family at the racetracks.
That includes the March 21 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds, a $1 million Championship Series race that awards 100 points to the winner and entry into the 146th Kentucky Derby.
Other major Championship Series races that will run as scheduled include:
- Florida Derby (Gulfstream Park)
- UAE Derby (Meydan Racecourse, Dubai)
- Wood Memorial (Aqueduct)
- Blue Grass (Keeneland)
- Santa Anita Derby (Santa Anita Park)
- Arkansas Derby (Oaklawn Park)
Churchill Downs also said in its news release that it will identify additional races over the course of the summer to supplement opportunities for horses to obtain Derby points. Horses at the top of the Derby points leaderboard that have already earned enough points (based on recent history) to qualify for the 2020 Kentucky Derby include:
- Authentic (60)
- Ete Indien (54)
- Nadal (50)
- Mischevious Alex (50)
- Modernist (50)
- King Guillermo (50)
Horse betting still available online
Our Kentucky Derby Betting Guide and additional Derby and prep racing coverage will be updated as the races approach and are completed. You can bet horse racing daily online and legally on the TVG betting app and FanDuel Racebook.