The GI Kentucky Derby has been rescheduled from May 2 to Sept. 5 and the GI Kentucky Oaks has been moved from May 1 to Sept. 4 due to the coronavirus, Churchill Downs announced Tuesday morning. The dates are contingent upon final approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission which is expected Mar. 19.
CDI’s CEO, Bill Carstanjen, stated: “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. 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.”
Previously purchased Derby/Oaks tickets will still be valid for the new dates.
The Maryland Jockey Club released the following statement in regards to the GI Preakness S., which is currently scheduled for May 16.
“Our first priority in these difficult times is the health and welfare of our industry participants and the public at large. We are working with state and local governments, our industry participants, media and other affiliates to determine the most appropriate time to conduct the Preakness Stakes. While we are mindful of the challenges these times present, we also know that events like the Preakness Stakes can help restore our sense of place and economic well-being to our communities and state. As soon as we have further clarity on these matters we will inform all.”
The New York Racing Association issued a statement from CEO David O’Rourke in regards to the GI Belmont S., currently set for June 6.
“NYRA is working closely with all appropriate parties, including media rights holder NBC Sports, to make a determination about the timing of the 2020 Belmont Stakes. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend American life, decisions about large-scale public events must prioritize public health and safety above all else. NYRA will deliver an announcement only when that process has concluded to the satisfaction of state and local health departments. The Belmont Stakes is a New York institution with wide-reaching economic impact. We look forward to its 152nd edition in 2020.”
Jack Knowlton of Sackatoga Stable, owner of Derby contender Tiz the Law (Constitution), responded to the date change on the Stable’s Twitter, saying, “The rescheduling of the Kentucky Derby to 9/5 is a required step in these unprecedented times. The details re: the Preakness/Belmont, new points races & impact on the Travers were not addressed. Sackatoga awaits additional info as we look to future races for Tiz the Law.”