- Churchill Downs has mandated Kentucky Derby participants to arrive in Kentucky 12 days prior to the big race.
- This has caused conflict with many jockeys who planned to participate in other races such as the Del Mar and Saratoga.
- Big names like last year’s Derby winner Flavien Prat are conflicted about participating at this year’s Derby.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.- The upcoming Kentucky Derby has already begun seeing its share of drama and suspense, only this is taking place outside the racetrack. Churchill Downs has made it mandatory for participants to arrive 12 days early, leading to conflict with other events.
The reason for the early arrival is due to the coronavirus outbreak. Churchill Downs wishes to have all participants in a secure location with enough time before the big race to limit possible exposure.
This is a scheduling conflict to jockeys who wish to compete in the final weekends of Saratoga and Del Mar.
Big Name Jockeys Conflicted
Those betting on the Kentucky Derby may be in for some bad news as many prominent jockeys may opt-out of racing due to the Churchill Downs’s mandate.
The Churchill Downs committee confirmed the reasoning behind the strict mandate being the ability to test participants and ensure no one has the virus during the race.
“That would allow a minimum two sets of tests before they get into the jocks room,” said Kevin Flanery, Churchill Downs Racetrack President. “We are looking at that particular component and some additional opportunities for testing the jocks and the valets to be sure that we are keeping them as safe as possible and that we don’t create an environment where there’s a quick spread of the virus in the jocks’ room.”
Many trainers, agents, and jockeys have already begun voicing their concerns over the very strict regulations being passed.
“I’m sure I’ll make it,” said Mike Smith, two-time Derby winner, and Honor A. P.’s rider. “Just hoping they come up with a better plan. Would be better for everyone if we could just come in, test and ride. Think there’s a better chance of getting it having to stay there 10 days.”
Last year’s Derby winner Flavien Prat has expressed the possibility of not participating in this year’s race due to the conditions.
“They give the opportunity to every rider to ride on Derby weekend,” said Prat. “This is going to be a personal choice between not riding Derby weekend or giving up a lot of racing days.”
Despite the news, legal sports betting sites have shown no change in the odds for the Kentucky Derby.
Kentucky Derby 2020 Odds
- Tiz The Law +200
- Honor A.P. +700
- Art Collector +800
- Uncle Chuck +800
- Authentic +1000
- Thousand Words +1800
- Dr Post +2000
- Max Player +2000
- King Guillermo +2500
- NY Traffic +2500
- Sole Volante +2500
Horse race bettors are still taking action on the event as things progress. But, if more participants and big-name racers begin voicing their concerns, it could possibly affect the race as well as betting lines.
Coming from a background in narrative-based writing, Giovanni strives to write stories that will keep the reader engaged. Although he does pride himself in being accurate, how the story is told is also very important to him. When he’s not keeping readers up to date on sports betting laws and legislation, you can find him writing and recording music, playing videogames, or engaged in heated sports debates with his friends.