The Kentucky Derby has been postponed until early September.

  • All ticket holders will automatically have a ticket for the new event dates.
  • Final approval of the new dates will be known by the end of the week.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The 146th Kentucky Derby has been postponed and moved to September due to the Coronavirus. The events were originally scheduled for May 1 and May 2 but have now been tentatively changed to September 4 and September 5.

Approval of the new dates should be in by March 19 by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

The Kentucky Derby is nothing if not traditional so moving it four months forward will be a new and unique experience for all those involved as well as the fans of the horse racing event. Not only is it a time to dress up and watch some of the best horse races around, but it’s also a time to have fun and put money on the horse races.

The decision to move the dates was a difficult one but was something that Derby host Churchill Downs decided was necessary considering the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated. “As the situation evolved, we steadily made all necessary operational adjustments to provide the safest experience and environment. The most recent developments have led us to make some very difficult, but we believe, necessary decisions and our hearts are with those who have been or continue to be affected by this pandemic.”

The new dates were chosen based on minimal events occurring at that time which would give the spotlight to the Kentucky Derby. It also comes at a time when hotels will have availability for tourists going to the city to attend the event.

“The Kentucky Derby is a participatory event. Its energy and its magic really comes from everybody participating and being there to enjoy it,” said Carstanjen. “So we’re going to make it happen. This race has happened 145 years in a row. It’s going to happen 146. We’ll roll with the punches, but we feel very, very good that September’s the right date.”

Anyone that has already purchased tickets to the Kentucky Derby for their original dates in May will automatically have tickets for September. Should those with tickets not be able to attend the new Kentucky Derby dates, refund information is pending.

The Longines Kentucky Oaks will be happening on May 1 and the Kentucky Derby Presented by the Woodford Reserve will be held September 5. Whether it’s in May or September, the Derby will continue its tradition of mint juleps, big hats, great horse races, and betting.

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