Kentucky Derby reverses course, will run without fans

Sports

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Next month’s Kentucky Derby will run without fans at Churchill Downs. The historic track citied rises in COVID-19 cases in the Louisville area.

It will mark the second Triple Crown race this year without spectators, following the Belmont Stakes in June. The Derby and Kentucky Oaks for fillies were postponed from May 1-2 to Sept. 4-5 because of the coronavirus.

Churchill Downs recently announced an attendance limit of 23,000 for the 146th Derby as part of a 62-page health and safety plan for horse racing’s marquee event.

“We were confident in that plan, but dedicated to remaining flexible using the best and most reliable information available,” the track said in a statement. “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 deeply regret the disappointment this will bring to our loyal fans.”

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(This story was originally published on Aug. 21, 2020)

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