On Friday, Churchill Downs announced that this year's Kentucky Derby will run without fans. The 146th Kentucky Derby is scheduled for September 5, 2020.
They released a statement explaining the decision to the fans:
"With the current significant increases in COVID19 cases in Louisville as well as across the region, we needed to again revisit our planning. We have made the difficult decision to hold this year's Kentucky Derby on September 5 without fans. Churchill Downs and all of our team members feel strongly that it is our collective responsibility as citizens of Louisville to do all we responsibly can to protect the health, safety and security of our community in these challenging times and believe that running the Derby without spectators is the best way to do that. We deeply regret the disappointment this will bring to our loyal fans."
The release emphasizes the importance of keeping everyone safe, saying, "The Kentucky Derby is a time-honored American tradition which has always been about bringing people together. However, the health and safety of our team, fans and participants is our highest concern."
Earlier this month, the event planned to welcome in 14% of its 2015 record attendance to the event, which is around 23,000 people.
Their recent statement said, "Churchill Downs has worked diligently over the last several months to plan a safe Derby with a limited number of spectators in attendance. We were confident in that plan, but dedicated to remaining flexible using the best and most reliable information available."
They worked with the governor on the decision and monitored cases in the area. Jefferson County and the City of Louisville are in a 'red zone' based on increases in cases, with over 2,300 new cases this week alone.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said. "I applaud Churchill Downs for continuing to monitor the virus and for making the right and responsible decision. I am asking all Kentuckians to take action to stop the spread of the virus so we can get back to the many traditions we enjoy, like the Kentucky Derby."
The race was originally scheduled for May 2, but was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Kentucky Derby is usually the first jewel of the Triple Crown, but the pandemic caused changes, and it is now the second leg.
Here's a look at the Kentucky Derby odds via Sportsline:
Tiz the Law (4-5)
Art Collector (6-1)
Honor A.P. (7-1)
Thousand Words (20-1)
King Guillermo (25-1)
NY Traffic (25-1)
Dr. Post (30-1)
Max Player (35-1)
Sole Volante (40-1)
Attachment Rate (66-1)
Major Fed (80-1)
Shared Sense (125-1)
Finnick the Fierce (175-1)
Necker Island (200-1)