By Emily Shields
As reported earlier on TVG, the 2020 Kentucky Derby has been postponed until September 5.
This will be the first time in 75 years that the race doesn’t take place in May. It last happened in 1945, then the race was held on June 9. It is only the second time in the 145-year history of the Derby that the date is being moved. The Kentucky Oaks will take place September 4.
Louisville’s Churchill Downs did not originally have the Labor Day weekend dates for racing, but negotiated with Ellis Park in Henderson, which will now conclude its meeting on August 30.
A domino effect could follow, as dates for the Preakness Stakes and possibly the Belmont Stakes could be shuffled around, with races such as the Travers Stakes following suit.
While this could pose frustrating for connections of horses who are ready to run now, horses like Eight Rings, Maxfield, and Gamine will get a chance to develop and possibly shine later on in the year.
The entirety of the Kentucky Derby week undercard races will be transferred to September. Other tracks have already reacted, with Oaklawn Park saying they could delay the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) from April 11 to a later date. Meanwhile, the Bluegrass Stakes was canceled when Keeneland Race Course canceled their entire spring meet. Churchill Downs management has said they will add more “prep” races to the schedule worth points, using existing races on the calendar that are traditionally run after the Triple Crown ends.
Derby and Oaks tickets purchased for the original date will be honored for the new dates. Refund requests for tickets that can no longer be used will be handled by the Kentucky Derby website.
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