The Kentucky Derby is the latest major sporting event that will be delayed due to the global coronavirus outbreak. The Running of the Roses will be postponed from May 2nd to September 5th of this year, according to the Courier-Journal. An official announcement is expected to be made on Tuesday morning.
It would mark the first time in 75 years that the race has been run on a date outside of the first Saturday in May. The last time it happened was in 1945, when the government placed a ban on horse racing during World War II. That year, the race was run in June — just over a month after V-E Day.
The decision doesn’t exactly come as a surprise considering most major sporting events over the next month or so have been postponed or canceled in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. President Donald Trump recommended on Monday that people should avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people for the time being. That decision comes after the CDC recommended that there should be no gatherings of 50-plus people for the next eight weeks on Sunday.
The postponement will throw a major wrinkle into the typical horse racing schedule, and there’s a significant possibility that it may not be the only race moved on the calendar as a result of the pandemic.
Over the weekend, Churchhill Downs announced they were delaying the opening of its stable areas, as well as its operations at Derby City Gaming. As of now, the track plans to reopen both by the end of March.