The Kentucky Derby announced this morning, March 17, that it will be rescheduling their 146th annual event due to coronavirus restrictions.
The Kentucky Derby derby has been moved from May 2 to Sept. 5 and the Longines Kentucky Oaks has been moved from May 1 to Sept. 4. According to a release from the organizers, the dates are contingent on approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and will be confirmed on March 19.
“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," Bill Carstanjen, Churchhill Downs Incorporated CEO stated. "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."
Carstanjen reassured readers that despite the challenging circumstances, the upcoming derby will persevere.
"Our team is united in our commitment to holding the very best Kentucky Derby ever and certainly the most unique in any of our lifetimes. While we are always respectful of the time-honored traditions of the Kentucky Derby, our Company’s true legacy is one of resilience, the embracing of change and unshakeable resolve."
If you already purchased a ticket to either derby, they will be valid for the rescheduled dates. "You may arrive on the new dates in September with your printed ticket or mobile ticket to be scanned for entry at the gates. Information on a new ticket shipment date will be sent directly to ticket purchasers," the release read.
Refunds will be available at KentuckyDerby.com/updates by the end of the week for those who can no longer attend the rescheduled dates. If you purchased a ticket from a vendor other than Kentucky Derby, the organizers suggest to reach out to them directly as Kentucky Derby will not be able to refund them.
For more info, visit KentuckyDerby.com.