BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Jockey Club is in the midst of discussions over what to do with the 2020 Preakness Stakes amid the coronavirus pandemic. They may have an answer from one of their fellow Triple Crown races. The Kentucky Derby became the latest sports event affected by the coronavirus pandemic as the organizers of the event announced Tuesday that the 146th edition of the race would be postponed until September.
This year’s race, the 146th running of the Derby, was scheduled to be run on Sunday, May 2, 2020, and instead will be moved to September 5, 2020, pending approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
The 146th Kentucky Derby will be rescheduled from May 2, 2020 to September 5, 2020
Additional Information ⤵https://t.co/PTHT2X5Gm2
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) March 17, 2020
In the release, Churchill Downs Incorporated CEO Bill Carstanjen stated that the first priority for the organization throughout the evolving pandemic has been the safety and health of guests, jockeys and officials for the race.
“As the situation evolved, we steadily made all necessary operational adjustments to provide the safest experience and environment,” said Carstanjen in the statement. “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.”
The move by the Derby may have an impact on this year’s running of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, that had been scheduled for May 16th. The Maryland Jockey Club released a statement late Monday night saying that they are working with state and local governments to determine the most appropriate time to hold the Preakness.
“Our first priority in these difficult times is the health and welfare of our industry participants and the public at large. We are working with state and local governments, our industry participants, media and other affiliates to determine the most appropriate time to conduct the Preakness Stakes. While we are mindful of the challenges these times present, we also know that events like the Preakness Stakes can help restore our sense of place and economic well-being to our communities and state. As soon as we have further clarity on these matters we will inform all.”
The Preakness has traditionally been run two weeks after the Derby, which, if it were to be moved to the same timeline, would mean that the race would be postponed until September 19th.
Information on refund policies for tickets to the Derby can be found on the organization’s website. The Derby is the longest-running sporting event in the United States, continuously running each year since 1875.