Churchill Downs delayed reopening stables at the track and training center to April 28 and postponed its spring meet that was scheduled to open April 25.

The track last month postponed the 146th Kentucky Derby from May 2 to Sept. 5, the first time since 1945 the race will not be run on the first Saturday in May.

Churchill Downs’ stables have been closed since Dec. 31 for winter renovations and were originally scheduled to open March 17 before being delayed in response to executive orders from Gov. Andy Beshear to contain and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Track president Kevin Flanery said in a statement that Churchill Downs is following the lead of the governor and public health officials and added, “Our team will be ready to open under the relevant guidance we are given when the time is right.”

Also Monday, two of the biggest meetings in the British horse racing calendar have been postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak, despite previous hopes that the sport could return by the start of May.

The Jockey Club says the Guineas Festival at Newmarket on May 2-3 and the English Derby Festival at Epsom on June 5-6 will not be staged on those dates.

Organizers are looking at alternative dates for the meetings “given the importance of (them) to the careers of that generation of horses, and the racing and bloodstock industries as a whole.”

The Derby is the most prestigious flat race in Britain, while the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas take place at the Newmarket meeting in early May.

The Jockey Club said a decision needed to be made on postponing the meetings as trainers wanted to know whether to step up preparations for the races.

Racing has officially been suspended until the end of April, and the British Horseracing Authority was hoping for a resumption on May 1.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: