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Kentucky Derby likely to be postponed

AFP/Los Angeles
Filed on March 15, 2020
Charlatan (right) ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, runs ahead of the pack in the final stretch to win the sixth race at Santa Anita Park on Saturday. - AP

Officials at Churchill Downs revealed Saturday that they were considering the "timing" of the showpiece and Baffert - who has saddled five winners in the "Run for the Roses" - said that the first leg of US racing's Triple Crown could be pushed back from May 2 to later in the year.

Leading  trainer Bob Baffert said that May's 146th Kentucky Derby could be postponed as racing went behind closed doors at California's Santa Anita track for the first time since it opened in 1934 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials at Churchill Downs revealed Saturday that they were considering the "timing" of the showpiece and Baffert - who has saddled five winners in the "Run for the Roses" - said that the first leg of US racing's Triple Crown could be pushed back from May 2 to later in the year.

"Churchill Downs is saying they're not going to run the Derby without the people there, so I'm hearing may be June or in September," Baffert said after saddling Charlatan to a big win in an allowance race at a deserted Santa Anita.

In a statement posted on its website, Churchill Downs indicated it was considering its options for the Kentucky Derby. "We recognize that the impact of this iconic event extends well beyond the historic racetrack of Churchill Downs," the statement said. "The Kentucky Derby is a cherished and important time for the City of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  We are mindfully aware of our fans who travel from great distances to join us as well as our valued employees whose most intense preparations to host a world-class event begin now."


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