The Kentucky Derby producers have changed their minds about having fans attend the Run for the Roses.
The Churchill Downs race, scheduled for Sept. 5, had planned to have a limited number of socially distanced fans attend. But the Louisville, Kentucky area has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases, causing the track to re-think its plan.
The Derby is normally held in May, but was bumped to the fall by the pandemic. It is now the second Triple Crown event this year, following the shortened Belmont Stakes in June.
Churchill Downs had planned on an attendance limit of 23,000 for the 146th Derby. Last year, more than 150,000 attended the event, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
“We were confident in that (limited attendance) plan, but dedicated to remaining flexible using the best and most reliable information available,” the track said in a statement. “With the current significant increases in COVID-19 cases in Louisville as well as across the region, we needed to again revisit our planning. We deeply regret the disappointment this will bring to our loyal fans.”