The biggest betting day of the year in the United States has been the latest sporting casualty of the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The showpiece in racing in the US was scheduled to take place in May but has now been pushed back so that it will take place on the first weekend in September.
The Kentucky Derby was supposed to be the first of the prestigious Triple Crown events to take place in the USA, but the announcement that the ‘Fastest Two Minutes in Sports’ will now be taking place later in the year was revealed by Churchill Downs yesterday.
Kentucky Derby Added To Long List Of Sporting Events
The Kentucky Derby is just the latest sporting event to be affected by the pandemic, with the CEO of the racecourse admitting that everybody’s first priority was maintaining the health and safety of the guests and team members. It wasn’t a huge shock when the decision was made, as nobody really knows how this pandemic will slow down with over 6,300 confirmed cases. Yesterday it was revealed that all 50 states in the US have now been affected, with New York City and San Francisco both on lockdown.
The Kentucky Derby was first run in 1875, and it has been held on the first Saturday of May ever since. However, this won’t be the first time that it will be competed at a later date, with a race during the Second World War pushed back a month. Broadcasters of the other Triple Crown events are now in constant talks surrounding the fate of the other races that take place after the Kentucky Derby. However, there has been no word yet whether the Preakness Stakes or Belmont Stakes will be rearranged to accommodate the Kentucky Derby as the first of the events.
Horse Racing Around The World
The biggest race in the US wasn’t the only announced loss for the world of horse racing over the past few days, as it was also revealed that the Grand National had been postponed. The Jockey Club made the announcement on Monday, but the decision was immediately backed. They revealed that there would be no Grand National in 2020, due to the ground being too hard for the horses later in the year.
The winner of the past two Grand Nationals was Tiger Roll, and his trainer Gordon Elliott supported the decision before then announcing that the famous dual winner will be back in 2021 to retain his prize and make history. The other two days of the Grand National festival were also cancelled, with racing in the United Kingdom also suspended until the end of April.
However, racing in Ireland is still going ahead at present but behind closed doors. That is expected to change over the coming days, with the Irish authorities likely to take the same stance as the Jockey Club. Racing in France is also suspended until the 15th of April.