Breaking News! No Fans at This Year’s Kentucky Derby

Empty row of seats at racetrackLOUISVILLE, KY., (August 21, 2020) – Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN)
announced today its decision to run the 146th Kentucky Derby on September 5, 2020 without fans. CDI issued the following statement:

The Kentucky Derby is a time-honored American tradition which has always been about bringing people together. However, the health and safety of our team, fans and participants is our highest concern.
Churchill Downs has worked diligently over the last several months to plan a safe Derby with a limited number of spectators in attendance. We were confident in that plan, but dedicated to remaining flexible using the best and most reliable information available. With the current significant increases in COVID19
cases in Louisville as well as across the region, we needed to again revisit our planning. We have
made the difficult decision to hold this year’s Kentucky Derby on September 5 without fans.

Churchill Downs and all of our team members feel strongly that it is our collective responsibility as citizens of
Louisville to do all we responsibly can to protect the health, safety and security of our community in these
challenging times and believe that running the Derby without spectators is the best way to do that. We
deeply regret the disappointment this will bring to our loyal fans.

The decision comes with the support of Governor Andy Beshear who said, “The virus is still aggressively
spreading in Kentucky, and the White House has announced that Jefferson County and the City of
Louisville are in a ‘red zone’ based on increases in cases. This week alone the county had more than
2,300 new cases,” Gov. Beshear said. “I applaud Churchill Downs for continuing to monitor the virus and
for making the right and responsible decision. I am asking all Kentuckians to take action to stop the
spread of the virus so we can get back to the many traditions we enjoy, like the Kentucky Derby.”
Since early May, decisions regarding this year’s Kentucky Derby have been made in consultation with
public health authorities including data provided by medical experts at Norton Healthcare. Positivity rates
in the more than 70,000 patients tested at Norton have gone from as low as 2% in June to a rapid
escalation of 10% in recent days.

“This is a critical point in time for our community,” said Russell F. Cox, president and CEO of Norton
Healthcare. “This remains a very fluid situation and every event should be evaluated based on the data
available as close to the date of the event as possible. We appreciate and support Churchill Downs’

“This year’s Kentucky Derby was never going to be the celebration we’re used to, but I could not be more
grateful to our tremendous team members and community partners for all of their efforts. We’ve left no
stones unturned and reached the right decision,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “We hope our fans,
the Louisville community and our country find an opportunity over the coming weeks to reflect on the
challenges we have faced this year as a community and as a nation, and work together toward a better and
safer future.”

Additional information about Kentucky Derby 146:
 The decision to run without fans includes Kentucky Oaks on Friday, September 4 and all live
racing at Churchill Downs Racetrack for Derby week (September 1-5). Only essential personnel
and participants will be permitted on property.

 Ticket holders for all Derby week race dates and related programming, including Dawn at the
Downs, will be automatically issued a refund.

 NBC will televise coverage of the Kentucky Derby and undercard racing on September 5 from
2:30-7:30 p.m. ET. The 146th running of the Kentucky Oaks will be televised Friday, September 4
on NBCSN from 3-6 p.m. ET.

About Churchill Downs Incorporated
Churchill Downs Incorporated is an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment
company anchored by our iconic flagship event – The Kentucky Derby. We own and operate Derby City
Gaming, a historical racing machine facility in Louisville, Kentucky. We also own and operate the largest
online horse racing wagering platform in the U.S.,, and we operate sports betting and
iGaming through our BetAmerica platform in multiple states. We are also a leader in brick-and-mortar
casino gaming with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 table games
in eight states. Additional information about CDI can be found online at


Share this with your horse racing friends
Handicapping tips from


* indicates required

Email Format

About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More in Kentucky Derby | Triple Crown
The People’s Horse in this Year’s Kentucky Derby?

LOUISVILLE, Ky., July, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- This year's Kentucky Derby could feature a "People's Horse" like never before. Max Player,...