The 2020 Kentucky Derby will run on a rescheduled date of Saturday, September 5 due to COVID-19 pandemic. Churchill Downs was originally going to hold the 146th Run for the Roses on Saturday, May 2.
NBC Sports’ coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC and will available to stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Post time is set for approximately 7:01 p.m. ET. Click here to stream the 2020 Kentucky Derby live right now.
After dazzling trips in the Belmont Stakes and the Travers Stakes, Barclay Tagg’s Tiz the Law looks to continue his dominant 3-year-old season in the Kentucky Derby. The colt, who is owned by Funny Cide syndicate Sackatoga Stables, has a lot of hype to live up to—but his path to victory got a little wider on Tuesday when Art Collector, one of his main competitors, scratched with a minor foot injury.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile upset winner Storm the Court is in the mix, and Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will field Haskell winner Authentic and late bloomer Thousand Words.
This is the first time since 1945 that the Derby hasn’t been run on the first Saturday in May and the third time in history that the race hasn’t been run in the month of May.
The 2020 Kentucky Derby will run without any spectators after Churchill Downs previously announced strict COVID-19 protocols and a limited capacity for fans.
The Kentucky Oaks will be run on Friday, September 4 instead of Friday, May 1.
The 146th Kentucky Derby has already been unconventional in ways besides the date. Churchill Downs had previously added several Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races to the schedule, including the Travers Stakes that Tiz the Law so easily swept.
The Derby also becomes the middle jewel of the 2020 Triple Crown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Belmont, historically the final race, became the opening leg on Saturday, June 20. The Preakness is usually second but will run last this year, on Saturday, Oct. 3.
Also because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its related safety precautions (riders must be at Churchill Downs by Aug. 31, the Monday of Derby week), several top riders including last year’s Derby winner Flavien Prat and wildly successful brothers Jose Ortiz and Irad Ortiz Jr. won’t be making the trip down to Kentucky. Instead, they’ll stay at their home tracks to keep riding.
Back in 1945, the Kentucky Derby was postponed to June 9 due to World War II. After that, the entire Triple Crown schedule shifted, resulting in all three races being run in consecutive weeks. The 1901 Derby was run on Monday, April 29.