Organuckers of Kentucky Derby Reverse decision, will not allow fans to attend race

– Organizers tried to find a way to keep the Kentucky Derby equestrian sport safe for fans this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, but those efforts have apparently failed. Per WLKY, Churchill Downs announced Friday that it could not allow spectators to attend the Sept. event in Louisville. “Churchill Downs has worked hard over the last few months to plan a safe Derby with a limited number of spectators in attendance,” read a statement from Churchill Downs. “We were confident in that plan, but … with the current significant increases in COVID-19 cases in Louisville as well as in the entire region, we had to reconsider our planning.” Officials added, per de Courier Journal: “We deeply regret the disappointment this will bring to our loyal fans.”

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is said to agree with the decision, calling it ‘WLKY’ right and responsible. Earlier in the week, Beshear had released data that put Jefferson County, where Louisville is located, in a “red zone” in terms of cases of coronavirus, indicating a “critical” situation. The decision applies not only to the Derby, but also to the Kentucky Oaks and other live races held that week at Churchill Downs. Anyone who has already purchased tickets for these events can get a full refund. Meanwhile, activists tell the Courier Journal that the Derby should be annulled altogether as a statement in support of justice in the shooting death by Louisville police of unarmed Black EMT Breonna Taylor. “If Breonna Taylor can’t get justice, then horses can’t run,” one activist tells the paper. “Have horses now become more important than black life?” (Read more Kentucky Derby stories.)