This year the Kentucky Derby will run on the first Saturday in September, not the first Saturday in May, according to multiple published reports.
The 146th Run for the Roses will be moved to Sept. 5 due to the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the United States. A postponement to the first Saturday of Labor Day Weekend will officially be announced at a news conference this morning.
It will mark the first time that the Run for the Roses will not take place on the first Saturday in May since 1945, when it was delayed until June due to World War II.
The most famous horse race in the world is the latest victim of COVID-19, which in less than a week has wiped out every major sporting event scheduled for the next few months. It started with the suspension of the NBA regular season, was followed by the postponement of the start of the Major League Baseball season, and continued with the cancellation of the men's and women's NCAA Tournaments.
Earlier Monday, Keeneland announced that it was canceling its entire spring meet, including the Bluegrass Stakes, one of the big prep races for the Derby. This past Saturday's Rebel Stakes, won by Nadal, was run in front of a crowd-less grandstand at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.
This Derby was previously run outside the month of May only twice before. The first was on April 29, 1901. The second was June 9, 1945.
The Kentucky Oaks will also be postponed until the first weekend in September, which is when the college football season usually kicks off.
This will mark the second straight year of an historic occurrence at the Derby.
At last year's Derby, Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, ahead of Country House. However after a post-race objection for obstruction, the long-shot Country House was declared the winner and Maximum Security was disqualified. It marked the first time that the first-place finishing horse was DQ'd for an on-the-track infraction.