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Churchill Downs Reverses Course as Kentucky Derby Won't Allow Fans

Churchill has reversed its course and now won't allow fans at the running of the 2020 Kentucky Derby, the race track announced Friday. 

The race track last announced a plan for the event that had cut spectators to about 14% spectator attendance. 

"Churchill Downs has worked diligently over the last several months to plan a safe Derby with a limited number of spectators in attendance," the race track announced Friday. "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 COVID-19 cases in Louisville as well as across the region, we needed to again revisit our planning."

The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby is set for Sept. 5.

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Churchill Downs said they got support from Gov. Andy Beshear, who called this the "right and responsible decision."

The decision to run the Sept. 5 races without fans also applies to the Kentucky Oaks and all live racing at Churchill Downs during Derby Week.

The Kentucky Derby has been held every year since 1875 and only twice outside the month of May.

The last time it was held after May was 1945, when the race took place on June 9 following the conclusion of World War II.

Last year's race drew more than 150,000 people to Churchill Downs.