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Churchill downs
Churchill downs
Churchill Downs has received a major boost, opening its stables at the track and training in phases as it prepares for its spring racing season.

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Churchill Downs gears up for return to racing ?

Churchill Downs has received a major boost, opening its stables at the track and training in phases as it prepares for its spring racing season.

However it will come with a raft of restrictions and health measures in place, including no spectators. 

Races are set to resume at the famous Churchill Downs which has been forced to extend the Kentucky Derby from May 2 to September 5 in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Not since World War II has the Kentucky Derby raced on the first Saturday in May. 

Stables have been closed since December 31 to cater for the renovation of the stables which have been delayed a number of times since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Racing at Churchill Downs was scheduled to begin last Saturday. 

A statement from Churchill Downs said Kentucky state officials approved opening the stables from May 11 under strict guidelines to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

Racing will begin after track officials evaluate its incoming horse population and provide to local authorities the procedures they are putting in place in line with recommended health and social distancing guidelines. 

“The health and safety of our horsemen, staff and community remains paramount,” track president Kevin Flanery said.

“Strict compliance with our comprehensive COVID-19 Action Plan and social distancing guidelines is our responsible duty to effectively contain the virus.”

Churchill Downs have proposed a number of measures, outlining masks will be worn before entering and at all times on the grounds and COVID-19 testing and medical screening. 

Those who don’t comply or fail the screening will be denied entry and asked to self-quarantine per CDC guidelines.

All personnel on premises will be validated via colour-coded wristbands to signal that day’s screening. 

It is expected that all personnel will adhere to social distancing recommendations, including measures taken place in the jockey’s room. 

Kentucky governor Andy Beshear called the track’s plan “one of the most detailed we have seen about specific security checks that everybody has to go through and be temperature-checked, to masking to having a very limited group that is there”.

Preakness Stakes rescheduled for october 3

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