Los Angeles: Leading trainer Bob Baffert said Saturday that May's 146th Kentucky Derby could be postponed as racing went behind closed doors at California's Santa Anita track for the first time since it opened in 1934 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials at Churchill Downs revealed Saturday that they were considering the "timing" of the showpiece and Baffert -- who has saddled five winners in the "Run for the Roses" -- said that the first leg of US racing's Triple Crown could be pushed back from May 2 to later in the year.
"Churchill Downs is saying they're not going to run the Derby without the people there, so I'm hearing may be June or in September," Baffert said after saddling Charlatan to a big win in an allowance race at a deserted Santa Anita on Saturday.
Only accredited media, owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms and a limited number of track employees were allowed in.
Major professional sport in the United States has been brought to almost a complete standstill by the coronavirus pandemic, with the NBA, NHL and MLS suspending play and Major League Baseball pushing back the scheduled start of their season by "at least two weeks" while suspending pre-season games.