May 23, 2022

Kentucky Derby, Oaks rescheduled for early September

The Kentucky Derby trophy (c) Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) announced Tuesday that the 146TH runnings of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks have been rescheduled for early September.

The Kentucky Derby will be offered on Sept. 5, the first time since 1945 the race has not been held on the first Saturday in May. The Oaks will take place on Sept. 4.

“Throughout the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority has been how to best protect the safety and health of our guests, team members and community,” CDI’s CEO Bill Carstanjen said. “As the situation evolved, we reached the difficult conclusion that we needed to reschedule. At no point did we ever consider canceling the Kentucky Derby.”

The Derby and Oaks have been run every year consecutively since 1875. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is expected to approve the Labor Day Weekend dates later this week.

CDI officials revealed they worked in partnership with broadcasting partner NBC, and Louisville, Kentucky, city government, to determine the rescheduled date once it became apparent the event had to be rescheduled due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby points system will remain in effect, with existing races this summer added to the schedule, and points accumulated will continue to count toward a berth in the projected 20-horse Derby field. Details will be released once finalized.

Officials for the Maryland Jockey Club and New York Racing Association are looking at possibly rescheduling the Preakness and Belmont Stakes to this fall.

For the latest information on Kentucky Derby week, the spring meet, ticketing, and details on other relevant information, please visit