Kentucky Derby Jockeys get a little reprieve, Churchill Downs pushed back arrival date

August 15, 2020

The jockeys who will be riding at Churchill Downs the week of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade 1) will be required to arrive by Aug. 31 and will have to submit to COVID-19 testing before being cleared to ride according to the latest protocols released by the track.

The original arrival date was of August 24th was pushed back by by track officials. The August 24th date was not popular with both riders and horsemen. Bob Baffert voiced his feelings about the initial protocols released:

“Johnny is going to be there for Gamine, I think a lot of guys don’t want to go. They can’t get back (quickly) to New York, to California. It’s been a (challenge).”

Tiz the Law’s rider, Manny Franco, will comply with the necessary COVID-19 procedures, both the jockey and his agent, Angel Cordero Jr., said this week.

“It’s not every day you are going to be on the favorite for the Kentucky Derby, so you have to go,” Cordero said.

Jockeys wishing to gain entrance to the stable area before Derby week may receive a test at Churchill Downs Aug. 18-24.

Besides repeat testing, jockeys must agree to properly wear face coverings at all times except during the running of a race. They must also social distance and abide by public-health guidelines. 

Churchill plans to have auxiliary jockeys’ rooms for riders traveling in from out of state.

Derek Lawson the agent for Flavien Prat said his rider will likely stay in California due to the protocols.

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