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Questions loom about Keeneland, Derby in light of coronavirus

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Posted at 12:34 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 12:36:44-04

(LEX 18) — After multiple large festivals, including SXSW in Austin, cancelled due to coronavirus fears, many Kentuckians began to wonder if there was a chance that signature events like the Kentucky Derby could also get the ax.

At a press conference, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer said that the state has time to watch how cases of COVID-19 develop around the state before making big decisions.

"Unfortunately for them (SXSW) they are kind of at the front end. We will have much more information by the time the Derby rolls around," said Fischer.

Keeneland also has a plan for horse-racing and the spring meet. A spokesperson with the track released a statement:

The health and safety of our fans, horsemen and employees are our highest priority. In light of recent events, Keeneland is closely tracking news and information about COVID-19 and making decisions based on guidance from the relevant government authorities. As of now, we do not foresee a cancellation or delay with regard to our upcoming spring race meet. However, as a community partner, we are engaged with city officials and we are prepared to work closely with them to take all measures necessary for the health, safety and well-being of the public.