LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The road to the Kentucky Derby arrived at Keeneland Saturday, and the Blue Grass Stakes gave fans a chance to see what the racing season will be like with new COVID-19 rules in place.
There were fewer fans, and masks and social distancing were required.
Despite this, fans said they just felt lucky to be there.
"It's perfect," racing fan, Patrick Clancy, said. "You know, you think during the COVID thing, it's going to be a little drawn back but it's perfect. Everybody's having fun out here. Keeneland - greatest track in the country - we're very amped to get here."
"I think we are owed this beautiful day for missing out on it all of last year," fan Peyton Neff said.
The Stakes had fans even more excited about the Kentucky Derby coming up in May.
"Yeah, we're getting in the spirit," racing fan, Danny Tilton, said. "We're a couple of Louisville guys so we kind of live and breathe the derby. The year kind of revolves around it."
After missing out on all of the festivities last year, fans said they believe getting to come to the race track is possible because of the success Kentucky has had with vaccinations.
"The fact that Kentucky's been doing so great getting the vaccine out has really calmed people a little bit and made people more willing to jump back into these public settings," Neff said. "Everyone seems to be in masks when they're not drinking. But yeah, I think they're doing a great job of keeping everyone as distanced as they can and still have a good time."
Fans said they're hoping that good time lasts all the way to the Derby.