(Churchill Downs’ President Kevin Flanery / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

Editor’s Note:

Early on Thursday morning, Churchill Downs’ officials announced that Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and the track had agreed on a plan to allow fans participate and attend this year’s delayed Kentucky Derby.

The 146th running of the Derby, which was originally scheduled to be conducted on the first Saturday in May before the onslaught of the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic, will now be held on the First Saturday in September.

On Thursday, Gov. Andy Behsear agreed to permit Churchill Downs to hold the annual festive event with spectators in attendance. The track and state officials are now working on the final details of how the sport will go forward and determine the exact number of fans that will be able to attend.

Churchill Downs’ President Kevin Flanery attended a hastily-called press conference outside the main entrance to the track and near the famed Barbaro statute that stands near the entrance of both the track and the Kentucky Derby Museum.

It was a welcome sight. It was news of relief.