2021 Kentucky Derby Traditions Affected By The COVID-19

2021 Kentucky Derby Traditions Affected By The COVID-19

Written by on January 15, 2021

After a tough 2020 where Churchill Down ran the Kentucky Derby in September, the 2021 Run for the Roses is on track. Derby fans, handicappers, owners, and jockeys should circle May 1 for this year’s Derby. But although everyone is excited that the Derby will return to the first Saturday in May, lingering pandemic issues could force race goers to change Derby Day traditions. Check out the Top 5 Kentucky Derby traditions COVID is likely to force racing fans to break. Also check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds from Kentucky Derby for Saturday, May 1. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.

2021 Kentucky Derby Traditions Being Broken Because of COVID

2021 Kentucky Derby

  • When: Saturday, May 1, 2021
  • Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY

Expect Churchill Downs to Break These 5 Derby Traditions

On track Derby betting

Some races during the year attract more on-track wagering than what the pools get via online betting. The Derby was one of those races because over 120,000 people showed up each and every year. Not in 2021. Most won’t go anywhere near Churchill Downs if they can bet on the Derby through their mobile phones or tablets.

Derby parties

Everyone in the South, not just in Kentucky, threw a Derby party. Unfortunately, COVID figures to end the 2021 parties just like it put the kibosh on the 2020 parties. One of the reasons few, if any, Derby parties will happen is because many horse racing owners, those are the ones who throw the best parties, are most susceptible to the virus. They’re often older and many have underlying health concerns. 

Celebrities in the Derby walking ring

Watching the Kentucky Derby on television meant seeing what celebrities wore in the walking ring. Sometimes, an uber celebrities, like Terrific Tom Brady and Giselle, would show up in the walking ring. It didn’t happen in 2020. It won’t happen in 2021.

RV row 

Racing fans are pretty much the same. It doesn’t matter if your race of choice involves four-legged horses or stock cars. Like NASCAR fans, horse racing enthusiasts would show up in RVs, park on RV row, and celebrate America’s signature thoroughbred event. That won’t happen in 2021.

Kentucky Derby Day infield

The legendary Derby infield should be as empty as the field at Raymond James Stadium the day after Super Bowl LV.

Most people who show up in the infield do so to celebrate one of the nation’s most treasured sports events. They place $2 on the horse they don’t necessarily think will win but on the one they feel will win. They also bet based on name, jockey silks, and whether they’re sober enough to have circled the horse the right horse, the one they liked the night before. 

In 2020, we missed these downtrodden racing handicappers who must decide between wagering on the Kentucky Derby or pooling their dollars for one more community Budweiser. Unless something drastic happens, Churchill Downs figures to again shut off access to the infield.