Jockeys May Skip Derby If Quarantine Required

The Kentucky Derby is a little over a month away. However, due to the new pandemic rules, there are still some concerns about the event. Jockeys may skip Derby if they are required to quarantine.

One of the biggest concerns is being asked by agents who are bracing to hear Monday. That jockeys might have to be isolated in Louisville for 10 days before riding on the Oaks and Derby cards Sept. 4 and 5. Then they would face further quarantine when they went back to their home bases.

“I’ve been hearing about that for a couple weeks,” said Derek Lawson, the agent for 2019 Derby-winning rider Flavien Prat. “Leaving 10 days early to ride the Derby. Not being able to come back the last two days (at Del Mar), how much are we going to have to sacrifice? We’re riding a card almost every single day.”

When asked if he would endure 10 days of isolation before trying for a third Derby victory, jockey Mike Smith texted, “Wow, I hope not. We will just have to see what they make us do.” What does this mean?

Update on Jockeys May Skip Derby Not to Quarantine

Jockeys May Skip Derby Quarantine Concerns

If the new rules are indeed introduced, Smith could lose rides in the Del Mar Debutante and Del Mar Futurity and as many as three other graded stakes if he went to Louisville next month.

High-profile jockeys that spent this summer at Saratoga said they have not been formally told of any tightening of regulations in Kentucky.
“No, I haven’t heard anything yet,” two-time Derby winner John Velázquez said in a text. “So far I haven’t heard anything,” Javier Castellano said in an email. Neither would say what he would do if he faced an ultimatum. The news of jockeys may skip Derby at Churchill Downs because of quarantine concerns.

Lawson added that he is holding out hope that Churchill Downs introduces something that is more lenient.

“Maybe we’ll find out tomorrow that they let us just come in with a negative test,” he said. “You just come in and ride. They’ll find a special spot for you to stay in, and you go through the two days of racing there. But I’m not certain. Everything is so up in the air right now.”

August 4, 2020 by : Posted in 2020 No Comments

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