The 2020 Kentucky Derby is postponing due to the coronavirus outbreak Jason Frakes, Louisville Courier Journal · March 16, 2020 at 9:41 pm For the first time in 75 years, the Kentucky Derby will not be a part of the first Saturday in May. Amid growing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, Churchill Downs will postpone the Derby from May 2 to Sept. 5, those close to the race confirmed to The Courier Journal. A formal announcement will be made on Tuesday at 9 a.m. EST. The last time the Kentucky Derby wasn’t held on the first Saturday in May was in 1945, when the government issued a ban on horse racing because of World War II. The ban was lifted on V-E Day (May 8), and the Derby was held on June 9. The only other year the Derby wasn’t held in May was in 1901, when it was raced on April 29.