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In photos: Authentic wins Kentucky Derby amid protests, no fans in the stands

Authentic won the 146th annual Kentucky Derby on Saturday, where the typical crowds were cast aside to promote social distancing.

Why it matters: Besides the anticipation for and attraction to the competition, the coronavirus, social and racial justice were visible themes in Louisville ahead of the Derby.

The state of play: Like most sporting events this spring, the first leg of the American Triple Crown of horse racing was postponed from its traditional first Saturday in May to the new September date due to the pandemic. Demonstrators gathered in front of the venue, chanting, "No justice, no Derby," Friday and Saturday, as groups called for justice in the wake of the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.

Authentic wins the Kentucky Derby!!

— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) September 5, 2020

A heavily armed group calling themselves American Patriots gathered Saturday at Carrie Gaulbert Cox Park in Louisville. "The citizens asked us to be here," said Dylan Stevens, who calls himself the "Angry Viking". Members of the Three Percenters, My Militia also spoke.

— Lexington Herald-Leader (@heraldleader) September 5, 2020
  • Activists broke out in a chorus of, "Say her name: Breonna Taylor," met by an armed group, which responded by chanting: "All lives matter," "U-S-A" and "Back the blue," referring to law enforcement, USA Today reports.

Churchill Downs issued a statement about racial injustice on Thursday, saying: “We are not doing enough, quickly enough. That is true in our country, in our city and in our sport.” The organization promised that the “atmosphere of the Kentucky Derby will be different this year as we respond to those calls for change.”

What to watch: Post time is set for 7:01 p.m. ET.

In photos:

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Photo: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Photo: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
A general view of the paddock at Churchill Downs. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images
Empty seats at Churchill Downs. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

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