Jockey scheduled for Breeders’ out with COVID, spike in cases at track

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A jockey scheduled to ride two mounts in this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup Championships is out after testing positive for the coronavirus.

And it comes as a surge of cases have come out of the track sincde preparations for the Breeders’ Cup began.

“We are aware of 41 COVID-19 cases connected to Keeneland since testing began for the Breeders Cup. This includes staff and visitors. Keeneland is asking visitors to take a COVID-19 test within five days of arrival,” said Kevin Hall, communications director for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

Thursday, jockey Christophe Soumillon, of France, received a positive result from a PCR COVID-19 test administered on-site Wednesday under Breeders’ Cup’s comprehensive Health and Safety Plan.

A second test was immediately performed which confirmed the initial diagnosis.

He was the only positive test among 55 jockeys, the Breeders’ Cup said.

According to the procedures in place, Soumillon immediately departed the Keeneland grounds to enter into isolation. At this time, he is not displaying any symptoms.

Soumillon was scheduled to ride Order of Australia (IRE) in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile presented by PDJF (G1) and Tarnawa (IRE) in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Both horses’ connections have been notified, and the few individuals who have come into contact with him since his arrival have undergone additional testing and received negative results.

Breeders’ Cup remains committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the limited participants and essential personnel on-site for the 2020 World Championships and will continue to monitor the situation closely, organizers said in a statement.

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