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Derby prep race takes place in front of empty stands

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Wells Bayou took an early lead and held off NY Traffic to win the $1 million Louisiana Derby by a head Saturday in one of the few U.S. sporting events to continue as scheduled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The major prep race for the Kentucky Derby was run in front of an empty clubhouse and grandstand at Fair Ground Race Course because of crowd restrictions related to the virus.

Trained by Brad Cox and with jockey Florent Geroux aboard, Wells Bayou earned 100 points toward qualification for the Kentucky Derby, which has been delayed until early September from its usual running on the first Saturday in May.

Wells Bayou finished the new 1 3/8-mile race distance in 1:56.47. He paid $8.40, $5.80 and $4.60.

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