LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Keeneland Race Course will be the site of the 2022 Breeders' Cup World Championship.

The news was announced Saturday afternoon.

The Lexington racetrack is already scheduled to to host the 2020 World Championships on Nov. 6-7, but will now also hold the 39th championship event on Nov. 4-5, 2022.

It will mark the venue's third time as host since it welcomed the Breeders' Cup in 2015.

"The announcement of Keeneland as host of the 2022 event was made in conjunction with the decision to conduct the 2020 Breeders' Cup World Championships without fans on-site due to the ongoing COVID-19 panemic," the news release from Breeders' Cup states. "This decision was made following close, continuous communications with Governor Andy Beshear, Keeneland, local and state government and public health officials and independent medical experts to fully assess the conditions under which major sporting events may expect to operate safely in the coming months."

Attendance at the 2020 event will be limited to essential personnel and participants only, with $31 million in purses and awards.

"While we are disappointed that we will not be joined by our fans on-site this year, our utmost priority is and always will be to conduct the Breeders' Cup World Championships in the safest way possible," said Fred Hertrich, Breeders' Cup board chairman, in a statement. "We would like to thank Governor Beshear, state and local health officials and public health authorities for their leadership, guidance and insight as we have worked to identify our options and finalize our plans. Lexington's local community of racing fans, businesses and members of the Thoroughbred industry are the backbone of our sport, and we believe they deserve a second opportunity, in short order, to experience the event at its full potential. As such, we are proud to award Keeneland the 2022 World Championships and look forward to bringing the Breeders' Cup back to Lexington in just two years' time."

On Saturday night, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear tweeted his support for the upcoming Breeders' Cup race, stating that, "As we continue to battle COVID-19, I applaud @BreedersCup for helping to slow the spread of the virus by making the responsible and right decision to race without fans. We are also very excited that the Breeders' Cup will return to @keeneland in 2022!"

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