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Weather delays racing at Churchill Downs

Spectators look over paddock arebefore 138th running Kentucky Oaks horse race Churchill Downs Friday May 4 2012 Louisville Ky. (AP

Spectators look over the paddock area before the 138th running of the Kentucky Oaks horse race at Churchill Downs Friday, May 4, 2012, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The infield at Churchill Downs is being emptied because of a severe thunderstorm in the area, and racing has been delayed before the running of the Kentucky Oaks.

Churchill Downs officials recommended that all infield patrons “calmly exit” and seek shelter because the fast-moving storm with predicted 60 mph winds was expected to hit the racetrack around 5 p.m. EDT. Officials planned to resume racing shortly after the storm passes.

The Oaks had a scheduled post time of 5:45 p.m. before the delay.

An official attendance number for Friday hadn’t yet been announced, but there were more than 110,000 for last year’s race with about half that many in the infield.

The weather delay comes one day before the Kentucky Derby.

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