LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Derby is moving closer to normalcy after two years of upheaval amid COVID-19 restrictions.

The 2020 running was delayed until Labor Day, then held without spectators. It returned to its familiar spring slot eight months later in 2021, but with limited capacity. Churchill Downs will welcome everybody without restrictions this Saturday, raising hopes of getting back to 150,000 or more beneath the Twin Spires.

If attendance and participation for companion events leading up to the first jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown is any indication, the stands could be as full and festive as they were pre-pandemic in 2019.