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Kentucky Derby nurse returns for her 56th Derby


As Churchill downs prepares to welcome derby fans back for the first weekend in May precautions have been put in place to keep everyone safe.

Joann Sanbach says her job never stops.

"We watch the jockeys on the track and if a jockey falls a doctor and myself we go out to the race track and check on the jockey" Said Joann Sanbach nurse at Churchill Downs.

Even during off-season Sanbach says she's busy.

"We have patrons come in we take care of them and we also take care of the employees." Said Sanbach.

She's getting ready for her 56th Kentucky Derby.

"Well I'm a young 81, I love Churchill Downs, I started when I was a real young nurse coming here doing it as a second job when we raced a lot of less days. We only raced 3 weeks in the spring, 3 weeks in the fall." Said Sanbach.

Sanbach says last year was unusual, with no spectators, and this year is much different with limited capacity, but with 18 ambulances on site for Oaks and Derby, 10 nurses and six doctors, she says being able to take care of people is what keeps her coming back to the track.

"I just feel like we give a very good service and that makes me happy as a nurse." Said Sanbach.

With COVID-19 precaution signs and reminders throughout Churchill Downs, Sanbach says fans are already proving a derby during a pandemic can be safe and as a nurse, she appreciates it.

"I've looked around and seen almost everybody with their mask on unless their eating or drinking, and thank you for being so accommodating to everyone else and coming in orderly it's been really a relief for me." Said Sanbach.

Coverage of the Kentucky Derby kicks off at 1:30 p-m on KTIV.

NBC News

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