Churchill Downs nurse looking forward to 56th Kentucky Derby


JoAnn Sandbach, a nurse at Churchill Downs, is preparing for her 56th Kentucky Derby.

She said her passion comes from caring for so many people.

JoAnn Sandbach is a nurse at Churchill Downs. Kentucky Derby 147 will be her 56th Derby.

“Well, I’m a young 81,” Sandbach told WAVE 3 News. “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 less days. We only raced three weeks in the spring, three weeks in the fall.”

Even during the off-season, Sandbach said she’s busy taking care of patrons and employees.

As she prepares for her 56th Kentucky Derby, Sandbach said she’s grateful fans will be back this year, and she’s confident everyone will follow Churchill Downs’ COVID precautions throughout the rest of the week.

“I’ve looked around and seen almost everybody with their mask on unless they’re eating or drinking,” Sandbach explained. “And thank you for being so accommodating to everyone else and coming in orderly. It’s been really a relief for me.”

The nurse is excited for another year of racing and fanfare, with an added bonus, saying: “This year, we might even have good weather.”

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