Churchill Downs backstretch now to reopen April 14

Churchill Downs update (Coady Photography photo of Mr. Money)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, March 24, 2020) – Churchill Downs Racetrack announced today that it will delay the reopening of its stable areas at both Churchill Downs Racetrack and the auxiliary training center Trackside until Tuesday, April 14. The decision was made after ongoing consultation with public health officials amid public health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Churchill Downs’ stable areas have been closed since Dec. 31 for annual winter renovations and were originally scheduled to reopen Tuesday, March 17. Many of the horses that would be stabled at Churchill Downs this spring are currently residing at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La.; Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.; Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla.; Palm Meadows in Boynton Beach, Fla.; Payson Park in Indiantown, Fla.; Tampa Bay Downs in Tampa, Fla.; and Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

“Together, we are in the midst of an unprecedented global health crisis and every tough decision we make is made with the best real time information we have from government officials and public health experts,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “We understand how trying the impact of this decision is on our horsemen, but we will continue to work tirelessly with public health experts toward a satisfactory resolution so our horsemen and their horses can return home safely as soon as possible.”

Churchill Downs’ 38-day Spring Meet is scheduled for April 25-June 27. With respect to postponing the opening of the Spring Meet, a decision will be made closer to that date using the most recent information while working with and seeking guidance from public health experts and authorities. Last week, it was announced that the 146th Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve was rescheduled from Saturday, May 2 to Saturday, Sept. 5.

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Jennie Rees