A Churchill Downs Inc. press release (Photo of Mage winning the Derby provided by Churchill Downs)
LOUISVILLE, KY. (July 31, 2023) – Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI” or “the Company”) announced today that Churchill Downs Racetrack (“Churchill Downs” or “the Racetrack”) will resume live racing for the regularly scheduled meet beginning September 14, 2023. The meet will take place following a temporary suspension of racing operations to conduct an internal safety review.
Following a comprehensive evaluation of existing safety protocols and a thorough assessment of industry best practices, Churchill Downs has implemented several key enhancements to further ensure the safety and well-being of equine and human athletes. Key elements include:
· Infrastructure Upgrades: Analysis by multiple leading industry experts found no issues with the racing surfaces, however, to further maximize surface oversight and consistency, the Racetrack has invested in additional new surface maintenance equipment and committed to doubling the frequency of surface testing.
· Increased Veterinary Oversight: Additional resources will be added to CDI’s highly qualified veterinary team to provide additional monitoring and specialized care for horses and assist in pre-race inspections and entry screening.
· Collaboration with Industry Experts: Work will continue with HISA and other industry experts to predict at-risk horses using up-to-date data and advanced analytic techniques.
· Establish Safety Management Committee: A new safety committee will be established consisting of horsemen designees, racetrack employees and veterinarians to candidly discuss concerns and observations to constantly provide real time feedback on areas of improvement.
“We are excited to resume live racing again at Churchill Downs,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “Our commitment to safety remains paramount as we enter this September meet and our participants, fans and the public can be assured that we will continue to investigate, evaluate and improve upon every policy and protocol.”
Tickets are on sale for the entire 40-day September and Fall meets at Churchill Downs and can be purchased at www.churchilldowns.com/tickets. The September meet runs through October 1 and will feature: Twilight Thursdays, September 14, 21 and 28; Road to the 150th Kentucky Derby and 150th Kentucky Oaks Kickoff on Saturday, September 16; Stakes Room Brunch on September 17 and 24; Downs After Dark, “Bourbon and Boots” on Saturday, September 23; and Family Adventure Day on Sunday, October 1.
The Fall meet runs from October 29 through November 26 and will feature: Stars of Tomorrow I on Sunday, October 29; Trick or Treat at the Track on Sunday, October 29; Breeders Cup Watch Party, November 3 and 4; Stakes Room Brunch every Sunday from November 5-26; Military Appreciation Day on Saturday, November 11; and Thanksgiving Weekend festivities from Thursday, November 23 through Sunday, November 26 including The Clark presented by Norton Healthcare on Friday, November 24 and Stars of Tomorrow II on Saturday, November 25.