DEVELOPING: Races at Churchill Downs to be moved to Ellis Park

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) — Horse Racing Nation is reporting Churchill Downs is suspending its spring and summer racing and moving those races to Ellis Park in Henderson County.
Churchill Downs acquired Ellis Park just last year.

Churchill Downs says, beginning June 7, 2023, through the remainder of the Spring Meet, scheduled to run to July 3.

Live racing at Churchill Downs will run as normal this weekend on Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4.

The remainder of the race meet will be relocated to Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky, beginning on Saturday, June 10.

The move comes after 12 horses deaths at Churchill Downs in the past month, and an investigation into the track itself.

Churchill Downs says, “even though investigations have indicated no surface issues, in an abundance of caution, and in alignment with a recommendation from HISA, CDI has elected to relocate the meet in order to conduct a top-to-bottom review of all safety and surface protocols and integrity measures.”

“The team at Churchill Downs takes great pride in our commitment to safety and strives to set the highest standard in racing, consistently going above and beyond the regulations and policies that are required,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “What has happened at our track is deeply upsetting and absolutely unacceptable. Despite our best efforts to identify a cause for the recent horse injuries, and though no issues have been linked to our racing surfaces or environment at Churchill Downs, we need to take more time to conduct a top-to-bottom review of all of the details and circumstances so that we can further strengthen our surface, safety and integrity protocols.”

“In addition to our commitment to providing the safest racing environment for our participants, we have an immense responsibility as the economic engine of the Thoroughbred industry in Kentucky which provides jobs and income for thousands of families every day,” Carstanjen continued. “By relocating the remainder of the meet to Ellis Park, we are able to maintain this industry ecosystem with only minor disruption. We are grateful to the Kentucky horsemen for their support, resiliency and continued partnership as we collectively work to find answers during this time.”

Ellis Park traditionally hosts a summer race meet in Kentucky that is scheduled from July 7 to August 27, 2023. The new safety initiatives announced by Churchill Downs earlier this week will remain in effect for the remainder of this meet at Ellis Park.

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