Kentucky Horsemen’s Group Sues Churchill, Keeneland, Commission Over Lasix House Rules



This week would begin the first 2-year-old races of 2020 in Kentucky, and is meant to mark the start of a partial phaseout of furosemide on race day. The Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association is hoping to put a stop to that phaseout.

The horsemen’s group filed a civil suit in Franklin County Circuit Court May 15 seeking to remove racetracks’ legal ability to card Lasix-free races, as well as requests for an emergency and a permanent restraining order and a temporary injunction to stop Churchill Downs and Keeneland from running 2-year-old races without Lasix under house rules. The suit names the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, Keeneland Association, and Churchill Downs Inc. as respondents.

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The 146th Kentucky Derby will be rescheduled from May 2, 2020 to September 5, 2020

The 146th Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve will be rescheduled from May 2, 2020 to September 5, 2020 and the 146th Longines Kentucky Oaks will be rescheduled from May 1, 2020 to September 4, 2020. These dates are contingent upon final approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission which we expect to receive on Thursday, March 19.

Churchill Downs Incorporated CEO, Bill Carstanjen, stated: “Throughout the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority has been how to best protect the safety and health of our guests, team members and community. As the situation evolved, we steadily made all necessary operational adjustments to provide the safest experience and environment. The most recent developments have led us to make some very difficult, but we believe, necessary decisions and our hearts are with those who have been or continue to be affected by this pandemic.

Our team is united in our commitment to holding the very best Kentucky Derby ever and certainly the most unique in any of our lifetimes. While we are always respectful of the time-honored traditions of the Kentucky Derby, our Company’s true legacy is one of resilience, the embracing of change and unshakeable resolve.”

Ticket/ Refund Policy

Your Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby tickets purchased for the originally scheduled dates are automatically valid for the new race dates. You may arrive on the new dates in September with your printed ticket or mobile ticket to be scanned for entry at the gates. Information on a new ticket shipment date will be sent directly to ticket purchasers.

If you have purchased a ticket and are not able to attend the newly scheduled race dates, information regarding refund requests will be available at this site ( by the end of this week. If your ticket was purchased from a vendor or secondary market website other than Churchill Downs, or Derby Experiences, please contact that site directly. We are unable to process refunds for those tickets.

Derby Week Information

The remainder of Derby Week races have not been decided at this time. Please revisit us at for the latest information regarding Opening Night, Champions Day, Wednesday and Thurby.

Please click here for additional commonly asked questions.

Churchill Downs Racetrack Updates

(For information about the Kentucky Derby Museum, please click here.)

The safety and health of our guests, team members and participants remains our primary concern at Churchill Downs Racetrack. We are monitoring COVID-19 developments with steadfast vigilance in connection with resources provided by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control as well as public health officials and experts.

We encourage anyone planning to visit Churchill Downs Racetrack to follow the preventative actions outlined by the CDC and make informed decisions based on the official and most recent information provided. If you plan to attend a private event held at Churchill Downs, you should contact the organizer directly. All scheduled events will continue at the discretion of our clients.

In the best interest of our guests, employees and the community around us amid public health concerns regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, Churchill Downs Racetrack has made the difficult decision to voluntarily suspend simulcasting operations, effective Sunday, March 15 at midnight, for fourteen days. There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Churchill Downs Racetrack. We sincerely apologize for this abrupt notice and any inconvenience it may cause.

To ensure the utmost safety of guests when they visit our property, we have instituted the following practices at Churchill Downs Racetrack:

  • Doubling all housekeeping staff at the track and on backside to increase frequency of cleaning disinfecting high-touch surfaces including gate turnstiles, doors, door knobs, handles, restrooms, tables, chairs, light, switches, elevator buttons security card readers, etc.
  • Educating all employees on CDC guidance, including proper handwashing techniques, and the avoidance of touching eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Requesting all vendors to thoroughly communicate hygiene protocol to their staff and employees.
  • Instructing all employees feeling unwell to refrain from coming to work.
  • Utilizing cleaning chemicals that meet the latest Environmental Protection Agency Emerging Viral Pathogen Policy and CDC requirements for registered disinfectants
  • Implementing the use of electrostatic spraying systems after hours to supplement routine surface cleaning
  • Increasing public hand-sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas, containing gel that meets or exceeds the CDC standard for alcohol content
  • Enforcing a renewed focus on our ongoing maintenance efforts, including:
    • Regular thorough cleaning of all restrooms on the track and backside, with pre-cleanings daily as well as routine cleanings during normal operation
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Churchill Downs Incorporated Announces Temporary Suspension or Modification of Operations at Certain Properties

LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced today the temporary suspension of operations at certain of its properties as a precautionary measure to COVID-19 and in cooperation with state and local authorities.

The following actions have been or will be taken:


  • Fair Grounds Slots in New Orleans, Louisiana temporarily suspended operations at 12:00 p.m. CT on March 16, 2020.
  • Fair Grounds’ network of off track betting and video poker facilities in and around New Orleans, Louisiana will temporarily suspend operations at 11:59 p.m. ET on March 16, 2020.
  • Miami Valley Gaming in Lebanon, Ohio temporarily suspended operations effective March 14, 2020, while live racing without fans will continue at Miami Valley Raceway.
  • Rivers Casino Des Plaines in Des Plaines, Illinois temporarily suspended operations starting March 15, 2020.
  • Derby City Gaming in Louisville, Kentucky temporarily suspended operations at 11:59 p.m. ET on March 15, 2020.
  • Churchill Downs Racetrack simulcast operations in Louisville, Kentucky temporarily suspended operations at 11:59 p.m. ET on March 15, 2020.
  • Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin, Maryland temporarily suspended operations at 11:59 p.m. ET on March 15, 2020.
  • Calder Casino in Miami Gardens, Florida temporarily suspended operations at 12:00 p.m. ET on March 16, 2020.
  • Oxford Casino in Oxford, Maine temporarily suspended operations at 12:00 p.m. ET on March 16, 2020.
  • Lady Luck Nemacolin in Farmington, Pennsylvania will temporarily suspend operations at 8:00 p.m. ET on March 16, 2020.
  • Arlington Park’s network of off track betting facilities in Illinois will temporarily suspend operations by 8:00 p.m. CT on March 16, 2020.
  • Presque Isle Casino in Erie, Pennsylvania will temporarily suspend operations at 11:59 p.m. ET on March 16, 2020.

CDI previously announced that Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky and Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana will run all remaining races in their respective race meets spectator-free.

“From the onset of these unprecedented circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the team at Churchill Downs Incorporated has worked diligently to make the most responsible decisions based on the guidance provided by federal health experts and recommendations from state and local authorities in each of our jurisdictions,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI.

“As the situation evolved rapidly, we made all necessary operational adjustments to provide the safest experience and environment for our guests and employees. The most recent developments have led us to make some very difficult, but we believe necessary, decisions.

We are committed to doing our part to protect the communities in which we operate to address this global pandemic. That commitment extends to our employees to whom we are monumentally grateful for their efforts on behalf of our company and our guests during these uncertain times. We will reopen these operations when authorities determine it is appropriate to do so and we look forward to that time.”

There have been no known cases of COVID-19 at any of these properties and all CDI properties have been and will continue to work closely and cooperatively with the state and local authorities in each state where we operate. CDI will continue to closely monitor the developments related to COVID-19.

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Fair Grounds Race Course to Run Races Spectator-Free Effective Immediately

Louisiana Derby to Run as Scheduled on March 21

NEW ORLEANS, LA., (March 13, 2020) Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced today amid public health concerns regarding COVID-19, all live races beginning immediately through the remainder of the racing meet ending March 29 will be conducted spectator-free with only essential staff, credentialed horsemen and media in attendance. The Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Race Course will run as scheduled on Saturday, March 21 under the same spectator restrictions. Pari-mutuel wagering will also be closed to the public at Fair Grounds through the remainder of the meet. The on-site slot facility and off-site OTB and video poker operations will remain open to patrons as usual.

The safety and health of guests, employees and participants remain of primary concern and the team at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will continue to take every precaution to ensure the comfort and safety of those in attendance. We continue to work very closely with Governor Edwards and Lieutenant Governor Nungesser, Mayor Cantrell and the Louisiana Racing Commission in order to comply with all public health orders regarding COVID-19 and make the most responsible decision for everyone involved.

Preparations to host Kentucky Derby 146 on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs are currently still moving forward. With the event still seven weeks away, a decision will be made closer to that date, with respect to postponing the event until later in the year, using the most recent information while working with and seeking guidance from public health experts and authorities.

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Kentucky Commission Unanimously Approves Sale Of Turfway To Churchill



A rendering of the planned grandstand for Turfway Park.

At a special meeting convened Tuesday afternoon, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted unanimously to approve the change of control for Turfway Park, clearing the way for Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) to purchase the track for $46 million. Churchill, operating via its wholly-owned subsidiary, NKYRG LLC, announced the deal last week, noting it was contingent upon Commission approval. The closing is expected to take place tomorrow.

Kevin Flannery, president of Churchill Downs Race Track, presented the commission with CDI’s initial plans for the facility. CDI plans to hold the upcoming race meet, which runs December to March, and demolish the existing grandstand and associated buildings immediately after. Flannery said simulcasting will be moved to another, to-be-determined location during construction. CDI plans to operate during the same December to March timeframe next season, with the hope being that the majority of the construction will be completed by the end of 2020. The official grand opening for the new facility is slated sometime mid-2021.


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CDI Announces Agreement To Buy Turfway Park For $46 Million, Will Withdraw Plans For New Latonia


Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) announced today that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary NKYRG, LLC (“NKYRG”), it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky from Jack Ohio LLC, an affiliate of JACK Entertainment LLC (“JACK”) and Hard Rock International for total consideration of $46 million in cash, subject to certain working capital and other purchase price adjustments.

The closing of the transaction is contingent upon approval by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (“KHRC”). The KHRC has scheduled a meeting for October 8 and, if the change of control is approved, the parties expect to close the transaction shortly thereafter.

Subject to KHRC approval, the 2019-2020 winter Thoroughbred racing meet at Turfway Park will be conducted on racing dates previously awarded to Turfway Park for December 2019 and in accordance with the schedule of racing dates submitted by JACK to the KHRC for 2020.  Upon receiving approval for the change of control, CDI will not pursue its previously announced New Latonia Racing & Gaming project in northern Kentucky and will withdraw its New Latonia race dates application with the KHRC.

Immediately after closing, CDI will commence planning for the demolition of the existing grandstand after the 2019-2020 meet, making way for development of Turfway Park Racing & Gaming (“New Turfway Park”), an up to $150 million (including today’s announced purchase price) state-of-the art live and historical Thoroughbred racing facility.

“We are thrilled to welcome Turfway Park to the Churchill Downs racing family,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Race Track. “Our team is poised to restore Turfway to its former glory, anchored by northern Kentucky’s first historical racing machine facility. The result will be a first-class racing product fueled by increased purses that keeps high-quality horses in Kentucky year-round and appeals to horseplayers nationwide.”

New Turfway Park is anticipated to support up to 400 direct full and part time equivalent positions and create an estimated 800 direct construction jobs. The project will include a historical racing machine facility featuring up to 1,500 machines, a state-of-the-art clubhouse, food/beverage venues and a new inner dirt track to complement the existing one-mile synthetic main race track.

The transaction is structured as an acquisition of all of the outstanding equity of Turfway Park, LLC and the $46 million acquisition price will be funded with cash from CDI’s balance sheet.  Of this amount, $36 million (subject to certain working capital and other adjustments) will be paid to JACK and will be capitalized on CDI’s balance sheet.  The remaining $10 million will be paid to Hard Rock and will be expensed.

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