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146th Kentucky Derby to Run on September 5th without Fans

Aug 21, 2020 Tonya Abeln

LOUISVILLE, KY., (August 21, 2020) – Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced today its decision to run the 146th Kentucky Derby on September 5, 2020 without fans. CDI issued the following statement:

The Kentucky Derby is a time-honored American tradition which has always been about bringing people together. However, the health and safety of our team, fans and participants is our highest concern. Churchill Downs has worked diligently over the last several months to plan a safe Derby with a limited number of spectators in attendance. We were confident in that plan, but dedicated to remaining flexible using the best and most reliable information available. With the current significant increases in COVID-19 cases in Louisville as well as across the region, we needed to again revisit our planning. We have made the difficult decision to hold this year’s Kentucky Derby on September 5 without fans. Churchill Downs and all of our team members feel strongly that it is our collective responsibility as citizens of Louisville to do all we responsibly can to protect the health, safety and security of our community in these challenging times and believe that running the Derby without spectators is the best way to do that. We deeply regret the disappointment this will bring to our loyal fans.

The decision comes with the support of Governor Andy Beshear who said, “The virus is still aggressively spreading in Kentucky, and the White House has announced that Jefferson County and the City of Louisville are in a ‘red zone’ based on increases in cases. This week alone the county had more than 2,300 new cases,” Gov. Beshear said. “I applaud Churchill Downs for continuing to monitor the virus and for making the right and responsible decision. I am asking all Kentuckians to take action to stop the spread of the virus so we can get back to the many traditions we enjoy, like the Kentucky Derby.”

Since early May, decisions regarding this year’s Kentucky Derby have been made in consultation with public health authorities including data provided by medical experts at Norton Healthcare. Positivity rates in the more than 70,000 patients tested at Norton have gone from as low as 2% in June to a rapid escalation of 10% in recent days.

“This is a critical point in time for our community,” said Russell F. Cox, president and CEO of Norton Healthcare. “This remains a very fluid situation and every event should be evaluated based on the data available as close to the date of the event as possible. We appreciate and support Churchill Downs’ decision.”

“This year’s Kentucky Derby was never going to be the celebration we’re used to, but I could not be more grateful to our tremendous team members and community partners for all of their efforts. We’ve left no stones unturned and reached the right decision,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “We hope our fans, the Louisville community and our country find an opportunity over the coming weeks to reflect on the challenges we have faced this year as a community and as a nation, and work together toward a better and safer future.”

Additional information about Kentucky Derby 146:

  • The decision to run without fans includes Kentucky Oaks on Friday, September 4 and all live racing at Churchill Downs Racetrack for Derby week (September 1-5). Only essential personnel and participants will be permitted on property.
  • Ticket holders for all Derby week race dates and related programming, including Dawn at the Downs, will be automatically issued a refund.
  • NBC will televise coverage of the Kentucky Derby and undercard racing on September 5 from 2:30-7:30 p.m. ET. The 146th running of the Kentucky Oaks will be televised Friday, September 4 on NBCSN from 3-6 p.m. ET.

Click here for answers to additional commonly asked questions
About Churchill Downs Incorporated

Churchill Downs Incorporated is an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event – The Kentucky Derby. We own and operate Derby City Gaming, a historical racing machine facility in Louisville, Kentucky. We also own and operate the largest online horse racing wagering platform in the U.S., TwinSpires.com, and we operate sports betting and iGaming through our BetAmerica platform in multiple states. We are also a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 table games in eight states. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.

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Churchill Downs Announces Updates To Kentucky Derby Safety Plan

Attendance Will Be Less Than 14% of Total Capacity from Event Record, Maximum of 40% of Seated Capacity; 

No General Admission; Infield Closed

Temperature Checks, Medical Screenings, Physical Distancing, Face Coverings Mandated 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020) – Churchill Downs Racetrack officials today released a detailed 62-page health and safety operations plan that will limit attendance to the 146th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on Saturday, Sept. 5 to less than 14% of total capacity from the 2015 attendance record.

The Kentucky Derby, first staged in 1875, is the longest continually-held major sporting event in the United States and was originally scheduled for May 5. A record crowd of 170,513 attended the event in 2015. Due to physical distancing protocols and other safety measures in place to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19, less than 23,000 guests are expected Sept. 5 for the rescheduled Kentucky Derby 146.

There will be no General Admission this year. Churchill Downs stated in late June that General Admission would be limited to the 26-acre Infield. However, given current circumstances, pre-purchased General Admission tickets will be refunded, and the Infield will be closed.

Reserved seating will be limited to a maximum of 40% occupancy. Also, Standing Room Only or “Walk Around” tickets have been eliminated. All outdoor ticket holders will be reseated in a new comparable location either prior to or during the event to provide for maximum distancing.

Temperature checks, medical questionnaires, physical distancing and mandatory face coverings will be required upon entrance and movement within the 190-acre Churchill Downs. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. Each guest will receive a courtesy “Healthy at the Track” bag, which will include a disposable mask, a pocket-sized hand sanitizer and a personal stylus for non-contact self-service wagering.

Compliance of Churchill Downs’ public safety measures is a condition of admittance and will be strictly enforced. Offenders will receive a warning; repeat offenders will be escorted from the property.

“The opportunity to safely welcome back a limited number of guests to Churchill Downs on the first week of September is a privilege that our team doesn’t take for granted,” said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery. “Our extensive plan meets or exceeds all recommended state and local guidelines. We’ve received an exceptional level of support from regulators, medical experts and public health authorities and we’ll continue to carefully work with them to ensure we’re doing everything we can to keep our customers, employees and communities safe.

“We will have fewer guests at this year’s Derby as reducing the size of the crowd is an important step to ensuring a safe environment. Medical best practices and protocols – many of which we have applied in consultation with experts both inside and outside the sports industry – will be implemented, and we’ll make adjustments all the way up to Derby Day as we find ways to improve and continue to adhere to ever-evolving best practices.

“The role of the Kentucky Derby and its importance to our community and the nation as a whole takes on even greater significance this year. Over the past several months, our country has faced both the spread of COVID-19 and a moment of national reckoning with racial inequities following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others. These important issues deserve thoughtful discussion, continued conversation and subsequent action. To this end, the atmosphere at this year’s Kentucky Derby will not be the celebration it normally is. However, we’re optimistic that this time-honored event, which belongs to our community and our country, will serve as a progressive unifying force that can help bring us together.”

Churchill Downs’ detailed 62-page health and safety operations plan was developed over the last four months in close collaboration with public health experts and other relevant stakeholders. Advice and counsel from the Louisville Metro Health Department along with key elements of Kentucky’s Healthy at Work guidance are incorporated throughout the document. This plan will allow Churchill Downs to safely and responsibly host Kentucky Derby Week (Tuesday, Sept. 1 through Saturday, Sept. 5) with a limited number of spectators. The original plan was approved by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear in late June, and this version exceeds all recommended state and local guidelines and is subject to continued review.

Highlights of the plan include:

• Attendance will be limited with no Standing Room Only or “Walk Around” tickets and a maximum of 40% occupancy of reserved seats.

• There will be no general admission tickets throughout Kentucky Derby Week. Attendance will be limited to guests with reserved seats. The Infield will be closed on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby days.

• Wearing cloth face coverings will be mandatory throughout the entire venue, both indoors and outdoors, when not actively consuming food or beverage.

• Everyone entering Churchill Downs will be screened via a medical questionnaire and a contactless thermometer. Individuals with a temperature in excess of 100 degrees will be prohibited from entering Churchill Downs.

• Personal-use hand sanitizers will be provided upon entry and more than 500 hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the facility.

• Signage will be displayed throughout the venue to encourage healthy practices and staff and security will move about the facility to monitor conditions and assist customers.

• Access throughout the facility will be severely limited. Entry points to any seating sections beyond designated seating areas throughout the facility will be eliminated.

• Seating with up to 40% capacity will be repositioned to provide for greater distancing.

• Pari-mutuel tellers will be properly spaced and provided PPE for betting transactions. Guests are encouraged to wager online through TwinSpires.com, the official advance deposit wagering platform of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.

• Options from concession stands will be limited to mostly pre-packaged foods. Plated meals and meal packages from pre-set menus will be served in other locations.

• With the reduced capacity, guest shuttles from offsite parking locations are being eliminated and guests are encouraged to utilize neighborhood-parking options. Refunds will be made to all attending ticket holders that had offsite parking included with a reserved seat.

• To reduce crowding, select Kentucky Derby Week activities have been eliminated including autograph signings, concerts in the Plaza, fashion contests, Taste of Derby, the Survivors Parade and the Red Carpet.

• Dawn at the Downs, the annual event to dine while observing morning workouts, has been moved to Monday, Aug. 31, and will be limited to guests with reserved seats; there will be no free general admission.

• Key programming elements will transition to digital platforms.

• The stable area will be restricted to essential personnel. Guests and parties in the stable area for morning workouts and during race days will be prohibited.

• Additional protocols for Stable Area personnel and race participants (jockeys, trainers, grooms, etc.) will be finalized in the coming days.

The full plan includes details on Churchill Downs’ protocols for facility sanitation, cleaning and disinfecting practices and workforce preparation training and deployment.

“For those guests who plan to join us for this year’s Derby, we promise you that we will make it a wonderful experience, and most importantly, we will make it as safe and comfortable as we possibly can,” Flanery said.

The complete safety operations plan can be viewed online at www.KentuckyDerby.com/DerbySafetyPlan.

NBC will televise coverage of the Kentucky Derby and undercard racing on Sept. 5 from 2:30-7:30 p.m. ET. The 146th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks, the Derby’s counterpart for 3-year-old fillies, will be televised Friday, Sept. 4 on NBCSN from 3-6 p.m. ET.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying races are nearing completion. Saturday’s Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park is the final race on the extended schedule and will award 20-8-4-2 points to the top four finishers. The overwhelming early Kentucky Derby favorite is Sackatoga Stables’ Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law, who easily won last weekend’s Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Tiz the Law, trained by Barclay Tagg and ridden by Manny Franco, has won six of his seven career starts and $2,015,300. Other top Derby contenders include Blue Grass Stakes and Ellis Park Derby winner Art Collector; Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A. P.; and Haskell Stakes winner Authentic.

ABOUT CHURCHILL DOWNS RACETRACK

Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”), the world’s most legendary racetrack, has been the home of The Kentucky Derby, the longest continually held annual sporting event in the United States, since 1875. Located in Louisville, CDRT features a series of themed race days during Derby Week, including the Kentucky Oaks, and conducts Thoroughbred horse racing during three race meets in the Spring, September, and the Fall. CDRT is located on 175 acres and has a one-mile dirt track, a 7/8-mile turf track, a stabling area, and provides seating for approximately 60,000 guests. The saddling paddock and the stable area has barns sufficient to accommodate 1,400 horses and a 114-room dormitory for backstretch personnel. CDRT also has a year-round simulcast wagering facility. www.ChurchillDowns.com.

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Kentucky Derby, Oaks Will Have Spectators

Strict guidelines to be enforced; number of fans yet to be announced.

 

Churchill Downs Racetrack announced June 25 that after consultation with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and state public health officials, the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) and Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) will occur with spectators under strict guidelines.

Kentucky Derby Week will be held Sept. 1-5 with the Oaks set for Sept. 4 and the Derby Sept. 5.

The number of fans is yet to be announced.

“We truly appreciate the leadership of the governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, and all of the hard work, collaboration and guidance that state and local officials and public health experts have provided us to safely and responsibly host Kentucky Derby week in September with spectators,” said Churchill Downs’ president Kevin Flanery. “Our team is deeply committed to holding the best Kentucky Derby ever, and we will take all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of all who attend and participate in the Derby.

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have established a comprehensive set of operating procedures, which include a multitude of precautionary measures to be followed while fans are in attendance at our facility. We are determined to keep our customers, employees and communities as safe as we responsibly can.”

Churchill Downs’ plan was developed in conjunction with advice and counsel set forth by the Louisville Metro Health Department and Kentucky’s Healthy at Work guidance. Some of the steps that will be taken to ensure guest and employee safety include:

•    Venue capacity reductions to limit overall crowd density, including general admission, outdoor reserved seating, premium dining, and suites. More information on ticketing and seating areas will be released in the coming days and also will be sent directly to ticket holders.
•  General admission tickets will be limited to a specified number and only grant access to the infield. No general admission will be allowed in the “front side” or paddock areas of the facility.

•    Access throughout the facility will be limited.

•    Credentials for employees, media, and guests will be reduced.

•    Barn area access will be restricted to essential personnel. Guests and parties in the barn area for morning workouts and during race days will be eliminated.

•    Changes in venue operations to limit person-to-person touch points.

•    Team member protocols established to protect employees and guests.

•    A revised Fan Code of Conduct that establishes expectations for guests coming to the Derby.

•    Guests will be consistently and frequently encouraged to wear a mask at all times unless seated in their reserved seat or venue. This includes when:
Riding on a shuttle
Traveling through the venue
Going to the restroom
Placing an in-person wager
Purchasing food or beverages from a concession stand
Guests will be asked to wash their hands for 20 seconds or sanitize them frequently.
Guests will be encouraged to socially distance themselves from others when possible.

More detailed and additional information will be provided in the coming days online at http://www.KentuckyDerby.com/Updates.

“The impact of the Kentucky Derby extends well beyond the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs,” Flanery said. “It is an incredibly important time for the City of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky both culturally, economically and with respect to our time-honored traditions. Both employees and guests are asked to take an active role in following all guidelines. We must all do our part to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.”

Tickets purchased for the originally scheduled Kentucky Derby Week dates are automatically valid for the new race dates. Guests may arrive on the new dates in September with their printed ticket or mobile ticket to be scanned for entry at the gates. Guests that have purchased a ticket and are not able to attend the newly scheduled race dates, can visit www.KentuckyDerby.com/TicketStatus for more information. Guests who purchased tickets from a vendor or secondary market website other than Churchill Downs, Ticketmaster.com or Derby Experiences must contact those sites directly. Churchill Downs is unable to process refunds for those tickets.

 

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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 (KentuckyDerby.com/updates) by the end of this week. If your ticket was purchased from a vendor or secondary market website other than Churchill Downs, Ticketmaster.com 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 KentuckyDerby.com/updates 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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LIVE THOROUGHBRED RACING AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS GETS UNDERWAY ON SATURDAY, MAY 4

Opening Day Features Eight Races and the Simulcast of the 145th Kentucky Derby

 

Bossier City, LA – The 2019 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs commences on Saturday, May 4. A new post time has been set for each Saturday with live racing to begin at 12:55 pm (Central). The meet’s additional race days of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will get underway at 3:15 pm.

 

Opening day will feature plenty of action for racing fans and an entertaining day for families as well. Beginning at 11:00 am along the track apron, there will be a children’s area with free bounce houses, water slides, face painting and culinary delights from the most popular food trucks in Shreveport-Bossier City.  Of course, racing fans will also be able to watch and wager on the  145th Kentucky Derby and each of the stakes races from Churchill Downs.

 

Track announcer John McGary and his guest, Jimmy “The Dee”, will conduct a pre-race handicapping seminar at The Inside Rail at 11:55 am. They will offer analysis of Saturday’s eight live races at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs as well as their insights on the Kentucky Derby.

 

Saturday will also mark the final day of the Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest which got underway at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on January 19. Fans were able to make selections on major stakes races as well as the key Kentucky Derby prep races. Each participant earned points and following this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, the winner will be awarded the $1,000 grand prize.

 

“The response from our horseplayers for this contest has been exceptional,” said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Vice President of Operations. “We appreciate the loyalty of our local race fans and look forward to kicking off the 2019 Thoroughbred racing season with our  opening day festivities, live racing, and of course, the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby.”

 

Trainers To Watch

Karl Broberg, who won the 2018 training title here with 36 wins, returns with a full barn. Last December, he became just the third Thoroughbred trainer in North America to win 500 races in a calendar year. Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen and Scott Lake were the only other horsemen to accomplish that feat.  Heading into May of this year, Broberg is the leading trainer, by wins, according to Equibase statistics.

 

Joey Foster of Vinton, Louisiana, who was the leading conditioner in 2016 and 2017,  Al Stall, Jr., Beverly Burress, H. B. Johnson,  James Hodges, Scott Gelner, Patti Turner, Jorge Gomez, Ronnie Ward, and Danny Pish will also be prominent throughout the meet.

 

“We thank our many returning horsemen for their support of our Thoroughbred meet,” said David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Director of Racing. “While our Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby always receives tremendous attention, we are also committed to carding plenty of races for accredited Louisiana-breds on both our main track and Franks Turf Course.”

 

Leading Rider Emanuel Nieves Hoping for A Second Title

Jockey Emanuel Nieves  won the first leading rider title of his career last September when he made 85 trips to the winner’s circle.  The hard-working and affable young man is eager to replicate his success at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs when the meet begins on Saturday.

 

Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, a municipality south of San Juan, the 26-year-old Nieves attended Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocational Hipica, the famed jockey school that also produced the sensational Ortiz brothers, Irad and Jose.

 

Two years ago, Nieves got the call from respected former rider and jockey agent Ronald Ardoin encouraging him to come to Louisiana Downs.

 

Nieves appreciates the hard work of his agent in getting him quality mounts. He rides for a multitude of trainers including Joey Foster, Al Stall, Jr., H. B. Johnson and Joe Duhon

 

“Every day he shows up at the barn, even on his days off.” explained Foster. “He has an excellent work ethic; he’s polite and very professional.”

 

Following last year’s meet at Louisiana Downs, Nieves made a trip to Puerto Rico to see his family and had an opportunity to ride several races at Hipodromo Camarero.

 

“Riding in Puerto Rico was very special for me,” he explained. “Plus, it is always wonderful to visit my family.”

 

And on that topic, Nieves proudly announced that he will become a father in October when he and his girlfriend of four years, Milyorie Marie, will welcome their first child, a son!

 

For now, his mindset is on arriving early each morning in the barn area, working horses for each of his clients and winning races four afternoons a week.

 

“I believe in working hard everyday and doing my best for the horsemen who I ride for,” stated Nieves. “I want to win the title here again!”

 

Nieves will have plenty of competition as the 2019 jockey colony will include Gerardo Mora, Aubrie Green, Larry Taylor, Erica Murray, Eguard Tejera, Hector Del-Cid and Jose Guerrero as the meet gets underway.

 

2019 Thoroughbred Stakes Schedule

The 84-day meet will include 14 stakes highlighted by two major stakes programs, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 3 and Super Derby Day on Saturday, September 7.

 

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs 2019 Stakes Schedule

Saturday, August 3                           Louisiana Cup Day               Noms close July 20

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile                    2 YO LA-Bred                        Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies          2 YO Fillies LA-Bred             Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint  3 YO & Up F&M, LA-Bred  Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint                        3 YO & Up LA-Bred              Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic              3 YO & Up LA-Bred              1 1/16 miles (T)

$50,000 Louisiana Distaff                              3 YO & Up F & M LA-Bred  1 1/16 miles (T)

$60,000 Super Derby Prelude                         3 Y0                                        1 1/16 miles

 

Saturday, September 7                     Super Derby Day                  Noms close August 24

$60,000 Frank L. Brothers                              3 YO & Up                             1 1/16 miles (T)

$60,000 River Cities                                       3 YO & Up F&M                    1 1/16 miles (T)

$60,000 Happy Ticket                                    2 YO Fillies                             One Mile (T)

$60,000 Sunday Silence                                 2 YO                                       One Mile (T) $300,000 SUPER DERBY (G3)              3 YO                                       1 1/16 miles

$60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin                             3 YO LA-Bred                        One Mile (T)

$60,000 Elge Rasberry                                   3 YO Fillies, LA-Bred            One Mile (T)

 

To see a complete list of the stakes schedule, including nominations, click here.

 

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Special Events

145th Kentucky Derby                                                         Saturday, May 4

Watch and wager on the most anticipated race of the year from Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, all while sipping on a Mint Julep and donning your favorite derby! Post time for the race is 5:50pm (CST). And if you are looking for a great place to dine while watching all of the live racing action, Harrah’s Club has an All You Can Eat Buffet offering for just $29.99 per person ($39.99 on special race days). Harrah’s Club will be open on Saturdays May-September from 12pm until 6pm. Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling 318-752-6367.

 

Mother’s Day Diamond Dig                                                Saturday, May 11

Mothers can swipe their Caesars Rewards card to be entered in to the Diamond Dig drawing at the Racing Kiosk located across from Racing Publications. 10 Moms will be drawn for a chance to dig on the racetrack for a Diamond Ring valued at $2,500! One Mom will walk away with new bling and nine others will walk away with a Cubic Zirconia Ring. The Mother’s Day Diamond Dig is scheduled to take place between the 5th & 6th race of the day. First Post Time 12:55 pm.

 

Preakness Stakes Family Fun Day                                      Saturday, May 18     

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is the place to be to watch and wager on the live racing action at Pimlico and Preakness 144 as the quest for the Triple Crown continues. Enjoy family fun on the apron including food trucks, inflatables, face painting and the thrill of live racing action. First Post Time 12:55pm Preakness Stakes Post Time: 5:20pm (CST).

 

Memorial Day Pig Races and Family Fun Day                 Monday, May 27

Don’t miss these wacky races as these high flying little porkers race to the finish line. The Pig Races will take place between post times for the Memorial Day Race Card. There will also be a Petting Zoo for children and a kid’s area with bounce houses and water slides. Face painting is available for purchase. Eat up as food trucks serve up great local bites. First Post Time 3:15 pm.

 

For more information on the upcoming racing season and special events, click here.

 

Daily Racing Promotions and Daily Offers

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs welcomes patrons four days a week for live racing and daily simulcast wagering on racetracks across the country. Promotions and food and beverage specials include:

 

Mobile Mondays | Enjoying the races? Check-in on the Caesars Rewards app from your smart phone to receive an entry into the weekly “Day at the Races” drawing. Winner will receive a dining experience for two to the Harrah’s Club (max value of $100).

 

2X Tuesdays | Present your Caesars Rewards card when making a wager and receive a 2X racing reward credit multiplier each Tuesday.

 

Watch & Wager Wednesdays | Enjoy hotdogs, popcorn, beer and racing programs for only $1.00!

 

$5.00 Free Bet | Saturdays, May 4 & 18 |Opt in and receive a ticket at the Racing Kiosks between 11am and 5pm. Saturdays, May 11 & 25| Redeem your Free Bet at the Mutuel Counter.

 

Super Saturdays| Race to more Rewards by presenting your Caesars Rewards card when making a wager and receive up to a 7X Racing Reward Credit Multiplier.

 

Saturday Pick 4 Family Day| Enjoy a box seat for 4 with food and drinks for only $16 on select Saturdays.

 

Bet & Earn| Check out Harrah’s new Bet & Earn offered through Racing by Caesars Rewards. Guests wagering using a Caesars Rewards card will now receive one Tier Credit and one Reward Credit on a three dollar bet.

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

 

 

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Churchill Downs Increases Kentucky Derby Purse From $2 Million To $3 Million

The 145th running of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) on Saturday, May 4 will be the richest in history as the purse for America’s greatest race and first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown has been elevated to a guaranteed $3 million.

The substantial $1 million increase to the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby for 3-year-olds highlights a record-setting, 34-race stakes schedule cumulatively worth $12.03 million for Churchill Downs’ 2019 Spring Meet. Fifteen of the races received significant purse hikes, including the Old Forester Turf Classic (GI), Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) and Humana Distaff (GI), and two new races were added to the historic Louisville racetrack’s action-packed season, which will be run over 38 dates from April 27-June 29. 

With a record $3 million in prize money now guaranteed for the Kentucky Derby, the winner will receive the event’s highly sought-after gold trophy and a $1.86 million payday. Also, $600,000 will be awarded to the runner-up, $300,000 to third, $150,000 to fourth and $90,000 to fifth. Previously, the Kentucky Derby purse had been worth $2 million since 2005, and was $1 million from 1996-2004.

The 1 1/8-mile Longines Kentucky Oaks – the Derby’s sister race staged one day prior on Friday, May 3 – received a $250,000 boost to $1.25 million and remains the nation’s most lucrative race for 3-year-old fillies. It had been worth $1 million since 2011, and was worth $500,000 from 1996-2010.

The race that annually precedes the Kentucky Derby, the 1 1/8-mile Old Forester Turf Classic, has been doubled from $500,000 to $1 million, making it one of the most lucrative Grade I grass races for older horses in North America and attractive to potential international competitors.

Another Derby Day fixture, the seven-furlong Humana Distaff for older fillies and mares, had its purse enhanced by $200,000 from $300,000 to $500,000.

All told, there will be a record 18 stakes races cumulatively worth $9.58 million staged over Kentucky Derby Week, including seven stakes totaling $6.2 million on Derby Day and six totaling $2.9 million on Oaks Day. There also will be a pair of stakes on the May 2 Thurbyprogram and stakes races on Tuesday and Wednesday of Derby Week.

The significant increases in stakes prize money are attributed to early returns from state-of-the-art historical racing machines at Derby City Gaming, Churchill Downs Incorporated’s $65 million facility that opened in mid-September at nearby 4520 Poplar Level Road.

“Our recent investment into historical racing machines is paying immediate dividends to Kentucky horsemen,” said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery. “It’s extremely gratifying to meaningfully raise the purse of the iconic Kentucky Derby and other important racing fixtures on our stakes schedule as we continue to advance the overall racing program at Churchill Downs. Our steady growth in available prize money is truly exciting for the Kentucky horse racing and breeding industry.”

Purses at Churchill Downs in 2019 will be supercharged with more than an additional $10 million as a result of handle generated by Derby City Gaming’s initial year of operation.

More than $30 million in total prize money – $12 million in stakes races and another $18 million in overnight races – is expected to be offered during this year’s Spring Meet. The first condition book of scheduled races is being finalized by Director of Racing Ben Huffmanand is expected to be published in early February.

Last year, Churchill Downs offered a 32-race Spring Meet stakes schedule worth $8.84 million and total purses paid during the 372-race meet was $22.2 million.

The Stephen Foster (GII), the 1 1/8-mile test that has annually attracted some of the nation’s top older horses, will be worth $600,000 in 2019 and is one of four stakes that was boosted by $100,000. The others are the Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII), American Turf presented by Ram Trucks (GII) and Pat Day Mile presented by LG&E and KU (GIII), which are now worth $400,000 apiece and run on the Derby Day undercard.

Seven races received $50,000 hikes. Oaks Day’s Eight Belles (GII), Twin Spires Turf Sprint (GII), Edgewood presented by ForchtBank (GIII) as well as mid-June’s Fleur de Lis (GII) and Wise Dan (GII) are now worth $250,000 each. The Matt Winn (GIII) and Regret (GIII) each have $150,000 purses.

The Foster, Fleur de Lis, Wise Dan, Matt Winn and Regret will be run during a “Downs After Dark” nighttime program on Saturday, June 15 that features five graded stakes races under the lights cumulatively worth $1.4 million.

Two $90,000-added overnight stakes races were added to the 2019 schedule: the Champions Day Marathon for older horses at 1 ½ miles on April 30, and the Mamzelle for 3-year-old fillies at five furlongs on turf on May 11.

The American Graded Stakes Committee upgraded a trio of Churchill Downs stakes races for 2019 and downgraded two others. The $500,000 Churchill Downs over seven furlongs on Derby Day has been raised to Grade I status, and Oaks Day’s Twin Spires Turf Sprint was elevated to a Grade II race. Also, opening night’s $100,000 William Walker for 3-year-olds at five furlongs on turf is now a Listed stakes race. The Stephen Foster was downgraded from Grade I to Grade II, and the $100,000 Aristides lost its Grade III status to become a Listed stakes race.

In other changes to the stakes schedule, the Stephen Foster, Fleur de Lis, $100,000 Old Forester Mint Julep (GIII) and $100,000 Louisville (GIII) will no longer be run under handicap conditions. Also, the distances of the Twin Spires Turf Sprint and $100,000 Unbridled Sidney (formerly an overnight stakes race and now the headliner on Thurby) have been extended from five furlongs on turf to 5 ½ furlongs on grass.

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CHURCHILL DOWNS ANNOUNCES NEW DERBY WEEK ENTRY PROCEDURES & SECURITY MEASURES

Track encourages guests to visit KentuckyDerbyParking.com for parking, arrival & entry information

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Churchill Downs Racetrack (“Churchill Downs”), home of the world-famous Kentucky Derby, announced today new entry procedures that will be in effect for guests visiting the track any day of Derby Week (Saturday, April 28, 2018 through Saturday, May 5, 2018). The track unveiled its new parking and traffic plan last week and launched KentuckyDerbyParking.com to help visitors plan their arrival.

“Churchill Downs has invested heavily to improve the arrival and entry experience for all our guests and employees. We want to ensure a safe and secure environment, while helping people get in and out of the venue as efficiently as possible,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “We encourage everyone joining us for Derby Week to visit KentuckyDerbyParking.com so you know exactly what to expect before you get to the track.”

Derby Week visitors will be the first to use Churchill Downs’ new expanded entry plaza, which will lead guests from Central Avenue to the newly constructed Paddock Gate that’s replacing previous entrances at Gates 1 and 17.

Churchill Downs has renamed its admission gates to reflect their locations in the venue. Ticket holders will enter Churchill Downs through one of three admission gates: the new Paddock Gate, the Clubhouse Gate (formerly Gate 10) and the Infield Gate (formerly Gate 3). The Infield Gate will only be available to guests with a General Admission ticket. All others will enter through the Paddock or Clubhouse Gates.

Once ticket holders arrive at Churchill Downs, a new entry process will help them enter the track safely and efficiently:

  1. To ensure the safety and security of all Churchill Downs guests and employees, anyone entering the track will walk through metal detectors as part of the security screening measures. Prohibited items are not allowed past the security screening area.
  2. Next, guests entering through the Paddock or Clubhouse Gates will scan their ticket at one of the new self-scanning entry turnstiles. Or, if someone has a General Admission ticket and is entering through the Infield Gate, an attendant will scan their ticket by hand. Once inside the track, guests are not allowed to leave the venue and reenter.
  3. Once a ticket is scanned, guests will proceed through the turnstile and follow staff direction and new signs from the admission gate to their seating section or venue.
  4. As guests make their way to their seating section, they will be greeted by an usher at the appropriate access control point. The usher will scan the ticket for a second time, stub the ticket and then apply an official wristband around their wrist. This wristband allows guests to come and go from their seating section throughout the day. Each ticket may only be scanned once at the wristband locations and must scan as valid to receive a wristband.
New this year, special quick entry lanes have been added to the security screening areas of all admission gates for those guests who are not bringing a bag of any type into the venue.

Additionally, guests with mobile tickets purchased through the official Ticketmaster Resale Marketplace will follow the same entry process as guests with printed tickets and will receive their wristband at the access control point.

Churchill Downs released a short video letting guests know what to expect before entering the track: https://youtu.be/jNOrSBjuZAU

In keeping with tradition, guests on Oaks and Derby Days are permitted to bring in food and box lunches in clear plastic bags smaller than 18 inches by 18 inches. However, these items are prohibited Opening Night (Saturday, April 28) through Thurby (Thursday, May 3).

Prohibited items and items deemed inappropriate for entry into the grounds are the responsibility of the ticketholder and cannot be accepted or checked by Churchill Downs. We urge patrons to plan ahead and leave these items at home. Churchill Downs and its security partners will not store prohibited items for patrons. The full list of prohibited and permitted items can be found at KentuckyDerbyParking.com.

PROHIBITED ITEMS FOR DERBY WEEK (Opening Night through Kentucky Derby Day)
• COOLERS AT ANY GATE – including the Stable Gate (styrofoam coolers and ice are available for purchase in the Infield)
• CANS (any size or type)
• GLASS BOTTLES OR CONTAINERS

• BACKPACKS and DUFFEL BAGS
• TENTS – NO POLES OR STAKES OF ANY KIND
• LAPTOP COMPUTERS and CAMCORDERS
• CAMERAS WITH DETACHABLE LENSES OR EQUIPPED WITH A LENS THAT IS 6” OR LARGER
• DRONES and REMOTE-CONTROLLED AIRCRAFT
• HOVERBOARDS
• PURSES LARGER THAN 12” IN ANY DIMENSION
• FIREWORKS, NOISEMAKERS, AIR HORNS, LASER LIGHTS/POINTERS, PEPPER SPRAYS
• ANIMALS (with the exception of service animals for guests with special needs)
• TRIPODS
• SELFIE STICKS                                                      
• ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
• ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES
• WEAPONS (including knives)                                                     
• THERMOSES                                                   
• LUGGAGE (including briefcases)
• GRILLS
• WAGONS                                                                                    
• UMBRELLAS
• ANY ITEMS DEEMED DANGEROUS AND/OR INAPPROPRIATE

PERMITTED ITEMS FOR KENTUCKY DERBY AND OAKS DAYS
• FOOD ITEMS IN CLEAR PLASTIC BAGS (maximum size 18”x 18” – no trash bags) *
• BOX LUNCHES in clear plastic bags or containers (maximum size 18” x 18” – no trash bags)
• WATER & SOFT DRINKS – plastic bottles only (sealed, clear and unopened)
• PURSES, BUT NONE LARGER THAN 12” IN ANY DIMENSION (subject to search)
• BABY/DIAPER BAGS – only if accompanied by a child (subject to search)
• SMALL CAMERAS – none equipped with detachable lenses or lenses of 6” or more **
• SMALL PERSONAL MUSIC SYSTEMS, RADIOS & TELEVISIONS ** (no boomboxes) ***
• CELLULAR PHONES, SMARTPHONES & TABLETS **
• SEAT CUSHIONS SMALLER THAN 15”x 15” – no metal arms and/or backs, zippers, pockets or flaps                         
• STROLLERS (ONLY if carrying a child)
• SUNSCREEN (non-glass containers only)
• CHAIRS (permitted through the Infield Gate ONLY and cannot be carried to the frontside)
• BINOCULARS
• BLANKETS & TARPAULINS (Paddock and Infield Gates ONLY)

* Limit of two bags per person
** Patrons could be required to turn on electronic items
*** Not permitted in hospitality spaces and dining rooms

For more information on arrival, parking and entry, please visit KentuckyDerbyParking.com and download the Churchill Downs and Waze mobile apps.

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Final Jockey Assignments Confirmed In 2017 Run For The Roses: Includes Three Louisiana Natives

by | 04.30.2017 | 3:05pm

Always Dreaming works under the Twin Spires with John Velazquez aboard.

The last of the Kentucky Derby riding assignments was confirmed on Sunday morning, and the current field of 20 is all booked up for Saturday’s Run for the Roses. The most recent addition is that of jockey Channing Hill aboard Fast and Accurate for trainer Mike Maker; Hill breezed the colt at Churchill Downs on Sunday morning, then announced the decision later in the morning on Twitter.

Tyler Gaffalione will be aboard the Todd Pletcher-trained Patch for Calumet Farm, it was also announced on Twitter Sunday morning. Pletcher’s other riders were announced over the past few weeks, with John Velazquez scheduled to team with Always Dreaming and Jose Ortiz to pilot Tapwrit.

Trainer Steve Asmussen confirmed his final Derby reinsmen on Saturday, naming Ricardo Santana to ride Untrapped and Corey Lanerie to ride Lookin at Lee. Florent Geroux had previously been named to ride Hence.

Late last week, trainer Dale Romans named Luis Saez as the replacement rider for the injured Robby Albarado aboard J Boys Echo.

 

Here is the full list of expected Kentucky Derby contenders and their riders, as of Sunday afternoon:

  • Always Dreaming (John Velazquez)
  • Battle of Midway (Flavien Prat)
  • Classic Empire (Julien Leparoux)
  • Fast and Accurate (Channing Hill)
  • Girvin (Mike Smith)
  • Gormley (Victor Espinoza)
  • Gunnevera (Javier Castellano)
  • Hence (Florent Geroux)
  • Irap (Mario Gutierrez)
  • Irish War Cry (Rajiv Maragh)
  • J Boys Echo (Luis Saez)
  • Lookin At Lee (Corey Lanerie)
  • McCraken (Brian Hernandez Jr.)
  • Patch (Tyler Gaffalione)
  • Practical Joke (Joel Rosario)
  • Sonneteer (Kent Desormeaux)
  • State of Honor (Jose Lezcano)
  • Tapwrit (Jose Ortiz)
  • Thunder Snow (Ire) (Christophe Soumillon)
  • Untrapped (Ricardo Santana Jr.).

Next up in order of preference: Royal Mo (Gary Stevens)

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Albarado Fractures Lower Leg, Off J Boys Echo in Derby

Albarado Fractures Lower Leg, Off J Boys Echo in Derby
Photo: Coady Photgraphy

Robby Albarado

Jockey Robby Albarado sustained a fracture of his lower left tibia and fibula after falling from Chiltern Street at the beginning of the eighth race at Keeneland April 23 and will be off mounts for approximately three to four weeks, including Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) hopeful J Boys Echo, agent Rob Ebanks said.

The 5-year-old horse stumbled at the start of the 5 1/2-furlong race on turf unseating Albarado, who was immdiately attended to on the track. After being taken to first aid at Keeneland, he was then transported to UK Chandler Hospital.

In an official statement, Keeneland medical director Dr. Barry Schumer said: “Robby’s horse stumbled at the start of the race and Robby was thrown to the ground. He braced himself. He suffered an injury to his left ankle. He is being transported to UK Chandler Hospital (at the University of Kentucky in Lexington) for X-rays and further evaluation.”

Albarado underwent surgery April 24 at UK Chandler Hospital and had a rod and two pins inserted in his lower left leg, per Ebanks.

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