Churchill Downs suspends racing activity

June 5, 2023
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The suspension comes after an usually high number of equine fatalities last month.

Churchill Downs Incorporated has announced it will suspend all racing operations at Churchill Downs Racetrack. This suspension will begin on June 7 and continue throughout the remainder of the Spring Meet, which is scheduled to run to July 3.

The remainder of the race meeting will be relocated to Ellis Park Racing & Gaming in Henderson, Kentucky. This will begin on June 10.

The suspension of operations comes after an unusually high number of injuries over the previous month. The injuries have resulted in 12 equine fatalities.

Despite the fatalities, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) and Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) could not identify a factor or cause of these deaths.

After inspection and diagnosis, KHRC and HISA found that the surface of the racetrack was consistent with the measurements of Churchill Downs over the last few years.

However, Churchill Downs Incorporated has decided to relocate the upcoming meeting to conduct further reviews of the safety of the racetrack.

Bill Carstanjen, Churchill Downs Incorporated CEO, said, "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.

"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.”


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