Churchill Downs suspends horse racing – moves racing to Henderson, Kentucky

Churchill Downs
Horse racing at Churchill Downs is set to cease for the immediate future after a spate of horse deaths.

Late on Friday, Churchill Downs (United States) made an announcement stating that it will be suspending horse racing at its home track after this weekend’s events.

Despite Churchill Downs being the home of The Kentucky Derby, the remainder of its spring meet will be moved to the Ellis Park track located in Henderson, Kentucky.

In response to a “unusual number” of 12 horse fatalities within the last month, the company has announced its decision to take action.

After conducting an internal review and simultaneous investigations by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) and the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority (HRISA), it has been reported that no single factor has been identified as a potential cause for the fatalities.

Furthermore, there was no discernible pattern found to link the incidents.

Churchill Downs has announced that it will conduct a thorough “top-to-bottom review” despite no issues having been reported with the racing surfaces.

According to CEO Bill Carstanjen, the events that have transpired at the track are deeply disturbing and completely intolerable.

Churchill Downs generates minimal revenue from racing events apart from the Kentucky Derby.

In a trend seen world wide, race track attendances are down for routine horse racing meeting as punters can bet on the races with online sportsbooks.

The primary worry for Churchill Downs, and the wider sport of horse racing in the US is the potential harm to their reputation.

Anti-racing zealots will be sure to make as much mileage form the shutdown as possible.

The recent 149th edition of the Kentucky Derby proved to be a financial triumph for Churchill Downs, as it set a new horse betting record in terms of turnover (handle), up 5% to USD $412 million on the day.

The Kentucky Derby is the longest continuously run sporting event in the US, having persevered through World Wars, recessions, and even pandemics.

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