Editor’s Note:

Nobody in the horse industry invests more in capital construction and racetrack enhancements than Churchill Downs.

Nobody spends more time and money to make improvements. To make the racetrack experience more enjoyable. To enhance the historic and preserve the timeless. To make a racetrack visit a memory that lasts forever and as enjoyable as a 5-year-old’s first visit to the Magic Kingdom.

No one. Nobody. Not one other track in the country or the world. Period.

Facts are what facts are, and if you don’t think that is true? Do the math.

It’s not even close.

And, no one does construction better. No one does improvements better. No one makes the beautiful more inspiring and dramatic.

On Friday, Churchill Downs had a ceremony in the parking lot that neighbors the 1-mile chute and overlooks the first turn, where a massive construction project is currently in full bloom. The massive, multi-million dollar project is currently under full construction.

Soon, a huge, permanent, and drop-dead gorgeous facility will replace the “tent city” that used to occupy the space for the first Saturday in May and the annual rite of Spring when Kentucky Derby fans come calling.

Instead of the temporary facility and amenities, the fans will now be greeted by a new “stadium” that will give fans and customers cover from the elements and blanket them with both charm and extravagance.

Soon, a spectacular and attractive structure will stand in the first turn with the same prominence as the other parts of the track, which honor both the history and future of the greatest sport on Earth.

Soon, the fans will be rolling into yet another major improvement to enjoy the greatest horses for the greatest races in the world.

The construction — which did not stop for the Friday ceremony and costs in the hundreds and hundreds of millions in dollars — is under full gun so that it can be completed and fully operational by Kentucky Derby 2023.

The celebrities crowded under a tent — just to take a look in both awe and glad tidings.

The Governor of the Commonwealth, Gov. Andy Beshear, and members of the Kentucky General Assembly huddled together to pay tribute and honor. Democrats and Republicans. Conservatives and liberals. Politics aside. It was time to shake hands and slap backs and bipartisan support. Time for smiles. By all.

The racetrack’s top executives — Bill Carstanjen, Bill Mudd, Mike Anderson and Mike Ziegler — were all on hand to smile; shake hands; and greet the day with full praise for all — from the construction workers to the government officials — for helping make dreams into reality.

Horse people clapped and envisioned a future full of promises fulfilled and more promise for a greater future.

Soon, all those invited were asked to take a “Sharpie” in hand and sign a white beam.

Everyone was asked.

Not just the officials, mind you.


Soon, a fork lift arrived and picked up the biggest autograph sheet in history and transported it to the construction site. Soon, the beam was lifted to the top of the structure and under a most beautiful sky and under supervision of an expert team of steel workers, the beam was set into place.

For eternity.

For posterity.

For ever.

As the beam met its’ final destination, the crowd, all watching from afar, cheered and clapped.

It was fun. It was amazing. It was history in the making.

And, it was yet another addition to the greatest racetrack on Earth.