Churchill Downs Announces Plans to Build New, $200 Million Track in Northern Kentucky

Kentucky Derby
The 143rd Kentucky Derby was a massive success. Photo credit: Churchill Downs

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

Churchill Downs Applies to Bring New Latonia Racing & Gaming, a $200 Million Thoroughbred Racing Facility, to Northern Kentucky

Proposed 2020 Thoroughbred Meet to be Hosted at Churchill Downs Racetrack, with Future Meets Held at Newly Constructed Facility

 

Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI” or “the Company”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced today that it will file an application with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (“KHRC”) requesting to host a 2020 winter Thoroughbred racing meet at historic Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) in Louisville, Kentucky as the Company constructs New Latonia Racing & Gaming (“New Latonia”), an up to $200 million proposed live and historical racing and year-round training facility in northern Kentucky, to host Thoroughbred racing in future years.

The application requests that NKYRG, LLC (“NKYRG”), a wholly owned subsidiary of CDI, be issued a racing license to conduct live Thoroughbred racing in January through March and in December 2020, pursuant to a lease agreement between NKYRG and CDRT.

Allocation of these 2020 race dates to NKYRG is a critical, short-term measure to support the Thoroughbred racing circuit in Kentucky. CDI expects that awarding these 2020 race dates to NKYRG will lead to significantly increased purses and pari-mutuel handle, resulting in increased tax revenues to the Kentucky General Fund, Thoroughbred Development Fund, the Equine Industry Program, Equine Drug Research and the Higher Education Fund.

If approved by the KHRC, upon completion of the new racing facility, these race dates would permanently move to the proposed New Latonia facility.

“Churchill Downs is stepping up to protect and grow Kentucky’s Thoroughbred racing circuit,” said Kevin Flanery, President of CDRT. “Our willingness to make a sizeable investment in the neglected northern Kentucky market is our latest effort to improve Kentucky’s valuable horse racing and agriculture industries.”

Phase One of the proposed New Latonia facility represents an up to $150 million economic development project for northern Kentucky anticipated to create nearly 400 direct full and part time equivalent positions and an estimated 800 direct construction jobs. Aspects of Phase One of the project include a historical racing machine facility featuring up to 1,500 machines, a state-of-the-art clubhouse, food/beverage venues, one-mile synthetic main race track, inner dirt track and stabling facilities. CDI expects New Latonia will remain open year-round as a training facility to support the Thoroughbred racing circuit across the Commonwealth.  Phase Two of the proposed project may include the addition of a hotel, with an incremental investment of up to $50 million.

“Just as Derby City Gaming’s historical racing machines have supercharged purses at Churchill Downs Racetrack, we plan to do the same for northern Kentucky’s racing fans at New Latonia,” said Flanery. “Our goal is to deliver an ultra-competitive racing product with more entries and high-quality horses that appeal to bettors and horseplayers nationwide.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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