(Churchill Downs / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the Churchill Downs Media Team:
In a Thursday afternoon news release, Churchill said the stable areas at the racetrack and at the Trackside auxiliary training center will open on Tuesday, April 14.
The decision was made after consulting with public health officials about concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Churchill’s stable areas have been closed since Dec. 31 for annual winter renovations and were scheduled to reopen on March 17.
Many of the horses that would be stabled at Churchill Downs this spring are currently residing at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La.; Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.; Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.; Palm Meadows in Boynton Beach, Fla.; Payson Park in Indiantown, Fla.; Tampa Bay Downs in Tampa, Fla.; and Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.
“Together, we are in the midst of an unprecedented global health crisis and every tough decision we make is made with the best real time information we have from government officials and public health experts,” Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack, said in the release. “We understand how trying the impact of this decision is on our horsemen, but we will continue to work tirelessly with public health experts toward a satisfactory resolution so our horsemen and their horses can return home safely as soon as possible.”
Churchill Downs’ 38-day Spring Meet is scheduled for April 25-June 27. A decision will be made about the possibility of postponing the opening of the meet will be made closer to that date. Last week, it was announced that the 2020 Kentucky Derby was rescheduled from Saturday, May 2 to Saturday, Sept. 5, along with other Derby Week races.