(Warrior’s Club gets a love pat after winning at Keeneland / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

“Churchill Downs Racing Club horse Warrior’s Club retired, but not before taking a group of owners on a fantastic ride”

By: Holly Smith

The Churchill Downs Racing Club, a 501C7 (not for profit social club) started in 2016 with a horse named Warrior’s Club, trained by the hall of famer D Wayne Lukas.   Fast forward to August 2019, the 5 year old horse is being retired, but not before taking a group of 200 plus on the journey into racehorse ownership. For only $500 people were able to join the first racing club of Churchill Downs.

33-5-9-5 record $856,504 in earnings and competitive into his 5 year old season.  Warrior’s Club broke his maiden in fall of 2016 in the Spendthrift Stallion Stakes at Churchill Downs, while many of his owners cheered him on and that was just the beginning.  

Warrior’s Club raced at: Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Keeneland, Saratoga, Oaklawn Park and Belmont.   Notching covetted wins at Keeneland and Saratoga. He raced on Kentucky Derby Day three years in a row, those who were able to follow him in 2018 to the Met Mile on Belmont Stakes day witnessed history as Justify won the triple crown. In 2018 Churchill Downs hosted the Breeder’s Cup where he ran 8th in the Sprint.

He picked up wins at Belmont, Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Oaklawn Park, and Saratoga. Lukas’s winter home of Oaklawn is the only place he did not have a graded stakes placing.

Throughout his career he has faced off against the likes of Whitmore, Promises Fulfilled, Imperial Hint, Gift Box, and Limousine Liberal just to name a few.  Some of the best sprinters in recent years.

Since “Club 1” started with Warrior’s Club they have gone to create additional clubs and purchase more horses.   The experience of the clubs has not only been educational but brought new faces to the game who have gone on to create their own syndicate and take horse ownership to the next level.  Gary Palmisano, Churchill Downs employee continues to manage all the clubs. If you are ever at a track where a CDRC horse is running, you won’t find a group of people having more fun than these club members.  On a personal note, it’s been so much fun to watch these horses run and see the anticipation and excitement on the members faces. I will never forget Warrior’s Club first win at Churchill Downs, so many people they did the winners circle photo on the track!

*At the time of this article, no future plans have been announced for Warrior’s Club next career.

(Warrior’s Club in the post parade at Churchill Downs / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

(Warrior’s Club wins on the rail at Keeneland / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

(The warrior — Warrior’s Club — in the post parade at Churchill Downs on KY Derby Day / Photo by Holly M. Smith)