As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Churchill Downs announced it will delay the reopening of its stable areas at both Churchill Downs Racetrack and the auxiliary training center Trackside to at least Tuesday, May 5. The opening of the 2020 Spring Meet, originally scheduled for Apr. 25, will also been postponed and a determination of the exact starting date will be made closer to the opening of the backstretch.
Churchill Downs officials are in ongoing discussions with state and local officials and public health experts about reopening its stable areas and conducting spectator-free racing.
In conjunction with other Kentucky racetracks, Churchill has identified specific protocols to mitigate risks for its stabling and racing facilities as it relates to COVID-19. Precautions and procedures based on criteria set by public health experts will be implemented to ensure the safety of employees, stakeholders and horses.
“We remain hopeful that our horsemen can safely return to work here in Kentucky sooner rather than later,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “Horse racing is a unique agricultural business and serves as the prime economic driver for thousands of individuals in the Commonwealth. The Thoroughbreds we cherish need constant care and it’s a testament to our horsemen who have constantly cared for them this winter and spring in different locales under unique circumstances. We’re working hard to reopen in a responsible and safe environment that will satisfy our public officials.”
Churchill Downs’ stable areas have been closed since Dec. 31 for annual winter renovations and were originally scheduled to reopen Mar. 17. Churchill Downs has delayed the reopening its stable areas in response to executive orders issued by Gov. Beshear to contain and limit the spread of COVID-19.