Churchill Downs Racetrack officials have opted to suspend racing over the Matt Winn Turf Course for four stakes events on Saturday and Sunday “to allow the root system on the new course to continue to develop”, the track said in a release..
Racing on turf at Churchill Downs was initially paused June 11 with hope for a possible return on closing weekend of the Spring Meet. The decision to cease was made following turf training over the seven-furlong grass oval Tuesday.
“The root system for the new Bermuda-hybrid continues to mature each day and its development has benefited from the warm climate and 2 1/2-week rest, but it's not where we want it to be just yet,” said Churchill Downs President Mike Anderson. “Additional time is needed for the course to become more robust and we'll give it time.”
The $350,000 GII Wise Dan S. for older horses, which was scheduled for Saturday at 1 1/16 miles on turf, will be put on hiatus for 2022. The three other stakes will be run over their published distances and transferred from turf to the main dirt track: Saturday's $200,000 American Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles; Saturday's $200,000 Tepin for 3-year-old fillies at one mile; and Sunday's $160,000 Anchorage Overnight for fillies and mares, 4-years-old and up, at one mile.