Governor Andy Beshear

Bettor-Friendly Legislation Passes Kentucky Senate

By a vote of 33-1, the Kentucky State Senate has given their stamp of approval to Kentucky House Bill 607, which modernizes the taxation of pari-mutuel wagers and, in a major victory for horseplayers, eliminates the dime breakage than has been the standard for many years in favor of penny breakage. The change in the breakage will put more money into the pockets of horseplayers and is the first such measure to be introduced in the United States. The lone dissenting vote came from Republican Senator Whitney Westerfield. "For more...

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KY Governor Signs HHR Legislation

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed a bill on Historical Horse Racing (Senate Bill 120) Monday, which would assure that betting on historical machines is legal. The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky's equine economic advocate, released the following statement in response: "We thank Governor Beshear for signing Senate Bill 120 into law, which ensures the future of our equine industry while protecting thousands of local jobs. Kentuckians and the legislators who represent them have made clear that they support historical horse racing and the many benefits it brings to our...

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Ellis Park Increases Track, Racing Protocols

Ellis Park Racing & Gaming has increased track and racing protocols in compliance with Governor Andy Beshear's order requiring facial coverings to be worn at all times in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Ellis Park has been requiring masks for all patrons since July 6--three days earlier than the official government mandate. All employees and backside personnel have been required to wear masks since the June 8 reopening of the racing and gaming operation. "Governor Beshear's actions will make it easier for us to keep our guests, our team, and the...

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Churchill Backstretch to Open May 11, Opening Date For 4-Day Race Weeks TBA

Churchill Downs has been cleared by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to open its backstretch area May 11 so long as the track adheres to enhanced pandemic precautions approved by the state. Beshear announced the clearance Wednesday at his daily COVID-19 video press conference as part of a phased-in reopening for various state industries. Churchill followed up about an hour later with a press release that included specifics pertinent to horsemen. Neither Beshear nor the track pinpointed an exact date for the return of live racing. But the Churchill release stated...

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Two COVID-19 Positives at Turfway; Churchill Reopening Remains Up in the Air

A pair of workers at Turfway Park--one backstretch worker and one track employee--have tested positive for coronavirus in recent weeks, according to a report first published by Blood-Horse. Turfway's parent company Churchill Downs ended the Turfway meet--which had been being conducted without spectators--three days earlier than scheduled last month, citing Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear's "Healthy at Home" executive order. Churchill Downs, Inc. spokesperson Tonya Abeln confirmed to the TDN Wednesday that the ill backstretch worker was symptomatic more than two weeks ago and was subsequently hospitalized and tested positive for...

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Kentucky Budget Bill Includes $1.5M for Drug Testing Lab

Kentucky's executive branch budget bill that is awaiting either passage or line-item vetoes from Gov. Andy Beshear contains a $1.5-million restricted funds transfer from the Equine Drug Research Council (EDRC) to the University of Kentucky (UK) to open a national equine drug testing laboratory. The budget bill also includes a $500,000 allotment from the state's general fund into the budget of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) to hire a safety steward and additional investigators who would be assigned to the state's tracks. A third general fund appropriation would give...

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Turfway Park the Latest Coronavirus Closure

Churchill Downs announced the closure of Turfway Park Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic, citing the "Healthy at Home" Executive Order 2020-257 issued by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. With the Turfway racing season scheduled to run through Saturday, March 28, the remainder of the meet has been cancelled. Turfway Park's backside will remain open for training because it falls under the "life-sustaining business" category as it provides "food, shelter, and other necessities of life for animals."

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