Governor Andy Beshear

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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