Churchill To Honor John Asher, Col. Matt Winn

Churchill Downs Racetrack will host a public ceremony Sept. 16 at 11:00a.m. to dedicate and unveil commissioned statues that honor the late John Asher and Col. Matt Winn. The statues, sculpted by local artist Raymond Graf, depict Asher sitting on a horse shoe bench and talking with Winn, who oversaw the early growth of the Kentucky Derby into America's greatest race. The statues are positioned on the north side of the saddling paddock in the Plaza area. Churchill Downs officials, Graf and members of the Asher and Winn families will...

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Churchill Downs Unveils Renovation Plans

Churchill Downs has unveiled plans for three capital investments to the historic Louisville track, beginning with the Homestretch Club for Kentucky Derby 2022 and culminating with a Paddock area redesign for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby in 2024. The Homestretch Club will renovate and update the grandstand area adjacent to the Twin Spires along the track's homestretch. The project will convert what is currently outdoor bleacher seating next to the Winner's Circle Suites and below the Jockey Club Suites into three unique seating options with all-inclusive amenities. Ticketed...

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'Quality' Team Behind Unbeaten Derby Favorite

LOUISVILLE, KY - Two years ago, Brad Cox got the phone call that every trainer wants to receive. "I got a call one day from Jimmy Bell and he said that he'd like to meet me at Churchill one morning," Cox said of his initial conversation with the Godolphin USA president. "It was an honor to get a call like that. We met in my office and he said that they'd like to send us some 2-year-olds. You knew there were gonna be runners in that group and that they'd...

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TRF to Open Chestnut Hall, a New Sanctuary Farm Near Louisville

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) will open a first-of-its kind farm designed to give the Louisville community and fans from around the world a direct connection to the horses at the heart of horse racing. The new TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall will be the permanent home of 11 horses from the organization's national herd of 500 retired Thoroughbred racehorses. These "herd ambassadors" will serve as educators to tell the story of the long life and diverse second careers that await these equine athletes when their racing days are...

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Catching Up with PPAATH

Last summer, the TDN was first introduced to the Project to Preserve African American Turf History (PPAATH), a Louisville-based group that promotes the education of African American contributions to racing throughout history. In 'The First Steps Towards Inclusiveness in Racing,' we spoke with CEO and Founder Leon Nichols on the inception of their organization and how they hope to change the sport of racing for the better. A few months after our meeting, the group was featured on NBC's coverage of the 146th Running of the Kentucky Derby in a...

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Backside Learning Center Bourbon Raffle to Fund COVID Efforts

The Backside Learning Center (BLC) will be hosting a Bourbon Bonanza Raffle on February 11. All proceeds will help fund efforts toward COVID-19 vaccine education, access and promotion for backside workers and their families at Churchill Downs. The drawing will take place at 4 p.m. on February 11 and the deadline for entry is February 10 at 10:59 p.m. Participants will enter to win one of two, eight-bottle baskets with values ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. The first basket, called Cupid's Collection, features Pappy Van Winkle 12-year-old Lot B, Kentucky...

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'A Message To Our Community from Churchill Downs'

With the running of the Kentucky Derby just over two days away, Churchill Downs has issued "A Message To Our Community From Churchill Downs." We are publishing the message in its entirety: The Kentucky Derby has been run every year for the past 145 years. It is a great American tradition that has survived depressions, wars, pandemics and myriad changes in our country, large and small. The first Derby was run just ten years after the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery in America. Over ninety...

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Horse Owners Help Backside Workers Overcome the Digital Age

Edited Press Release Across the nation, communities have grappled with how to ensure that all community members have access to the internet and computers in order to complete schooling and access vital resources. In Louisville, over 20% of families lacked access to internet, including many of the workers and their families who work at Churchill Downs and surrounding racetracks.  Now, due to a generous donation to the Backside Learning Center from Wasabi Venture Stables Club members, many backside families will move closer towards digital equity. The Backside Learning Center (BLC)...

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Churchill Mainstay Foley, Derby Hopeful in Tow, Eager for Reopening

Few felt the jarring absence of the GI Kentucky Derby, or indeed any racing at all, on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs more acutely than a Louisville native. Add to that being a horseman who relies on the track's customary spring/summer meet to make your living, throw in having a Derby hopeful in your barn to boot, and one can understand why longtime Churchill-based trainer Greg Foley was so excited to be back home this week, with racing set to resume Saturday beneath the Twin Spires. "It's...

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Churchill Downs Releases First Condition Book, Stakes Schedule for Spring Meet

Churchill Downs Racetrack released the first condition book for its upcoming spring meet, which is now scheduled to begin May 16. A total of 125 races cumulatively worth $7,265,000--for a daily average of $559,000--are offered in the first condition book, which covers racing from May 16-June 5. Maiden special weight races offer a purse of $79,000 and allowance races range between $81,000 and $88,000. All purses include prize money from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund. The stakes schedule throughout the meet features 16 stakes totaling $2,250,000. The first graded stakes...

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Opening Day of Churchill Downs' Spring Meet Set for Saturday, May 16

Churchill Downs Racetrack officials have announced that opening day of the 2020 Spring Meet will be Saturday, May 16. After opening weekend on May 16-17, racing at the historic Louisville racetrack will be staged Thursdays through Sundays with a special holiday Monday card on Memorial Day, May 25. Post time for the first race each day will be 1 p.m. (all times Eastern). Vice President of Racing Ben Huffman is crafting a condition book for the schedule of races, including a revised stakes schedule, and it is expected to be...

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Fussenegger Appointed Ky Derby Museum VP

Katie Fussenegger has been appointed Vice President of the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. She officially joins Kentucky Derby Museum Feb. 10. In her new role, Fussenegger will oversee daily operations, provide leadership oversight and work to increase revenue for several departments, including visitor services, retail and membership. Additionally, she will oversee the museum's overall budget, while maintaining and tracking financial records of multiple department budgets and will be involved in hiring, developing and appraising staff. "Katie comes with a very impressive track record and strong endorsements from trusted...

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