August 1, 2023 3 min read

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Live Racing at Churchill Downs Resumes This September

After an extensive internal review due to multiple horse fatalities earlier this year, the racetrack confirmed that it will resume live racing

The world’s most legendary racetrack and home of the famous Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs Racetrack, will resume its operations starting from next month. On Monday, Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) confirmed that live racing will resume for the regularly scheduled meet starting on September 14, 2023. The relaunch of live racing comes after Churchill Downs temporarily suspended racing operations earlier this year.

The temporary suspension came after a dozen equine deaths. In light of the horse fatalities, CDI has taken the difficult decision to temporarily suspend live racing at the racetrack early in June. The suspension prompted an internal safety review which has now enabled the racetrack to resume live racing.

CDI confirmed that its racetrack has undergone an extensive evaluation of safety protocols. Additionally, the racetrack assessed best practices and implemented multiple key enhancements to ensure the well-being and safety of the human athletes and equine.

Bill Carstanjen, CDI’s CEO, explained that the company is delighted to resume live racing at the racetrack. “Our commitment to safety remains paramount as we enter this September meet and our participants, fans and the public can be assured that we will continue to investigate, evaluate and improve upon every policy and protocol,” he said in conclusion.

We are excited to resume live racing again at Churchill Downs.

Bill Carstanjen, CEO at CDI

According to CDI, tickets for the 40-day September and Fall meets can be found via the company’s official website. The September meet rolls out on September 14 and will go through October 1, 2023. Then, the Fall meet starts on October 29 and will run through November 26, 2023. Each of the meets will offer plenty of engaging and thrilling events, explains CDI.

Racetrack Implements Multiple Enhancements

In light of the internal safety review, CDI confirmed it implemented strategic infrastructure upgrades. The company said that external experts found no faults with the track’s racing surfaces. However, to ensure oversight, the racetrack vowed to increase the frequency of surface testing and invest in new surface maintenance equipment.

Additional improvements included enhanced collaboration with industry experts to help predict at-risk horses via analysis. CDI also said that the racetrack has increased veterinary oversight. As a result, Churchill Downs’ qualified veterinary experts will deliver enhanced entry screening, pre-race inspections and monitoring for horses.

Last but not least, CDI confirmed that a new committee will discuss different concerns and provide valuable feedback for improvements. The new Safety Management Committee will be joined by veterinarians, racetracks employees and horsemen designees.

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William Velichkov is a research-driven writer. His strengths lie in ensuring factual accuracy, vetting government documentation and reaching out to regulators and other officials. He is particularly fond of financial reporting, the sports betting industry, B2B partnerships and esports betting developments. William is a strong asset to the GamblingNews team as he adds a bedrock to our reporting.

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