May 6, 2024 2 min read

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Mystik Dan Conquers Churchill Downs’ Refurbished Racetrack

This year’s Kentucky Derby was won by Mystik Dan and jockey Brian Hernandez Junior

This year’s edition of the Kentucky Derby ushered in a new era for horse racing. According to Churchill Downs, which hosts the derby, the renovated track changed how fans experience the races.

For context, Churchill Downs just completed its $200 million renovation. The company started the project almost three years ago and managed to complete it just in time for the Kentucky Derby’s 150th edition.

Mike Anderson, Churchill Downs’ president, commented on the matter ahead of the race. In an interview with Front Office Sports, he said that his company’s goal was to offer a “drastically different” experience this year, especially to people who haven’t visited the race in the last few years. The $200 million renovation made the track’s signature twin spires much more visible to spectators.

Before, when you walked through the front entrance, there was a building right smack in front of you, a hundred feet, that really kind of blocked the view.

Mike Anderson, president, Churchill Downs

In addition, the renovations also enhanced the main paddock ring with 3,000 more seats, allowing more fans than ever to enjoy the race.  

The other two legs of the Triple Crown, however, are yet to be renovated. Currently, Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course is seeking regulatory approval for a $400 million project to rebuild the track. The Belmont Park, on the other hand, is currently being renovated, which is why the Belmont Stakes will temporarily be held in Saratoga, NY.

Mystik Dan Wins the Race

In the meantime, this year’s Kentucky Derby was won by Mystik Dan and jockey Brian Hernandez Junior. The horse was trained by Kenneth G. McPeek and finished the race in two minutes and 3 seconds.

Sierra Leone and Forever Young took second and third place respectively. According to Churchill Downs, the race’s finish was the closest one in over 50 years.

This year, no horses trained by Bob Baffert participated in the race since the controversial trainer remains suspended. The trainer’s ban was originally set to expire before this year’s Kentucky Derby game but was extended after he insisted on his innocence.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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