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Final three days of racing suspended at Turfway Park, decision follows governor’s ‘Healthy at Home’ order

NKyTribune staff

Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced the suspension of racing at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky. effective immediately, in accordance with the “Healthy at Home” Executive Order 2020-257 issued by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear following public health concerns in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Turfway Park racing season was originally scheduled to run through Saturday, March 28, which means only the final three racing dates were lost.

Earlier this month, Turfway Park has made the decision to run the Jeff Ruby Steaks, and all other remaining races, spectator-free. Daily simulcasting at Turfway has also been closed since that time.

Turfway’s biggest day of racing, which included the Jeff Ruby Steaks and the Bourbonette Oaks, was contested on March 14, with only owners, trainers, essential staff and media on the grounds.

Top, Turfway Park’s existing grandstand, which is scheduled to be demolished soon. Bottom, a rendering of the new Turfway Park facility (provided).

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.”

Focus at Turfway Park will remain on the safety of all employees and members of the backside community.

The decision brings an abrupt end to the last meet scheduled to be run in front of Turfway’s cavernous grandstand.

In October, Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) announced it would purchase Turfway Park for $46 million. As part of a $150 million renovation, which included the purchase price, CDI indicated it would level the grandstand and build a new state-of-the-art facility on the site.

Construction was scheduled to begin this spring. To date, there has been no announcement regarding a new timetable for construction, in light of restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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