A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KHRC unanimously approves CDI request to purchase Turfway Park; details, renderings revealed

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) Tuesday unanimously approved a Change of Control Request that will allow Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) to purchase Turfway Park. The request was supported by Jack Ohio LLC, an affiliate of JACK Entertainment LLC (“JACK”) and Hard Rock International. The Turfway Park Grandstand as it exists today is seen in the top...

Churchill Downs Incorporated to acquire Turfway Park, will build $150m state-of-the-art facility onsite

*This story has been updated Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI” or “the Company”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced today that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary NKYRG, LLC (“NKYRG”), it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky from Jack Ohio LLC, an affiliate of JACK Entertainment LLC (“JACK”) and Hard Rock International for total consideration of $46...

JACK fires back, calls Churchill Downs’ plan to build race track in NKY an attack on Turfway Park

KyForward staff JACK Entertainment has responded to the announcement by Churchill Downs Thursday that it plans to build a $200 million race track in Northern Kentucky. Churchill Downs also announced that it has requested the dates traditionally allotted to Turfway Park on the 2020 Thoroughbred racing schedule from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), beginning in January of next year. The...

Stuart Sanders: Controversy over Kentucky Derby finish continues, but at least there wasn’t a brawl

While this year’s Kentucky Derby lasted about two minutes, the controversy surrounding the race is far from being over. Stewards at Churchill Downs disqualified the horse Maximum Security for interference. Shortly thereafter, they suspended that horse’s jockey, Luis Saez, for 15 days. Saez said that he will appeal his suspension. Furthermore, the owners of Maximum Security have filed a federal...

Preakness Stakes winner War of Will edges past Maximum Security in NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll

Gary Barber’s War of Will has a new bragging right to go along with his classic victory in the Preakness Stakes as the son of War Front earned 16 first-place votes and a total of 322 points to take over the lead position in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll. (Click to enlarge) War of Will’s total edged him past Maximum Security by a single point and...

Maximum Security remains atop NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll; Preakness winner War of Will is second

War of Will’s statement-making victory in the 144thPreakness Stakes was heeded as the Mark Casse-trained colt earned 18 first-place votes and 411 points to move up to second overall in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll. Click to enlarge War of Will came into the middle leg of the Triple Crown after avoiding disaster in the Kentucky Derby Presented...

Preakness a testament to Kentucky’s horse industry as top five finishers based as Churchill, Keeneland

The Preakness Stakes is staged at Maryland’s Pimlico Race Course, but Saturday’s results proved a Kentucky landslide. Keyed by War of Will’s 1 1/4-length victory over Everfast, the top five finishers are all based at Churchill Downs or Keeneland. At left: War of Will, in pink silks on rail, keyed an all-Kentucky top five, with Everfast, black and gold silks with yellow cap, Owendale, outside...

Maximum Security to skip Preakness Stakes, but remains atop the NTRA three-year-old poll

Their respective outings at Churchill Downs on May 4 continue to resonate for Maximum Security and fellow Grade 1 winner Bricks and Mortar as each remains out front in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll and NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Click to enlarge Maximum Security, who crossed the wire first in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve but...

‘Kidney’ husband returns to Churchill downs with wife on KY Oaks day to celebrate their good fortune

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor When Shaun McCarthy came to the Kentucky Oaks by himself last year from his home in Maine, he was on a mission. Shaun McCarthy wore this jacket to the 2018 Kentucky Oaks in the hopes of finding a kidney donor for his wife Stacey. His story went viral and Stacey Received a successful transplant of a kidney that came from Cincinnati on Oct. 30 (file photo) This...

Despite Derby DQ, Maximum Security moves to the top of NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll; Country House is third

His winning effort in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve was made null and void via disqualification, but Maximum Security has been deemed the leader of his class by voters in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll. Click to enlarge Maximum Security, who crossed the wire first in the Kentucky Derby but was disqualified and placed 17thdue to interference,...

Country House declared winner of 145th Kentucky Derby following disqualification of Maximum Security

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor For the first time in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby, the horse that crossed the finish line first was not declared the winner. Maximum Security and jockey Luis Saez (pink silks) cross the finish line ahead of Country House and Flavien Prat (yellow silks). Maximum Security was taken down for interference and placed 17th. Country House finished second,...

Serengeti Empress wins 145th Longines Kentucky Oaks before large crowd at Churchill Downs

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor LOUISVILLE, KY — Joel Politi’s Serengeti Empress grabbed the advantage out of the gate and repelled a stretch bid from Liora by 1 3⁄4 lengths to win the 145th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) for 3-year-old fillies before a crowd of 105,719 at Churchill Downs. Jockey Jose Ortiz aboard Serengeti Empress prepares to high-five trainer...

Maryland-based Sagamore Spirit touts ‘Bourbon’s Older Brother’ with provocative billboard for Derby

I-65 toward Churchill Downs will be a high traffic zone before, during and after the Derby this weekend. Among the many out of towners coming to Louisville, a Maryland-based rye whiskey brand has made a major entrance with a provocative billboard along I-65, grabbing the attention of Derby goers, Bourbon drinkers and history buffs. If you’re heading to Churchill Downs or walking around downtown...

Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach to scratch with an entrapped epiglottis; Bodexpress draws in

Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach will be scratched from Saturday’s 145th renewal due to an entrapped epiglottis, according to Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. Omaha Beach (Photo courtesy Coady Photography/ Oaklawn Park) “After training this morning we noticed him cough a few times,” Mandella said. “It caused us to scope him and we found an entrapped epiglottis. We can’t fix it this...

Kentucky Derby Field: Omaha Beach leads talented field for Saturday’s 145th Run for the Roses

By Liane Crossley Special to KyForward Omaha Beach is the 4-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s 145th running of the $3-million Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Twenty-one Thoroughbreds, including one on the also-eligible list, have been entered in the 1 ¼-mile race for three-year-olds with a post time of 6:50 p.m. ET. NBC television coverage begins at 2:30 with pre-race broadcasting...

Keeneland, Churchill Downs each commit $100,000 to Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

Keeneland and Churchill Downs Incorporated jointly announced last week that the two industry icons have each committed $100,000 in contributions to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. This contribution will enable the sponsorship of two Grayson-approved projects. For the initial two years, 2019 and 2020, the funds will sponsor Dr. Sue Stover’s Grayson-funded research project, “Training...

Kentucky Derby attendees are urged to report any suspicious indications of human trafficking

Staff report Kentucky Derby attendees are urged to be the alert, not just for their best bet but for human trafficking at the 145th Run for the Roses. Unfortunately, human traffickers target many large-scale sporting events to prey on victims and profit from the crim. 
“By raising awareness with partners, our community will be better prepared to stop traffickers this Derby,” said Attorney General...

New face atop NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll; Omaha Beach surpasses Roadster with win in Arkansas Derby

The reign of California-based horses atop the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll continues this week in a new set of hands with Fox Hill Farms’ Omaha Beach taking over the No. 1 position from Roadster in the wake of the former’s triumph in last Saturday’s Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. Click to enlarge Omaha Beach earned his second career graded stakes win and first...

Roadster moves to the top of the NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll following win in Santa Anita Derby

After knocking off reigning juvenile male champion Game Winner in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby this past Saturday, Speedway Stable’s Roadster has bested his stablemate once more, this time taking over the top position in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll. (Click to enlarge) Game Winner had held the lead position among voters since the first poll of...

Vekoma punches KY Derby ticket with Blue Grass win, Out for a spin pulls off shocker in the Ashland

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor Never before had Keeneland seen such a large crowd on the opening Saturday of a meet. Vekoma draws off from the field to an impressive 3 1/2 length win in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Saturday, stamping his ticket to the Kentucky Derby (photos by Mark Hansel). The combination of perfect weather, spots in the starting gate of the Kentucky...