A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Derby to be postponed until Sept. 5 in response to Covid-19 pandemic; Preakness may follow

Even Kentucky’s most famous rite of spring is not immune to the spread of COVID 19. Churchill Downs has announced that the 2020 Kentucky Derby, originally scheduled for May 2 (the first Saturday in May) will be postponed until September 5. Churchill Downs Incorporated CEO, Bill Carstanjen released the following statement: “Throughout the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority...

Preparations in full swing for annual $250,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park on March 14

The road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) runs through Northern Kentucky on March 14 when Turfway Park hosts its annual Derby prep race, the $250,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3). The signature race is one of 12 races on the day, including six stakes races. As Jeff Ruby Steaks day is the highlight of Turfway’s racing season, so the VIP tent is the centerpiece of the day itself. Situated...

Keeneland, Churchill Downs reinforce commitment to safety with racing and training reforms

Keeneland and Churchill Downs have jointly announced major changes in racing and training policies to strengthen safety protocols at both race tracks. Reforms include mandatory veterinary inspections prior to workouts and race entry and enhanced reporting and transparency requirements for trainers and attending veterinarians with regard to the fitness of horses to work and race. These reforms also...

Storm the Court, Mr. Monomoy among nominees to Keeneland’s $1 million Toyota Blue Grass

Champion Storm the Court and recent Risen Star Presented by Lamarque Ford (G2) winner Mr. Monomoy, the leading point earner on the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1), are among the 136 3-year-olds nominated to the 96th running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) on April 4, the opening Saturday of Keeneland’s Spring Meet. This marks the 25th season Toyota has sponsored the race. Click here...

Gary West: Trainer Steve Asmussen knows a Kentucky Derby victory is out there, it just hasn’t happened yet

Have you ever won the Kentucky Derby? That’s the question everyone asks because that’s the race everyone knows. A few races are richer and a few might possess more championship heft, but throughout America’s vast cultural landscape, on the promontory of popular awareness, only the Kentucky Derby sits so high that everyone can see it. And on the first Saturday in May, the entire nation stops to...

Community Trust Bank honored for 11th consecutive year with ‘Gold Lender Award’ by SBA

Community Trust Bank, Inc. was recently honored for the 11th consecutive year with the “Gold Lender Award” from the United States Small Business Administration as Kentucky’s top volume SBA 7a Community Bank lender in federal fiscal year 2018–2019. The award was presented at the SBA Lender’s Conference at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Additionally, Community Trust Bank was...

Kentucky racetracks applaud KHRC’s adoption of medication reforms in show of unprecedented unity

Kentucky’s Thoroughbred racetracks – Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Turfway Park, Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs – united in their support of the medication reforms adopted Monday by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC). Their passage demonstrates an unprecedented unity among Kentucky’s Thoroughbred racing associations and a commitment to continue moving forward on initiatives that further...

Community Ventures receives Microlender of the Year award from Kentucky Small Business Administration

Community Ventures was recognized as the SBA Microlender of the Year by the Kentucky Small Business Administration (SBA) for the 17th year in a row. Community Ventures Kentucky’s recognizable impact in lending throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky has paved the way for them to be recognized again this year. This past year, Community Ventures made 103 microloans to borrowers, totaling $787,950. The...

Bright future for Turfway Park, now owned by Churchill Downs Inc., begins with Holiday Meet

While construction of Turfway Park’s new facility won’t begin until the spring of 2020, changes that herald a bright future for the Northern Kentucky Thoroughbred racetrack are already evident as it opens its 44th holiday meet Dec. 4The Turfway Park Grandstand as it exists today is seen in the top photo. A rendering of the new facility to be developed by Churchill Downs, Inc, is shown below. The...

Churchill Downs announces plans for $300 million renovation project set to begin in December

Churchill Downs Racetrack on Wednesday announced a number of major capital investments to offer a variety of new VIP guest experiences, including the construction of permanent stadium seating, a hotel and historical racing machine (HRM) facility in the first turn at the racetrack as well as a renovation project of Millionaires Row. Hotel, HRM Facility and New Permanent Seating Pending final approval...

Kentucky Perinatal Quality Collaborative launched Tuesday during convening at Churchill Downs

The Kentucky Perinatal Quality Collaborative (KyPQC) launched Tuesday during a convening at Churchill Downs in Louisville. The launch brought together healthcare professionals and other stakeholders dedicated to decreasing the maternal mortality rate, decreasing rates of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), and improving maternal and infant health outcomes in the commonwealth amidst the opioid crisis...

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...