A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Celebrating announcement that fans can attend the race, TwinSpires offers free Kentucky Derby bet

In celebration of the announcement that fans will be able to attend this year’s 146th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented By Woodford Reserve, TwinSpires is offering new players a free $10 Kentucky Derby bet. To qualify, new players can sign up via the TwinSpires app or website with the code GET25, and after playing $25 on the races between now and Sunday, the player will earn $25 worth of free...

Audubon Oaks becomes Kentucky Oaks points race, joins Ellis Park Derby on road to Churchill classics

Ellis Park not only has the $200,000 Ellis Park Derby as a qualifying race for the rescheduled Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby, but the track’s $100,000 Audubon Oaks is now a stop on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. Both stakes races are Aug. 9. Ellis Park’s 98th annual meet will run from July 2 through Aug. 30. This year’s Ellis Park Derby winner will receive 50 points, virtually ensuring a spot in the...

Collmus joins Wrona as Kentucky Downs announcer; debut set for track’s Labor Day card on Sept. 7

Kentucky Downs’ six-date live race meet in September will feature two of the world’s most prominent announcers in Michael Wrona and new addition Larry Collmus, the voice of NBC’s Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup broadcasts. “I’m excited about calling the races at Kentucky Downs and looking forward to getting back in action,” said Collmus, who was the New York Racing Association announcer...

Churchill Downs’ Spring Meet opener draws 162 entries; includes champion Monomoy Girl

Horses are back at Churchill Downs and they are ready to run, with 162 entries for Saturday’s 11 scheduled races. Saturday’s Opening Day program of the 2020 Spring Meet has an average field size of 11.3 horses for the action-packed 11-race program, which includes the return of champion Monomoy Girl in the featured fourth race, a conditioned allowance event at one-mile on the main track with...

Brent Cooper: Newport gaming facility is good first bet, but state should double down on other gambling

The recent announcement by Churchill Downs to construct a $38.4 million gaming facility in Newport’s Plaza Shopping Center that will open later this year is a trifecta for the Northern Kentucky region. First, when completed, the new facility will create about 70 new full-time jobs, not to mention the construction-related jobs the project will produce. Second, the project will help to revitalize...

Churchill Downs announces plans to build ‘Florence Extension’ $38.4 million gaming facility in Newport

As part of its foray into Northern Kentucky, Louisville-based Churchill Downs Inc. has announced plans to build a $38.4 million gaming facility in the Newport Plaza Shopping Center. The facility will provide approximately 70 full time-equivalent jobs and is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of this year. “This is a tremendous announcement for the City of Newport,” said Newport City Manager...

Former Louisville field hockey player Hannah Boyle went from the turf to a career at the racetrack

By Lori Harmon University of Louisville The first Saturday in May is traditionally Derby Day – except for this year, when, like so many other events, the annual Run for the Roses was postponed due to the impact of COVID-19. The first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown takes place at Churchill Downs, which is located a mile away from the University of Louisville and brings viewers from around...

Bob and John’s very excellent adventure at the 1994 Kentucky Derby; Bob read about the race later

(Since Derby memories are all we will have on this particular First Saturday in May, we wanted to share with you one of our favorites. You get the idea — and a few laughs too along the way. Also today, Churchill Downs and Woodford Reserve will be offering unique content on social media, which will be followed by NBC’s 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. re-airing of the legendary 2015 Kentucky Derby that began...

Woodford Reserve joins Churchill Downs for ‘Kentucky Derby at Home’ celebration on May 2

Woodford Reserve, the Presenting Sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, has joined Churchill Downs for a nationwide, at-home celebration that honors the tradition and pageantry of the Kentucky Derby while also raising up to $2 million for people impacted by the global pandemic. The day-long virtual experience will take place on May 2, the original date for the annual race, which has been postponed to Sept....

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...