In a Tuesday meeting, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) approved Churchill Downs’ request for additional race dates in September 2013. The KHRC dates committee recommended awarding the requested dates to Churchill Downs in a meeting last week. Speculation was that the KHRC would adhere to the committee’s recommendation.
Churchill Downs was awarded twelve racing dates in September next year. The track plans to add four three-day weekends of racing beginning after Labor Day. Churchill officials have said that they will work around the University of Louisville  home football schedule played at nearby Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium and include two nights of racing.
The dates in question traditionally belonged to Turfway Park in Florence, KY, which has struggled to compete with nearby casinos for gambling dollars. Turfway Park will now see 47 days of racing with its meet running December 1 through March 30 with four optional days in March if business levels permit.
Churchill Downs will increase its 2013 racing calendar to 72 days, with its spring meet running April 27 through June 30, the 12-day September meet beginning September 6, and the fall meet running October 27 through November 30. Churchill Downs has the option to add four additional dates in September should business levels permit. These additional dates would add Thursday to the 3-day weekend race dates.
Photo: J. Oswald