Churchill Downs proposes new track in Northern Kentucky in winter shake-up
Churchill Downs has proposed building a new track in northern Kentucky and taking the winter race dates away from Turfway Park.
Churchill Downs Inc. said it would file an application with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission requesting those winter thoroughbred racing dates. In the long term, Churchill will pursue the winter dates for a $200 million track it would construct named New Latonia Racing & Gaming. The track would also serve as a year-round training centre.
While the track is being constructed, CDI proposes staging the 2020 winter fixtures at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The application requests that NKYRG, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDI, be issued a racing licence to conduct live racing from January-March 2020 and in December 2020.
The dates for December 2019 were awarded last year to Turfway by the KHRC. Turfway in recent years has raced from December to March and Churchill Downs is proposing taking over all those winter dates beginning in January 2020.
In a release, CDI said allocation of these 2020 race dates to NKYRG is a critical short-term measure to support the thoroughbred racing circuit in Kentucky. CDI expects that awarding these 2020 race dates to NKYRG will lead to significantly increased purses and pari-mutuel handle, resulting in increased tax revenues.
If approved, the race dates conducted at Churchill Downs would permanently move to the proposed New Latonia facility.
"Churchill Downs is stepping up to protect and grow Kentucky's thoroughbred racing circuit," said Churchill Downs track president Kevin Flanery.
Phase one of the proposed New Latonia facility would include a historical racing machine facility, a state-of-the-art clubhouse, food/beverage venues, a mile synthetic main race track, an inner dirt track, and stabling facilities. Phase two of the proposed project could include the addition of a hotel, with an incremental investment of up to $50m.
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