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Churchill Downs changes location of meet following horse deaths

Churchill Downs said its current horse card is suspended after an emergency meeting on horse deaths. Officials want to look at safety protocols.
Churchill Downs changes location of meet following horse deaths
Posted at 7:07 PM, Jun 02, 2023

Churchill Downs has decided to move the remainder of the spring meet to Ellis Park following a series of horse deaths.

Starting June 7, Churchill Downs says they will suspend racing operations through the remainder of the spring meet, scheduled to run to July 3. Live racing at Churchill Downs will be conducted as scheduled this weekend, and the rest of the race meet will be at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky, beginning on Saturday, June 10.

SEE MORE: Officials hold emergency meeting over horse deaths at Churchill Downs

The announcement comes after 12 horses died at Churchill Downs over the last couple of months. 

Officials were following a thorough internal review and conducting other investigations with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Horseracing Integrity and the Safety Authority. 

"No single factor has been identified as a potential cause and no discernible pattern has been detected to link the fatalities," a statement said. 

Even though testing reports indicate there are no surface issues at Churchill Downs, officials say they are making the move to Ellis Park out of an abundance of caution. 

Ellis Park traditionally hosts a summer race meet in Kentucky that is scheduled from July 7 to August 27, 2023. The new safety initiatives announced by Churchill Downs earlier this week will remain in effect for the remainder of this meet at Ellis Park.

The 12 horse deaths happened between April 27 and May 27, starting with Wild on Ice, a contender in the Kentucky Derby. 

Fatalities also happened between May 26-27 when Lost in Limbo and Kimberley Dream had to be euthanized as medical staff could not heal injuries that happened during races. 

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