LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Monday, Nov. 23, 2020)–Churchill Downs Racetrack will make investments $10 million to put in a brand new turf course that may widen the operating floor and enhance the sturdiness to permit elevated turf racing all year long on the historic house of the Kentucky Derby.The capital undertaking will start instantly after the completion of the 2021 Spring Meet and be prepared for turf racing to renew initially of the 2022 Spring Meet.
If rising circumstances are favorable sufficient, the brand new grass course might be prepared to be used by the November 2021 Fall Meet.The present Matt Winn Turf Course, a 7/8-mile oval located contained in the one-mile dust monitor, is the unique floor when grass racing debuted 35 years in the past at Churchill Downs in 1985.It’s comprised of four-inch excessive Kentucky 31 Fescue (90%) and Bluegrass (10%) grown in a three-inch topsoil layer over a 13-inch course masonry sand base.
The brand new and extra strong turf course will likely be an analogous mix of fescue and bluegrass and may have a redesigned subsurface. The rising medium will comprise a six-inch higher root zone layer created with a blended mixture of topsoil and grit sand which can sit on a six-inch decrease sand layer constructed with masonry sand. Churchill Downs planted a number of check plots within the spring of 2019 and chosen one of the best to be used within the new turf course.
The present monitor, which is 80 ft extensive, was designed with a crown that runs down the middle of the monitor to facilitate drainage, limiting the variety of operating lanes. The brand new turf course features a new state-of-the-art irrigation and drainage system, will likely be widened to 85 ft and be designed to make use of the total width and banking within the turns. The brand new course will present a number of rail motion choices with the capability to accommodate 4 racing lanes that vary from 0 to 36 ft out and as many as 14 individuals per race.
Churchill Downs retained the United Kingdom-based STRI Group to design a brand new racing floor for the historic monitor. STRI has designed, constructed, maintained and supplied consulting and monitoring companies for world-class turf surfaces supporting equine athletics on the highest degree, together with Ascot Racecourse and Riyad Equestrian Membership. Moreover, STRI has supplied grass consulting to signature worldwide sporting occasions, together with soccer’s FIFA World Cup, tennis’ Wimbledon and golf’s Open Championship.
On account of the turf undertaking, there will likely be no stabling at Churchill Downs for eight weeks in the course of the months of July and August. Additionally, there will likely be no turf racing in the course of the 2021 September Meet to permit the roots to develop down and the turf to take maintain.
Churchill Downs levels roughly 700 races every year throughout its three race meets with about 25% of these races scheduled for the turf. In 2019, there have been 169 scheduled grass races however 43 of these occasions have been transferred to the dust due to inclement climate or sub optimum course circumstances.
ABOUT CHURCHILL DOWNS RACETRACK Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”), the world’s most legendary racetrack, has been the house of The Kentucky Derby, the longest regularly held annual sporting occasion in the US, since 1875. Situated in Louisville, CDRT incorporates a sequence of themed race days throughout Derby Week, together with the Kentucky Oaks, and conducts Thoroughbred horse racing throughout three race meets within the Spring, September, and the Fall. CDRT is situated on 175 acres and has a one-mile dust monitor,a 7/8-mile turf monitor, a stabling space, and offers seating for about 60,000 visitors. The saddling paddock and the secure space has barns enough to accommodate 1,400 horses and a 114-room dormitory for backstretch personnel. CDRT additionally has a year-round simulcast wagering facility.www.ChurchillDowns.com.