AMERICA’S most famous racetrack, Churchill Downs — home of the Kentucky Derby — has had to halt racing due to an “unusually high” number of horse deaths.
Unfortunately, around 12 horses have died at the Louisville racetrack since April 27.
Bill Carstanjen, CEO of the course, said the development, which comes just a month after Mage won the derby, was “deeply disturbing”.
In a statement, he said: “The Churchill Downs team takes great pride in our commitment to safety and strives to set the highest standards in racing, always going beyond required regulations and guidelines.”
What happened on our track is deeply disturbing and absolutely unacceptable.
“While we are making every effort to determine the cause of the recent horse injuries and while no problems have been linked to our racing surfaces or the local area at Churchill Downs, we need to take more time to conduct a thorough review of all the circumstances .” the details and circumstances so that we can continue to strengthen our surface, security and integrity protocols.”
A special summit was held on Tuesday to discuss the number of deaths.
All 12 fatalities are being investigated and the condition of the famous dirt road is being investigated.
A statement on Friday said “not a single factor” linking the horrific loss of life had been found.
It added: “Diagnostic testing of the circuit by experts has not raised any concerns and experts have concluded that the surface is consistent with previous measurements taken by Churchill Downs in years past.”
Most Read in Horse Racing
The Churchill Downs spring meeting, which runs through July 3, will be relocated to nearby Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky.
Racing at Churchill Downs will resume as usual this weekend.
Seven horses died during Kentucky Derby week.
Top trainer Saffie Joseph has been banned from the racetrack indefinitely after two of his horses died in “highly unusual” circumstances.