Churchill Downs Adds New September Dates, Will Race Each Weekend After Labor Day
With "final approval for a September race meet in hand, Churchill Downs officials are making plans for the 12 days of racing to join the country’s top tracks in offering shorter meetings with bigger purses to attract the best horses and more fans," according to Gregory Hall of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. The new September meet, which the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved yesterday, will "take days that used to belong to Turfway Park and offer more than double the purse money the Florence, Ky., track could." Churchill's third meet of the year "will immediately follow the premier summer boutique meets" at Saratoga Race Course and Del Mar Turf Club. With "about $240,000 in average daily purses, it won’t be at the level of Saratoga’s $930,000 a day," but it will be "markedly better than the $97,000 a day Turfway averaged last month." CDI Senior VP and Track President Kevin Flanery said, "We certainly hope that it’s in the upper echelon of meets." In September, Churchill will "race Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays each week after Labor Day." The "boutique strategy aims to maximize racing quality and crowds by running in a limited timeframe." Flanery said that Churchill’s 12-day September "affair will be branded as its own entity and separate from the track’s two other meets" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/24).