Churchill Downs Suspends Racing Over Horse Deaths

Written by:
Mary Montgomery
Published on:

Churchill Downs will move horse races to Ellis Park starting June 10 as investigators look to determine the potential cause for a series of deaths leading up to this year's Kentucky Derby.


Churchill Downs acquired Ellis Park last year. The move will last until July 3.

There will be a review of the track's surface to determine if it may have played a role in injuring the horses.

Seven horses died between April 29 and May 6, and an eighth — 3-year-old Rio Moon — was euthanized the weekend after Mage won the 149th Kentucky Derby.

“What has happened at our track is deeply upsetting and absolutely unacceptable,” Bill Carstanjen, Churchill Downs Incorporated’s CEO, said in a statement. “Despite our best efforts to identify a cause for the recent horse injuries, and though no issues have been linked to our racing surfaces or environment at Churchill Downs, we need to take more time to conduct a top-to-bottom review of all of the details and circumstances so that we can further strengthen our surface, safety and integrity protocols.”

- Mary Montgomery,

Horse Racing News