Churchill Downs is suspending all races until July 3 as it investigates a wave of 12 mysterious horse deaths at the fabled track. The suspension of races at Churchill Downs is the latest blow to an industry that’s had its fair share of bad luck, and other unexplained horse deaths, in recent months.
Previous investigations by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority have not turned up any signs of wrongdoing in the horse deaths, but they haven’t been able to adequately been able to explain them either. So far, investigators haven’t been able to identify any single for the rash of horse deaths at the track. They have, however, eliminated track surface issues as a potential cause for the recent fatalities.
Previous, recent actions by Churchill Downs to mitigate the wave of horse deaths included increased environmental testing at the track and revamped ineligibility standards for poor performance, which are meant to help protect the horses’ health.
Churchill Downs CEO, Bill Carstanjen commented on the closure in a recent press release saying, “What has happened at our track is deeply upsetting and absolutely
unacceptable. 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.”
All races previously scheduled for the track during this period will be held at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky.