In addition, horsemen whose stables are located at training centers or other tracks that bring their horses to Churchill Downs to compete will find significant capital improvements and refurbishments in the track’s two receiving barns, along with the availability of concierge services during their day at the historic track.
Both the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks pay shares of their purses only back to the fifth-place finisher.
Horses participating in non-stakes races during the racing programs on Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks will receive $1,000 for finishes of sixth-through-last if the race is run with at least 10 starters.
In all non-stakes races on days other than Derby and Oaks Days, one-half of a percent of the purse will be paid to the sixth-through-last place finishers. Outside of those distributions, 60 percent of the purses will go to the winning owner with 20 percent paid to the runner-up. Third-place finishers will earn 10 percent, while fourth and fifth-place runners will collect five and three percent, respectively.
The opening day of the 2009 Spring Meet will also be an unveiling, of sorts, for improved facilities in Barns 2 and 4A, the receiving barns for horses that ship-in to compete in Churchill Downs races.
The interior of all stalls in those barns have been painted and new mats placed on the stall floors. Aging televisions have been replaced with new sets in those shedrows so that horsemen and their help can watch races throughout their day at Churchill Downs.
The track will also operate a concierge office in Barn 4A to offer services that will make their day’s stay at Churchill Downs more convenient and enjoyable. The concierge office contains a pair of flat-screen televisions for the viewing of races and easy access to racing information, along with a fax machine, copier and telephones.
Veteran horseman T.V. Smith, who retired last year from a distinguished training career, will be on hand in the concierge office each racing day to provide services and aid visiting horsemen.
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2009. The track’s 2009 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 25-July 5. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record six times, and will host the international racing championship again on Nov. 5-6, 2010. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at http://www.churchilldowns.com.