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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Well, as fans of the old “Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” might respond, it’s so cold that Churchill Downs decided to cancel its live racing program–for tomorrow!

Due to sub-freezing overnight temperatures, today’s card might have been a casualty but with no racing scheduled, there was no foul.

No racing was scheduled but due to the unseasonably cold temps, training was canceled Tuesday morning so that the maintenance department could work on the surface to prevent it from freezing.

As this is written, the thermometer in Louisville reads 24 degrees, begging the question how does one book a flight to bluegrass country and wind up in Green Bay, Wisconsin? It is expected the deep freeze will continue as temps will drop into the teens by nightfall.

With temperatures expected to rise into the 30s by Wednesday afternoon, CDI officials are hopeful that live racing will resume Thursday. With that program already set, Wednesday’s card will either be brought back as is or the program will be redrawn.

It will be exactly five years next week since the last weather related cancellation occurred at the Kentucky Derby track.

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2 Responses

  1. Interesting. With advent of slots it seems Aqueduct will cancel more frequently. Not a criticism, just an observation.

  2. Think I know where you’re coming from and there might be something to that, but in the overall can’t totally agree. Yes, NYRA does benefit from casino revenue but not to the point that the horsemen can be compensated to the degree of survival.

    We’re not talking about the super barns here but operations with 20 or 30 horses can’t exist due to the high cost of running a racing operation; salaries, feed, workmen’s compensation, taxes and the like. Horses can’t earn if they remain in the barn.

    To your point, Churchill Downs is a better fit; notice they have been running $98-99,000 allowance races at the meet now that they share in vastly increased casino revenue just from the city of Louisville alone.

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