Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, announced on Friday that they wouldhappened in one month at their famed racetrack.
Race operations at Churchill Downs will cease on June 7, and starting June 10, the remainder of the Spring Meet will take place at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky, the company announced in a news statement.
The company said that even though subsequent investigations had determined “no single factor has been identified as a potential cause and no discernable pattern has been detected to link the fatalities,” and “diagnostics testing of the racetrack by experts have not raised concerns,” the racetrack needed to be closed.
“What has happened at our track is deeply upsetting and absolutely unacceptable,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs in a news 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.”
Churchhill Downs suffered a spate of “highly unusual” and “completely unacceptable” equine deaths in May. Four horsesweek. Two of the horses died from unknown causes when they both suddenly collapsed after completing races.
Five othersat the track in the days leading up to the Derby.
All 12 horses were put down after suffering serious injuries on the racetrack.
— S. Dev and Emily Mae Czachor contributed reporting.