Churchill Downs Suspending Races Over New Turf Course For At Least Two Weeks - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Churchill Downs Suspending Races Over New Turf Course For At Least Two Weeks

Racing over the rebuilt Matt Winn turf course at Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs Racetrack has suspended racing over its newly rebuilt Matt Winn Turf Course for at least two weeks. The move came one day after Gingrich, a 3-year-old Mr. Speaker colt, suffered a catastrophic injury to a foreleg while racing on the lead inside the eighth pole of a $50,000 claiming race on turf.

“In order to allow our new turf course to continue to develop its root system, we have suspended turf racing for the next two weeks,” said Churchill Downs president Mike Anderson. “The new Bermuda-hybrid grass was installed last fall and will continue to mature during the very warm days and weeks ahead. We've made a long-term investment in our turf course, and we're confident this brief pause will allow it to become more robust.”

Churchill Downs began work on what company officials said was a $10-million investment in the new course last July, a project that included widening the  surface and removing a crown that made the outer portion of the course unusable. The crown is designed to help drainage, but a new subsurface drainage system eliminated the need for it.

The new course debuted during a spring meet that opened April 30. The meet runs through July 4.

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