The spring meet at Churchill Downs comes to an end today. It’s a spring meet that won’t soon be forgotten. Just under two weeks ago, a tornado ripped through the Churchill Downs backside, causing extensive barn damage but no injuries to people or the hundreds of horses stabled there.
Spokesman John Asher says the heaviest repair work will start shortly after the end of the meet.
“We have exactly six-and-a-half barns that could not be used at this point because of storm damage, but frankly we’re not going to have to completely replace any of those. None of those barns will have to be razed. They’ll be repaired from the point where they stand right now,” he said.
Attendance and wagering figures for the spring meet will be tabulated soon. This year’s Kentucky Derby drew a record crowd of nearly 165,000 and the track’s night racing cards instituted last year have become a popular attraction.
The Churchill Downs fall meet begins October 30 and will include the return of the Breeders Cup Championship.