Churchill Trims Maximum Fields to Dozen

(form Churchill Downs report)
Churchill Downs is trimming the maximum size of its overnight fields for races on the main track from 14 horses to 12 beginning Saturday.

Members of the track's jockey colony expressed concerns earlier this week about safety issues in 14-horse fields, and the track officials agreed to reduce the maximum field size. Limits on fields in grass races remain at a maximum of 12 on weekends, when the races are run along the hedge, and 10 on weekdays, when a temporary rail is placed at either 15 or 22 feet out on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

The maximum field for stakes races will remain at 14 on the main track and 12 for turf events.

"Our jockeys expressed a very sincere and reasonable concern about possible safety issues in our larger fields in overnight races," said Steve Sexton, president of Churchill Downs. "The health and safety of the athletes participating in our races, both human and equine, have always been a top priority at Churchill Downs."

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