Foreign horsemen who wish to ship their Thoroughbreds to compete in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), and other races at Churchill Downs will benefit from an on-track quarantine and isolation facility now located on the grounds.
When the Churchill Downs stable area reopens and starts accepting horses for the April 28-July 8 Spring Meet March 10, Barn 45 will be outfitted as a quarantine and isolation facility for horses that ship from other countries to compete at the Louisville track.
Last fall the barn was retrofitted to serve as a quarantine barn for horses that competed in the Breeders' Cup World Championships. The barn contains a 38 stalls, with a firewall that will allow half of the facility to serve horses in quarantine and the other half to meet the needs of horses in isolation. It will now be equipped year-round for this purpose.
Representatives of Churchill Downs' racing office and officials with the Kentucky office of the United States Department of Agriculture have been working to ensure that the quarantine facility meets the agency's regulations.
"The establishment of a regular quarantine and isolation facility is an important step for Churchill Downs and its stakes program," said Don Richardson, senior vice president of racing for Churchill Downs. "We hope the availability of this facility will encourage owners and trainers from around the world to consider the option of bringing their horses to Churchill Downs to face some of the best competition American racing has to offer."
Foreign horsemen can still nominate to the Derby and the remaining races in the Triple Crown for a fee of $6,000 by the late nomination deadline of March 24. Supplemental nominations may also be made at the time of entry at a cost of $200,000. Supplemental nominations will be accepted for Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I) at a cost of $25,000, or five percent of the purse, at the time of entry.
Nominations for Kentucky Derby Week stakes races at Churchill Downs are scheduled to close on April 11.