Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs

Anne M. Eberhardt

Report: Churchill Wants Night Experiment

Churchill Downs wants to try night racing under temporary lights.

Churchill Downs will ask the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for permission to hold three night programs under temporary lights during its upcoming spring meet.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reported April 1 the racetrack wants to gauge interest from patrons. Churchill spokesman John Asher told the newspaper Churchill is seeking a 6 p.m. EDT first post on June 19 and June 26 (Friday nights), and July 2 (a Thursday night).

Most likely, 11 races would offered each night, with final post no later than 11 p.m., the Courier-Journal reported.

Lights were considered when Churchill underwent its $120-million renovation but were scrapped to cut costs.

“It was something we looked at, not for a regular basis, but asking the market to see if there’s a desire for that product out there,” Asher told the newspaper. “It’s something we’ve considered for several years, and decided this was a good time to try it.”

Turfway Park is the only Kentucky Thoroughbred track with lights. Turfway races one to three programs per week at night depending on the meet.