Churchill Downs Tornado Repairs Moving Along

Efforts to repair nine barns and the chapel at Churchill Downs--the Louisville, Ky., home of the Kentucky Derby--heavily damaged by a June 22 tornado are progressing at a rapid pace with a projected completion date in late August.

"We are probably about 60% of the way through the repairs to the backside," Churchill Downs vice president E. Lysonge said during the July 14 Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meeting. "We are working at it as expeditiously as we can and plan to be finished with that by late August."

Immediately following the F1 tornado, which packed winds of up to 105 miles per hour, Churchill officials said they were confident the repairs would be completed in time to house horses for the Nov. 4-5 Breeders' Cup World Championships.

There were no injuries or deaths to people or horses during the tornado. Some horses were relocated following the storm as 6 1/2 barns were declared uninhabitable by fire officials.

Racing was canceled for one day, however there was no damage to the clubhouse, grandstand, Twin Spires, or racing surfaces as a result of the tornado.

Churchill did not provide estimates for damage to properties from the tornado, but said the damage was covered by its insurance policy. Lysonge said there were some initial issues that Churchill had to work out with its insurer before the repair work could begin.

About the Author

Ron Mitchell/The Horse

Ron Mitchell is Online Managing Editor for The Blood-Horse magazine. A Lexington native, Mitchell joined The Blood-Horse after serving in editorial capacities with The Thoroughbred Record and Thoroughbred Times, specializing in business and auction aspects of the industry, and was editor-in-chief of the award-winning Horsemen’s Journal. As online managing editor, Mitchell works closely with The Blood-Horse news editor and other departments to make sure the website content is the most thorough and accurate source for all Thoroughbred news, results, videos, and data.

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