LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 7, 2007) - Foreign horsemen who wish to ship their Thoroughbreds to compete in the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and other races at Churchill Downs will benefit from an on-track quarantine and isolation facility now located on the grounds of the historic track.
When the Churchill Downs stable area reopens and starts accepting horses for the April 28-July 8 Spring Meet on Saturday, 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. That barn, which contains 38 stalls, was retrofitted last fall to serve as a quarantine barn for horses that competed in the record sixth visit to Churchill Downs by the Breeders' Cup World Championships. The barn contains 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.
Representatives of Churchill Downs' racing office and officials with the Kentucky office of the United States Department of Agriculture ("USDA") have been working to ensure that the quarantine facility meets the agency's regulations and requirements. The barn will be equipped year-round as a quarantine/isolation facility.
"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. "Our stakes program has events that should be attractive to foreign-based horses not only during Kentucky Derby Week or visits by the Breeders' Cup, but throughout our racing year. 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."
Early nominations have already closed for the $2 million Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), but foreign horsemen could still nominate to the classic race for 3-year-olds 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. Nominations have also closed for the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI) and the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI), but supplemental nominations will be accepted for both races at a cost of $25,000, or five percent of the purse, at the time of entry.