Churchill Downs approved for $46-million Turfway Park purchase
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission says yes to a deal between Churchill Downs and JACK Entertainment
In a move that didn’t come as a surprise to anyone, Churchill Downs has been approved to take over the Turfway Park race track in Kentucky. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) signed off on a deal between Churchill Downs and the track’s current owner, JACK Entertainment, on Tuesday, paving the way for the facility to change hands. Churchill Downs will soon own the track, just as soon as it makes good on the $46-million payment.
If the KHRC had, for any reason, decided to not approve the deal, Churchill Downs was ready to respond. It had already said that it was willing to build a competing track to Turfway in northern Kentucky, but the commission’s decision will keep those plans off the board. Instead, the company will finalize the purchase and then proceed to inject around $100 million into the property to build a new and improved grandstand, as well as add around 1,500 historical horse racing machines (HHR) by the summer of 2021.
The company’s Kevin Flanery said when the deal was announced last week, “Our team is poised to restore Turfway to its former glory, anchored by northern Kentucky’s first historical racing machine facility. The result will be a first-class racing product fueled by increased purses that keeps high-quality horses in Kentucky year-round and appeals to horse players nationwide.”
The venue had initially been accepted by Hard Rock International as part of a multi-property deal. It was then offered to Churchill Downs, which jumped at the chance to scoop it up.