The partnership featuring Louisville, Kentucky’s famed Churchill Downs that is planning to bring horse racing just north of the state line to Oak Grove is now officially licensed for it, by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
WKY Development, LLC – the joint venture between Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”)and Keeneland Association Inc. (“Keeneland”) – was awarded the racing license by KHRC for 12, live Standardbred racing dates beginning in October 2019 at its racing venue proposed for neighboring Christian County, said a news release from the partnership.
The proposed racing facility in Oak Grove represents a $150 million economic development project for Christian County, creating nearly 400 direct full- and- part-time jobs and an estimated 800 construction jobs.
“Aspects of the project include a historical racing machine facility featuring up to 1,500 machines, a 125-room hotel with event center and food and beverage venues, a 1,200 person seated capacity grandstand and event space for indoor events, a 3,000-person capacity outdoor amphitheater and stage, and a state-of-the-art equestrian center including indoor and outdoor arenas,” said the release.
WKY Development, LLC is 95 percent owned by Churchill Downs, and 5 percent, by Keeneland.
“This historic partnership is designed to strengthen and grow Kentucky’s signature horse racing industry and, in particular, its Standardbred racing circuit following last year’s closure of Thunder Ridge racetrack in Prestonsburg,” said the partership’s formal statement..
Churchill Downs headquartered in Louisville is anchored by its iconic flagship event, The Kentucky Derby. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.
Keeneland is also recognized for hosting some of the richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. In 2015, Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. To learn more about Keeneland, visit Keeneland.com.
Reach Business Editor Jimmy Settle at 931-245-0247 and on Twitter @settle_leaf.
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