Churchill Downs Forms Second Racing Club. All Other Tracks – Take Note!
The overwhelming response to the inaugural Churchill Downs Racing Club, which saw all 200 shares sold within two days, has led the Louisville track to form a second racing club under identical parameters. For a one-time, all-inclusive fee of $500, club members will own a share of a horse that is to be selected, trained and raced by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Racing clubs, which have long been popular in certain international jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, Australia and the UK, have only begun to take root in the U.S. In addition to Churchill Downs, Canterbury Park, Emerald Downs and Hastings Park offer racing clubs. The purpose behind these clubs is to provide members with a low-risk, low cost experience with racehorse ownership.
The all-inclusive $500 entry fee for the Churchill Downs Racing Club covers everything from the cost of acquiring the horse to the training fees. Among the perks of being a club member are a behind-the-scenes look at horse ownership, free admission for the entire 2016 Churchill Downs racing season, breakfasts at select morning workouts with Lukas, access to the Paddock Area before the club’s horse races, and one season-long owner parking pass.
A racing club is a great way for a person to dabble in horse ownership when you consider the minimal cost and risk. And there certainly is a demand based on what we’ve seen with the Churchill Downs Racing Club. Will other tracks follow suit? That remains to be seen, but it would certainly seem worth the try given the sport’s need for new owners.
According to reports, Lukas is on the lookout for promising 2-year-olds to represent the clubs. The hope is they will be ready to race sometime at the upcoming Churchill Downs Spring-Summer meet, which opens Saturday.
Anyone interested in joining the Churchill Downs Racing Club can register at ChurchillDowns.com/Racing Club.
-- Victor Ryan