LOUISVILLE, KY – The first horse vans officially crossed into the Churchill Downs backstretch shortly after 6:00 AM local time Monday morning, signaling the start of a week-long buildup to resuming live racing on May 16.

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Despite the delay as a result of the pandemic, trainer Greg Foley continued his annual tradition of being one of the first to arrive at Churchill Downs, shipping his contingent north from Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Louisiana. Other trainers whose horses passed the stable gates Monday included Tom Amoss, Steve Asmussen, Mark Casse, Bret Calhoun, Steve Margolis, and Al Stall, Jr.

“We’re so glad to be coming home,” said Foley, a resident of Oldham County, which is located some 20 miles northeast of Louisville.

According to a recent press release from the track, approximately 175 horses will be stabled on the grounds by the end of Monday. An additional 300 horses (approximately) will ship in from Fair Grounds over the next two days. 

Horses coming from Florida are scheduled to arrive May 14-16, horses from Arkansas during May 17-19, and horses either currently in Kentucky or other jurisdictions (such as New York and California) can start shipping on May 20.

Live racing is scheduled to resume May 16 with a local first post of 1:00 PM Eastern. Entries for that card close May 12 and the races will be drawn May 13.