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Shuffling Horses

by gary.roedemeier

Posted on September 28, 2006 at 5:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 22 at 1:27 PM

If you passed a horse trailer on the Watterson this week, it was probably part of an exodus from Churchill Downs to open up stalls for the Breeders' Cup.
It's a great event for the city, but some of Churchill's regulars are being evicted so the superstars of racing can have a place to stay.

A lot of the Churchill trainers will be wintering at Trackside on Poplar Level Road, so this is just an early departure from Churchill, because the backside will closed after the fall meet.
But it is a minor inconvenience for some of the small barns. The Trackside Training Center, is a shorter track, and to get a work on the main track requires a trip back to the Downs.
And there has been some grumbling because a lot of horses and trainers have been affected. Churchill is providing at least 200 stalls for the Breeders' Cup entries, so that's a lot of displaced runners.
Some will go to Trackside, some to the farm, but the larger operations at Churchill will not be disturbed. For a brief time, it divides the Churchill training colony into the haves and the have nots.
Still many trainers don't mind, and will tell you that they relish the chance to avoid the Breeders' Cup crowd and media that will make the backside look like Derby week in November.
Still, the greatest day for thoroughbred racing does not come without a little inconvenience for people and horses that call Churchill their home.