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Thrifty Derby? Low-cost entry into Sport of Kings

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to own a Thoroughbred racehorse that that will race at Churchill Downs? Churchill Downs Racetrack will give 200 people that chance this spring through the 2017 addition of the Churchill Downs Racing Club–a low-cost pathway that introduces people to the excitement of Thoroughbred racehorse ownership.

For one-time membership dues of $500 for 2017, members will experience Thoroughbred racehorse ownership with a horse that will be purchased, trained, and managed by horseman Dallas Stewart, the charismatic Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer that has won more than 750 races. The Thoroughbred will be prepared to race during the upcoming 2017 Spring Meet that opens Saturday, April 29, and continues for 38 days through Friday, June 30.

Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer Dallas Stewart has won more than 750 races. Photo courtesy Dallas Stewart via Twitter @DallasStewart3

The club is a low-cost, low-risk glimpse into the life of Thoroughbred ownership. Churchill Downs’ VIP Services Manager Gary Palmisano will represent the club’s interest and serve as a liaison for the club’s members. Benefits will include regular e-mail updates on the horse, visits to the track in the early mornings–and breakfast on select days–to watch the horse train, trips to the paddock, watching the race in a group setting, and hopefully experiencing the thrill of visiting the G.H. MUMM Winners’ Circle. Each member will receive free general admission for two to Churchill Downs in 2017, and invitations to exclusive Churchill Downs Racing Club events at the track.

“Owning a racehorse is one of the most exciting experiences in all of sports,” said Mike Ziegler, executive director of Racing for Churchill Downs Incorporated. “We gave our fans an opportunity to learn what it’s all about last year and had a tremendous amount of fun–and luck–working with Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas and the two exceptional club horses, Warrior’s Club and Dial Me. We’re hoping this year’s club can be just as successful.”

The Churchill Downs Racing Club was inaugurated in 2016 with Dial Me, a 3-year-old filly by Dialed In, who has one career victory and earnings of $52,257. Dial Me is preparing to race on the undercard of the Longines Kentucky Oaks. Warrior’s Club, a 3-year-old colt by Warrior’s Reward who has a lifetime record of 11-2-2-3 and earnings of $214,424, is on target to start in the Pat Day Mile (GIII) on the undercard of the Kentucky Derby program.

Interested parties are invited to register online at

The Churchill Downs Racing Club 2017 membership will be limited to 200 members. The $500 annual membership dues will be used to purchase a Thoroughbred and pay for its training fees and expenses, which will be disclosed regularly to the members. There will be no additional dues for 2017.

The Churchill Downs Racing Club is a 501(c)(7) not-for-profit social club organized for pleasure, recreational, and other nonprofitable purposes. Members should not join with any profit motive or expectation of profit.

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