More than 200 horses had to be evacuated when a tornadic storm hit the historic Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Ky., last night. No horses were injured.
John Asher, vice president of communications for the horse-racing track, said at least nine of the facility's 48 barns were judged structurally unsound after a storms system that spawned several tornadoes ripped through the Louisville area. The roof of one barn collapsed and walls were buckled in another. A dormitory and chapel were damaged in the high winds.
Louisville Gas & Electric reported 2,100 power outages in the metro area. A tornado had not been verified at Churchill Downs by 11 p.m. last night but observers in the neighborhood reported several funnel clouds during the storm, which lingered for more than an hour.
Racing is canceled today at the track due to the damage. The familiar twin spires of the clubhouse at Churchill Downs were unharmed.
The backside of Churchill Downs hold 1,400 horses during a meet.
Churchill Downs is the home to the Kentucky Derby. The thoroughbred racetrack opened in 1875.