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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Trainer, Helen Pitts feeds her horses, and medicates their hooves.
"I'm just kind of getting horses ready that are going to run here," she said.
This is the pre-race regimen she runs through every September. This year though, she's doing it in a different setting, Churchill Downs.
"I think the September meet is a great idea. It's great for horse racing," Pitts said.
For the first time since the 1890s, Churchill is hosting a stand alone meet in September. It opened last night and includes some "Downs After Dark" races and family days.
"This business is very fluid, and we're always looking forward and to innovate," Darren Rogers, Communications Director for Churchill Downs, said.
The meet gives locals and visitors a chance to party and bet., while trainers and jockeys get a shot at bigger money. And, don't forget about the horses. Keeping a lot of them at their home base is by no means a bad thing.
"Some horses handle running out of their stall better than getting on a van and being shipped to a different race track," Pitts told WDRB.
The September meet is just one of the latest additions to the track. The mansion was added during the spring meet, and construction continues to add 2,400 seats to the track plus a VIP Garden Terrace that overlooks the starting gate for Derby.
" It's never a dull moment here at Churchill Downs. and now we can add another calendar month to keep us busy," Rogers said.
It continues tonight with college rivalry night at the track. Churchill is giving 10 thousand dollars in scholarships to the top three schools that you vote for when entering the gate.
"This is a great unofficial kick off to a week of trash talking between U of L and UK fans ahead of the Governor's Cup," said Rogers.