08/03/2009 11:00PM

Horses moved as flash flood hits Churchill


A severe flash flood Tuesday morning in the Louisville, Ky., area forced Churchill Downs officials into emergency mode, with 30 to 35 horses shuttled out of the stable area to the Trackside training facility because of flooding in barns.

Training was canceled after the regularly scheduled harrow break around 8 a.m. Eastern, which was about when the deluge started. Much of the dirt and turf tracks, along with the infield, paddock, and other sections of the Churchill property, became submerged in water. Property and streets in the local vicinity also were heavily flooded, including a nearby section of Interstate 65 that was closed for a time.

Mick Jenner, a longtime freelance exercise rider, said early Tuesday afternoon that he was working with a shovel in the stable area, trying to help rid one barn of excess water.

"A few barns that sit fairly low were hit pretty good, but overall I think it could've been worse," said Jenner.

Two top contenders for the two richest races in the International Festival of Racing at Arlington Park on Saturday, Einstein (Arlington Million) and Pure Clan (Beverly D.), are stabled at Churchill, but neither had to be moved. Both are scheduled to ship to Arlington by van later in the week.