Independence Day will have a different meaning this year for horsemen stabled at Churchill Downs.On that day, July 4, all trainers will be required to vacate the grounds at the Louisville track for eight weeks due to a decision by Churchill to completely remake its turf course, a $10 million project that Churchill calls &ldquo;immense and extremely time&#45;sensitive.&rdquo; Crews are expected to work around the clock at the track to get the new grass in the ground as quickly as possible, and heavy machinery will be rumbling through the track&rsquo;s backstretch day and night.Mike Ziegler, Churchill&rsquo;s vice president of racing operations, said, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s never an easy decision&rdquo; to displace horsemen from their year&#45;round training base, but he also said that the construction project will be so disruptive that it&rsquo;s not feasible to keep horses on the grounds.&ldquo;From July 5 all the way through August, it will be non&#45;stop construction,&rdquo; Ziegler said. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s never a great time, but this is the manner that we need to do it to do it right.&rdquo;Churchill first installed a turf course in 1985, and racing officials at the track have said that the course is in dire need of an update to take advantage of new advances in agronomy and drainage. The project will entail ripping out the entire course, replacing the drainage and irrigation systems, and adding new soil layers.While the previous course had a three&#45;inch topsoil layer over a 13&#45;inch masonry sand layer, the new course will have a six&#45;inch lower&#45;sand layer beneath a six&#45;inch subsoil layer. The grass will be a hybrid called Tahoma 31 Bermudagrass &ldquo;known for both its improved cold&#45;hardiness and improved drought resistance,&rdquo; according to a Churchill fact sheet.The new course will be five feet wider, and because it doesn&rsquo;t use a crown for drainage, the rails will be able to be set up for four different lanes, allowing the racing office to utilize more of the course. In addition, the new course will be able to accommodate 14 horses, rather than 12.In order to allow the root system to grow, Churchill won&rsquo;t have any turf racing during its two meets late this year, a shortcoming that could have a dramatic impact on the demand for its wagering product. Turf racing typically offers big fields of competitive horses, the type of races that horseplayers prefer. Churchill has annually carded about 25 percent of its races on the turf.But Churchill blames the current course for shortcomings that have resulted in numerous hiccups. Last year, it called off turf racing for the final 12 days of the fall meet and had to &ldquo;suspend&rdquo; the running of two graded stakes. Two years earlier, Churchill moved 25 percent of its 169 scheduled turf races to the dirt because of &ldquo;wet conditions,&rdquo; the track said.&ldquo;In recent years, the course&rsquo;s root system did not satisfactorily respond to Louisville&rsquo;s varying climate during the summer and fall,&rdquo; the track said in a statement.Churchill has room for nearly 1,600 horses in its stabling area, and most of those stalls are filled during the summer months, with trainers shipping to spots across the Midwest and East Coast. Some Churchill horsemen have sent their horses two hours west to Ellis Park, which begins its meet on June 27 and has been open for training since May 13. Bill Mott, D. Wayne Lukas, Dale Romans, and Greg and Vickie Foley have all gotten stall space at Ellis, which has room for 750 horses. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a good but challenging problem to have, with demand greatly exceeding supply,&rdquo; said Jeff Hall, Ellis&rsquo; director of racing operations. &ldquo;We are agonizing that we can&rsquo;t accommodate everybody.&rdquo;When including money available through the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund, Ellis is projecting daily average purse distribution of $350,000 a day, a record for the track. Purses are being boosted by revenue from gambling devices at a casino at the track, along with supplements from other tracks on the circuit.&ldquo;We do know this,&rdquo; Hall said. &ldquo;That with our record purses and the outfits that will be on the ground, we&rsquo;re going to have a memorable meet.&rdquo;Officials for the New York Racing Association have also said that they have benefited from the closure. The association&rsquo;s Saratoga meet starts on July 16, perfect timing for the higher&#45;class horses still on the Kentucky circuit.&ldquo;It looks like we will have a larger horse population this summer&rdquo; because of the Churchill disruption, Glen Kozak, the NYRA&rsquo;s senior vice president of operations and capital projects, told racing regulators on Tuesday.Churchill&rsquo;s Trackside training facility south of the main track is also filled to capacity at 500 horses, and the company has also opened up the 900&#45;stall stable area at its Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky.Ziegler said that Churchill is fine with some short&#45;term pain to get some long&#45;term gain. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re making it better for everyone for the long term,&rdquo; said Ziegler.