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Churchill Downs' new Kentucky racetrack will cost $50 million more than planned

Marty Finley

Churchill Downs inc. said Thursday that it has increased its costs to construct a new standardbred horse racing track, gaming facility and hotel in Oak Grove, Ky., by $50 million. CEO Bill Carstanjen said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call that the project, Oak Grove Racing & Gaming, is now expected to cost $200 million because of higher-than-expected construction costs and additional modifications he said will support expected customer demand. This news comes shortly after Churchill Downs (Nasdaq: CHDN) and Keeneland Association Inc., its partner on the project, started construction in Oak Grove, which is about an hour north of Nashville, Tenn. Carstanjen said the company is intrigued by entering a market so close to Nashville and believes the project will be successful based on its market research.