The ministry’s work is focused on the “backside” of race tracks in Kentucky and southern Ohio, where race horses are stabled and the needs are great. In fact, the faith-based work done at the track is often described as the Backside Ministry.


Our vision is to bring about the salvation of all people in the horse racing industry through the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Our mission is to nurture the spiritual and material needs of all people in the horse racing industry and their families through Christian ministry.


  • We believe Jesus Christ is the one true God and Savior.
  • We believe that all people have been created in the image of God.
  • We foster interdenominational relations to fulfill our mission and to achieve our vision.
  • We strive to model the love and grace of God.
  • We trust in the truth and authority of the Holy Bible.

Our History

Chaplains began serving at Kentucky race tracks about 45 years ago with the founding in 1972 of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, a non-profit interdenominational organization. As the ministry grew, the Kentucky division of the chaplaincy was formally established in 1989. Today, the interdenominational ministry has chaplains serving at Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Turfway Park, Kentucky Downs and Belterra Park (Southern Ohio) race tracks as well as various thoroughbred training centers in Kentucky.

Meeting Needs

The backside of tracks can be compared to little communities, and there’s a sense of family among race track workers. The ministry strives to meet the spiritual and emotional needs of those race track workers by offering:

  • Daily interaction with workers in the barn area and around the race track.
  • Weekly worship services and Bible studies
  • Christ-centered activities that promote fellowship
  • Baptism, marriage and funeral services
  • Individual counseling

The Chaplaincy also serves as extended family for many workers. It helps to meet those in physical need by providing:

  • An emergency food pantry
  • Emergency clothes closet
  • Help with transportation for necessisties
  • Other related services

Our Volunteers

The Chaplaincy relies on volunteers and donations to support its good work. The annual “Race for Grace” event is also an important source of ongoing financial support for the chaplains’ outreach and ministry. This fundraising dinner—held every year the Monday evening before the Kentucky Derby—is supported by retired Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, who is actively involved in the chaplaincy’s work.

A Non-Profit Organization

Our Chaplains work and minister under the organization known as the Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy, Inc. a non-profit 501 c (3) organization. Their outreach and ministry activities are made possible by donations to KRTC. All gifts are eligible for tax deductible consideration.

To request public financial information about KRTC, please contact us at 502.636.4476 or send an email to info@kychaplaincy.org. Thank you for your interest.

2018 Council and Leadership

Officers: President Pat Day • Vice President Gary Churchman • Secretary Lowell Grady • Treasurer Larry Edwards
Directors-at-Large:Polly Dunlavy, Dan Frick, Deane Pierce