Race Tracks

The Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy serves many of the major race tracks in the state of Kentucky. This includes Churchill Downs, Turfway Park, and Ellis Park. Our ministry helps fund the Chaplains, Chapels and outreach at each race track.

Churchill Downs

Christ Chapel, located on the backside of Churchill Downs

700 Central Avenue
Louisville, KY 40208
Christ Chapel Phone: 502.636.4476

Churchill Downs, located in Louisville, is the home of the famous Kentucky Derby. The historic track is also home to a year-round, interdenominational ministry for race track workers. Much of the ministry’s work is focused on the “backside” of Churchill Downs where the race horses are stabled. On the backside you’ll find a dormitory for workers, a dining hall, learning center, recreation center and other services designed to support track workers. Significant progress was made toward meeting workers’ needs with the opening in June 2006 of Christ Chapel, tucked among the barns on the backside. Churchill Downs donated the land for the Chapel. Its construction was completely funded by donations from the community.


Senior Chaplain Ken Boehm became Churchill Downs’ first full-time chaplain in 2003.  Associate Chaplain Chris Wong became the first full-time Hispanic chaplain at Churchill Downs in January 2014.

Contact information:

Chaplain Ken Boehm: 502.439.0009

Associate Chaplain Chris Wong: 786.222.7658

Volunteer Chaplain Bobby Johnson

Ellis Park

3300 U.S. Highway 41 North
Henderson, KY 42420
Chaplain Ron Crawford: 812.483.3590

Ellis Park is a thoroughbred racetrack in Henderson, Kentucky, just south of Evansville, Indiana. It was built by the Green River Jockey Club in 1922. Three years later, James C. Ellis, a Rockport businessman, purchased the track, which at the time was known as Dade Park. The facility was renamed Ellis Park in 1954. The track passed through a series of ownerships before being purchased in 2006 by Ron Geary, a Kentucky businessman, from Churchill Downs Incorporated.

The track was designed after Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York and features a 1 1/8 mile dirt track and one mile turf course. The facility is 210-acres and has a 6,000 seat grandstand and 38 barns.

Turfway Park

7500 Turfway Road
Florence, KY 41042
Chaplain Doug Eldridge: 859.393.7756

Turfway Park is a horse racing track located in Florence, in northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati. The track was opened in 1959 as “Latonia Race Course,” not far from the original Latonia Race Track in Covington, Kentucky which hosted thoroughbred racing from 1883 to 1939. The track’s name was changed to Turfway Park in 1987 under owner Jerry Carroll. Today the racing facility is jointly owned by the Keeneland Association, which operates the historic Keeneland track in Lexington, and by gaming conglomerate Harrah’s Entertainment. In 2005, Turfway Park became the first American track to install the new Polytrack synthetic racing surface. The property is used for the stabling and training of horses year around.


An enthusiastic welcome to Doug Eldridge . . . the new chaplain at Turfway Park! Doug’s appointment actually marks a return to Turfway. In 1977, when he was about to graduate from seminary, Doug served as the track’s very “first” chaplain when it was known as Latonia. Make sure you say hello and “Welcome Back” the next time you cross paths with Doug at Turfway Park.