About Us

Churchill Downs Track

Our Mission and Vision

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

  • 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 achieve our vision
  • We strive to model the love and grace of God
  • We trust in the truth and authority of the Holy Bible
Stock Chapel

Our History

Chaplains began serving at Kentucky race tracks with the 1972 founding of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, a non-profit interdenominational organization. As the ministry grew, the Kentucky division of chaplaincy was formally established in 1998.

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.

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Clothing Closet

The Clothing Closets exist to provide for some of the basic needs horsemen have that come through the tracks we serve. For one reason or another, whether they just started working or they've given much of their money to their family for various needs, they may be unable to immediately obtain items like shampoo, soap, a blanket, or even a towel. We seek to love them in the name of the Lord Jesus by helping with some of the burdens of life as they work hard, day after day. It is open to all horsemen.  Churchill Downs is held on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 AM to 12 PM. Contact the chaplains at the other tracks to find out day and time for their Clothes Closet.

Common Donated Items:

  • Men's size 7-9 & Women's size 5-8 Work shoes | boots and tennis/running shoes.
  • Winter coats, hats, and gloves.
  • Jeans, work khakis (particularly 36 & under; Women's 10 & under)
  • T-shirts
  • Work shoes and boots, tennis shoes
  • Twin-sized Bedding
  • Toiletries (Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, razors, shaving cream)
  • Towels
  • Luggage (soft bags, duffle bags)
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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 an extended family for many workers. It helps to meet those in physical need by providing:

  • Emergency clothes closet
  • Help with transportation for necessities
  • Other related services
Stock Churchill Downs Entrance

2024 Directors and Officers

  • President: Tony Estes
  • Vice President: Jim Tye
  • Secretary: Polly Dunlavy
  • Treasurer: Gene Snowden, Jr.
  • Director: Gary Wayne Churchman
  • Director: Pete Cline
  • Director: Vanessa Parker
  • Director: Ronald Presser
  • Director: Michael Ridge
  • Director: Keith Sorrels
  • Director: Dan Fick
  • Director: Craig Wiley
  • Director: Bruce Eyre
  • Director: Stacy Murphy

A Non-Profit Organization

Our Chaplains work and minister under the organization known as the Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy, Inc., a non-profit 501c(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.