Press Releases

July 16, 2014

Kentucky Downs Announces Turf Course and Rail Renovations

Ron Moore Hired to Oversee Program

Franklin, KY (July 16, 2014) – The purchase of a world class turf rail and a number of other course improvements are underway for the 2014 Kentucky Downs live race meet which begins on Saturday, September 6. The five-day season, which will offer a daily average purse structure of more than $1 million, is conducted on North America’s only European-style turf course.

Overseeing the improvements will be Ron Moore, formerly the track superintendent at Santa Anita and Lone Star Park, when the latter track hosted the 2004 Breeders’ Cup. The first steps of dethatching, overseeding, soil conditioning, aerating and improving drainage have been completed. The new rail installation will take place in August, as well as the completion of a comprehensive fertilization program.

“The Kentucky Downs meet brings some of the best horses in the country,” said Moore. “I have had a long association with (Kentucky Downs president) Corey Johnsen and know that, first and foremost, he is a horseman. His number one priority is safety for the horse and rider.”

The new rail is from Duralock Fencing Systems, which was selected based. on their exemplary reputation as a world leader in equestrian fencing and rails. Duralock is the supplier at first class racecourses throughout the world, including Ascot, Aintree, Belmont, Saratoga, The Curragh, Epsom, Chantilly and Meydan Racecourse.

“There is nothing more important than the consistency and safety of our turf course,” said Johnsen. “I am looking forward to hosting the premier turf horses in North America in our upcoming live meet. Improvements to our turf course and purses in excess of $1 million a day illustrate our commitment to world class racing.”

Kentucky Downs will offer racing on Sept. 6, 10, 13, 17 and 24 for its 23rd live racing season. The meet’s signature event is the Grade 3, $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup. The 1 ½ mile stakes race will be run on Saturday, September 13.

June 26, 2014
2014 Stakes Release

Kentucky Downs to Offer $1 Million A Day in Purses

All Turf Racing Meet Commences on September 6, 2014

Franklin, KY (June 26, 2014) – The 2014 Kentucky Downs live all-turf racing season will feature record purses in excess of $1 million per card for each of its five days. Saturday, September 6 is opening day at the Franklin, Kentucky racetrack, with full cards set for Wednesday, September 10, Saturday, September 13, Wednesday, September 17 and Wednesday, September 24.

“More than $1 million in daily purse structure will make 2014 a breakout year for Kentucky Downs,” said Kentucky Downs President Corey Johnsen. “I believe that record purse money combined with a world class turf course will attract many of North America’s horses, jockeys and trainers. We have also slightly modified our stakes schedule to mirror many of the distances in this year’s Breeders’ Cup.”

The signature event of the track’s 23rd meet is the Grade 3, $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup, up from $400,000 in 2013. The one and one-half mile stakes anchors an exceptional Kentucky Downs Million Day on Saturday, September 13. The four stakes on Million Day have been modified to parallel key events at the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

The opening day card will feature three stakes, including the inaugural running of the $250,000 Dueling Grounds Derby for 3-year-olds at a distance of one and five-sixteenths miles. The stakes is named in honor of the racetrack’s original moniker, which was renamed as Kentucky Downs in 1998. The meet will wrap on Wednesday, September 24. The outstanding closing day program will include the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Dash and the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon.

All races and stakes have received significant increases due to the matching funds support from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF). The $150,000 stakes races run in 2013 are now $200,000; each allowance race will offer $100,000 and purses of $90,000 will be offered for 2-year-old maiden special weight events. This is the second year that Kentucky Downs has boosted purses, due in large part, from pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse races.

Tyler Picklesimer will serve as racing secretary at Kentucky Downs, and has posted the 2014 condition book on as well as

“Kentucky Downs has enjoyed the support of top horsemen for many years,” said Picklesimer. “Not only are the purses exceptional, but our turf course is in great shape. Horses come out of their races in top condition as evidenced by the large number who won at the 2013 Keeneland meeting.”


Saturday, September 6

  • 3rd running of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) – 2yo, 7 furlongs
  • 3rd running of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) – 2yo fillies, 7 furlongs
  • Inaugural running of the $250,000 Dueling Grounds Derby (Includes $125,000 from KTDF) – 3yo, 1 5/16 miles

Saturday, September 13

  • 2rd running of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) – fillies and mares, 3yo and up, 6½ furlongs
  • 21st running of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) – fillies and mares, 3yo and up, 1 mile
  • 17th running of the $200,000 Franklin-Simpson Mile (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) – 3yo and up, 1 mile
  • 23rd running of the Grade 3, $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup (Includes $300,000 from KTDF -3yo and up, 1 ½ miles

Wednesday, September 24

  • 16th running of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Dash (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) – 3yo and up, 6½ furlongs
  • 3rd running of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) – fillies and mares, 3yo and up, 1 5/16 miles