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Kentucky Downs to Host Eighth Annual Turf Handicapping Challenge on Saturday, September 12th

One Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge & Two DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship seats up for grabs Franklin, KY (August 21, 2015) – Kentucky Downs is preparing for its boutique five-day all turf racing season which gets underway on Saturday, September 5. Lucrative rewards are in store, and not […]


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Kentucky Downs to Offer Additional Seating Options

FRANKLIN, KY (AUGUST 11, 2015) – Tickets for September’s live, all-turf meet at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, KY are now available. Kentucky Downs to Offer Additional Seating Options All Turf Racing Meet Commences on September 5, 2015 The track will open on Saturday, September 5 and will […]


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Kentucky Downs Sets Handle Record

July 7, 2015 Kentucky Downs Sets Handle Record Franklin, KY (July 7, 2015) – Kentucky Downs recorded $8,425,830 in pari-mutuel handle on historical horse racing from June 29 to July 5, to set an all-time weekly record, besting the old mark of $8,332,610, set Feb. 24 to […]


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Previous Press Releases


June 17, 2015

Kentucky Downs’ Moore has Fond Triple Crown Memories

When American Pharoah galloped into history as the first Triple Crown winner in more than three decades, fans cheered to the point of pandemonium, rocking Belmont Park to the rafters. But Kentucky Downs Turf Course Superintendent Ron Moore–who was watching from his home in Dallas—well, eh, he got a little melancholy. “I’m really glad he won, but I had mixed emotions,” says Moore. “There were just a lot of memories associated with that 37 year record. I guess I hated to see it go.”

Moore was the track superintendent at Santa Anita in 1978 when Affirmed earned the coveted crown, and he had a special connection to the chestnut son of Exclusive Native. “That was just such a part of my life,” he says. Indeed. It was Moore and his crew that kept the Santa Anita surface viable during a period of record rain fall that season—45 inches in 15 weeks–allowing Affirmed to train consistently enough to sweep a trio of preps as well as the Triple Crown. Laz Barrera, Affirmed’s trainer, even gave Moore a gold watch for his efforts. “Laz was very gracious to me and my crew,” says Moore. “And we did work hard– round the clock, running jets all night, drying the track.”

Keeping track surfaces impeccable and­, more so, safe for both horses and jockeys, has been kind of a calling for Moore. He grew up on the backstretch of the now-defunct Hollywood park where his father worked as track superintendent. He started working at Santa Anita in 1969 when he was just 22 years and fresh out of the Army (though his first stint at the track, he says, was in high school when he spent Saturdays as a Red Coat, a buggy driver escorting judges in the days before instant replays and digital finish-line photos). Later Moore worked at Lone Star Park when the track hosted the 2004 Breeders’ Cup. It was there that he became friends with Lone Star’s Corey Johnsen who is now the President of Kentucky Downs. Last year Johnsen brought Moore in to maintain the turf course at the Franklin race course. “We’re on the same page,” says Moore. “His concern has always been for the safety of the horses. As a track man that’s always your primary concern–you want everybody to come back and go home at night. That was a common ground for us.” Together they have helped make Kentucky Downs a horseman’s dream: It’s one of the most consistent and safest turf courses in the industry.

Keeping the Downs’ course ideal for five days is an all-year-round effort for Moore and his three-man crew. “It’s a little like training a horse,” he says. “You go into [the racing season] strong but as soon as you come out of it you want to start doing the things that will prepare you for next year.” The seeding, fertilizing and leveling will all pay off this fall, though, as Kentucky Downs hosts five spectacular days of live racing (September 5,10, 12, 16, and 19) featuring $7.5 million in purses and 12 stakes races. “Kentucky Downs is just going to become larger and larger with more fan appreciation,” says Moore. “I talk to a lot of racing people, and if they haven’t already been here, then they want to come and they want to bring their horses.”

About Kentucky Downs: Located near the Kentucky-Tennessee border off Interstate 65, the year-round entertainment center offers live racing on its unique mile and five-sixteenth European-style turf course in September. Simulcasting is available seven days a week, as well as pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse races, charitable gaming, dining and other events. Horse racing has been conducted at the facility since 1990, when it was called Dueling Grounds Race Course.

Address: 5629 Nashville Road, P.O. Box 405, Franklin, KY 42135

Racing Office Phone: 270-586-7094


June 12, 2015

Kentucky Downs Announces 2015 Stakes Schedule

Live Season Commences on September 5

Franklin, KY (June 12, 2015) – A record total of $7.5 million in purses and Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) money will be offered during the 2015 Kentucky Downs five day meeting which begins Sept. 5. Contested over a European-style turf course, full cards are also set for September 10, 12, 16 and 19.

“This will be a very exciting Fall in Kentucky, with record purses at Kentucky Downs and the Breeders’ Cup coming to Keeneland,” said Kentucky Downs President Corey Johnsen. “We have designed our stakes schedule to complement the Keeneland Breeders’ Cup meeting and with an average of $1.5 million in daily purses and KTDF, this will be our greatest season ever.”

The signature event of the track’s 24th meet is the Grade 3, $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup on September 12. The 1 ½ miles race will be one of 12 stakes that should set up contenders for the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. The venerable two-day Thoroughbred racing event will make its long-awaited debut at Keeneland on October 30 -31.

Overnight races will offer $120,000 for maiden special weight and as much as $130,000 for allowance races. These races and stakes receive significant support from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF). For the past three years, Kentucky Downs has increased purses, due in large part, from pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse races.
There will be three new stakes added to the schedule including the $150,000 Old Friends Stakes on September 16. The race will honor Old Friends, the non-profit Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, Kentucky, which entered into a joint venture with Kentucky Downs, which now houses retired Thoroughbreds on its grounds.
“Many of the top horsemen in the country have supported our program,” said Tyler Picklesimer, racing secretary at Kentucky Downs “They have high regard for our safe and consistent turf course and like the way their horses bounce out of their races here. We have been in touch with them, and they are pointing their top turf specialists to Kentucky Downs in September.”

KENTUCKY DOWNS 2015 STAKES SCHEDULE

Saturday, September 5
(Free Nominations Close August 25/Entries Taken September 2)
$300,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile (Includes $200,000 from KTDF) – 2yo, 7 furlongs
$300,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies (Includes $200,000 from KTDF) – 2yo fillies, 7 furlongs
$300,000 More Than Ready Mile (Includes $200,000 from KTDF) – 3yo & up, 1 mile

Thursday, September 10
(Free Nominations Close September 1/Entries Taken September 8)
$150,000 One Dreamer Stakes (Includes $75,000 from KTDF) – 3yo & up, fillies & mares, 1 mile & 70 yards(non-winners of a stakes in 2015)

Saturday, September 12
(Free Nominations Close September 1/Entries Taken September 9)
$300,000 Dueling Grounds Derby (Includes $175,000 from KTDF) – 3yo, 1 & 5/16 miles
$300,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint (Includes $200,000 from KTDF) – 3yo & up, fillies & mares, 6 & ½ furlongs
$300,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Dash (Includes $200,000 from KTDF) – 3yo & up, 6 & ½ furlongs
$600,000 Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup (Includes $300,000 from KTDF) – 3yo & up, 1 & ½ miles

Wednesday, September 16
(Nominations Close September 5/Entries Taken September 13)
$150,000 Old Friends Stakes (Includes $75,000 from KTDF) – 3yo & up, 1 mile & 70 yards(non-winners of a stakes in 2015)

Saturday, September 19
(Nominations Close September 5/Entries Taken September 16)
$200,000 Dueling Grounds Oaks (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) – 3yo, fillies, 1 & 5/16 miles
$300,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (Includes $200,000 from KTDF) – 3yo & up, fillies & mares, 1 mile
$300,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon (Includes $200,000 from KTDF) – 3yo & up, fillies & mares, 1 & 5/16 miles

About Kentucky Downs: Located near the Kentucky-Tennessee border off Interstate 65, the year-round entertainment center offers live racing on its unique mile and five-sixteenth European-style turf course in September. Simulcasting is available seven days a week, as well as pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse races, charitable gaming, dining and other events. Horse racing has been conducted at the facility since 1990, when it was called Dueling Grounds Race Course.

Address: 5629 Nashville Road, P.O. Box 405, Franklin, KY 42135
Racing Office Phone: 270-586-7094


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kentucky Downs Tops the 7th Annual Horseplayers Association of North America Racetrack Rankings

(Charlottesville, VA, April 9, 2015) Kentucky Downs, the Franklin, Kentucky racetrack that races a short, all-turf meet, has topped the 2015 HANA Racetrack Rankings. Kentucky Downs unseated Keeneland, who led the rankings for the first six years.

The HANA Racetrack Ratings are based on an algorithm using factors indicative of horseplayer betting value, gleaned from both empirical and academic study. Key factors including takeout rate, field size, wager variety, pool size, and signal distribution are analyzed track by track and weighted to produce a final composite score. The rankings are supervised by HANA board member Charlie Davis, a professional horseplayer, and Industry Analyst Mike Dorr, a graduate of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

“With low takeout and a field size over ten horses per race, Kentucky Downs has definitely given horseplayers something to get excited about,” said HANA President Jeff Platt. “Despite the short meet, the ratings algorithm does not discriminate when it comes to value; Kentucky Downs has it and horseplayers have been responding.”

“It is gratifying to be recognized for our efforts,” said Kentucky Downs President Corey Johnsen.“Providing the horseplayer value drives virtually every decision we make at Kentucky Downs. As our formula continues to be successful and handle increases – which produces more purse money – then it is a win-win-win for the fans, horsemen and track.”

Source:
Horse Players Association Of North America

The Horseplayers Association of North America is a 3,000 strong grassroots group of horseplayers who are not affiliated with any industry organization. HANA hopes, through proactive change on several key issues (including but not limited to), open signal access, lower effective takeouts, affordable data and customer appreciation, the industry’s handle losses can be reversed. Joining HANA is free.