When dueling was no longer legal in Kentucky, the 260-acre “dueling grounds” had more conventional agricultural uses until a group of investors acquired the property in the 1980s to develop a unique “turf only” race track to host Steeplechase races.
That vision came to life when a 1 and 5/16 mile race course and a colonial-style clubhouse opened for business on April 22, 1990. The race track was named "Dueling Grounds" in recognition of the colorful history associated with the property.
The race track operated as Dueling Grounds until 1998, when new owners renamed the track "Kentucky Downs." In 2007 a group of investors, led by Nashville businessman Ray Reid and former Lone Star Park president Corey Johnsen, purchased a majority interest in Kentucky Downs with a vision for expanding the scope of its operations in the future.
Today, Kentucky Downs conducts its live turf racing meet each September on the only “European-style” race course in North America. The meet is staged in an informal festival setting and features the annual running of the Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup race. Additionally, Kentucky Downs is home to over 750 historical horse racing machines, live music and entertainment, year-round simulcasting, and charity bingo events.