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Live Racing at Kentucky Downs
The signature event of the track’s 21st season is the Grade 3, $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup on September 12. The 1½ miles race will be one of twelve stakes that set up contenders for the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, which makes its debut at Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, KY on October 30 -31, 2015.
New this year is a Steeplechase race on September 5, run according to NSA (National Steeplechase Association) rules. The fences, provided by NSA, are designed as breakaway fences to prevent injury to the horses. It will be a 2 ¼ mile Maiden race over turf. Hopefully, the track will be able to offer three or four steeplechase races next year, and they may be pari-mutuel races; this year’s is not.
Race dates are: September 5, 10, 12, 16, 19, 2015 with ten flat races each day, starting at 1:30 p.m. The first race, the steeplechase, starts at 12 noon on September 5. Gates open at 10 a.m. daily. The track tries to offer a little something for everyone. “It’s a cross between Ascot and a Kentucky County Fair, with infield spectators, grandstands, and – new this year – air conditioned, catered VIP boxes,” said Kentucky Downs President Corey Johnsen.
Visitors to Kentucky Downs will also have the opportunity to see retired racehorses at the new horse exhibit, Old Friends. The joint venture between the Georgetown, Kentucky Thoroughbred Retirement facility and the racetrack opened July 17, 2015. Old Friends retirees currently being featured on the tour are: Ball Four, 14-year-old son of Grand Slam; Rumor Has It, winner of the Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes in 2008; Sgt. Bert, winner of the Woodford Stakes at Keeneland in 2005 and 2006; Thornfield, 21-year-old son of Sky Classic, Canada’s Sovereign Award winner and 1999 Horse of the Year; and Tour of the Cat, a multiple graded-stakes winner. Other equine retirees are expected to arrive this fall. The new horse exhibit is located at 5565 Nashville Rd. Thirty-minute tours are offered at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily except Mondays. For information call the Simpson County Tourism Office: 270-586-3040 or toll free at 866-531-2040.
Kentucky Downs features a European-style turf course at a mile and 5/16 in length. Kentucky Downs is located near the Kentucky/Tennessee border off I-65 in Franklin, Kentucky at 5629 Nashville Road. For the 2015 Stakes Schedule and more information, visit: www.kentuckydowns.com/live-racing/
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