America's Most Unique Race Meet
At just six days each year, Kentucky Downs hosts one of the shortest thoroughbred horse racing meets in North America. Though short, the six day meet features more than $10 million in purses, with a nation-leading average of over $2 million in purses per day.
Our 2021 race dates are as follows:
- Sunday, September 5th
- Monday, September 6th
- Wednesday, September 8th
- Thursday, September 9th
- Saturday, September 11th
- Sunday, September 12th
First Post approximately 12:15 P.M. (CDT) each day
Kentucky Downs is home to America's only European-style (all turf) racecourse, and at one mile and five sixteenths in length, it is one of the longest tracks in the nation as well. Unlike other racetracks, which are typically oval, the course at Kentucky Downs is kidney-shaped, featuring undulation and a unique right-hand bend. With subtle elevation changes throughout, a sweeping turn into what becomes a dog-legged stretch run of more than a quarter-mile to the finish line, racing at Kentucky Downs is an exciting experience for those competing and cheering.
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Kentucky Downs has emerged from novelty to an industry leader even with one of the shortest thoroughbred horse-racing meets in North America. But in those five days, which start the Saturday before Labor Day and feature only turf racing, Kentucky Downs will pay out more than $11.5 million in purses, its average daily purses the highest in North America and Europe at $2.3 million per card. The track’s average field size of about 11 horses per race also tops America, which combined with the lowest overall betting “takeout” has made Kentucky Downs the top-rated track by the Horseplayers Association of North America. Five of our 14 stakes have achieved graded status (the G3 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup, G3 Ladies Turf Stakes, G3 Turf Sprint Stakes, G3 Ladies Turf Sprint Stakes and G3 Franklin-Simpson).
To stay up to date with Kentucky Downs Racing, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat at @kydownsracing, or check out our Facebook page, Kentucky Downs. Be sure to use the hashtag, #LiveAtKyDowns to stay in the conversation, and check out #KyDownsGrad to follow horses who race at Kentucky Downs and move on to win at some of the country's biggest tracks!
The large purses awarded during Kentucky Downs' September meet draw some of the top thoroughbred race horses to the small town of Franklin, Kentucky. Recently successful #KyDownsGrads include: Daddys Lil Darling (winner of the 2017 Dueling Grounds Oaks, went on to win G1 American Oaks at Santa Anita), Al's Gal (winner of the 2016 Ramsey Farm Stakes, went on to win the G1 EP Taylor Stakes at Woodbine), Bullards Alley (2nd in 2016, 6th in 2017 G3 Kentucky Turf Cup, went on to win G1 Canadian International at Woodbine), among many others. Check out the KYD Graduates page or the hashtag #KyDownsGrads on social media to keep up with 'Grads' all year long!