Kentucky Downs moves up first race to 12:15 p.m. CT

Jennie Rees

Photo by Grace Clark/Kentucky Downs

FRANKLIN, Ky. (Thursday, July 25, 2019) — Kentucky Downs is moving the starting time for its first race to 12:15 p.m. Central, up from the 1:25 p.m. in recent years. America’s most unique race meet runs Aug. 31 and Sept. 5, 7, 8 and 12 over the all-grass track on the Tennessee border.

“It just makes sense for a variety of reasons,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ senior vice president and general manager. “We have become one of America’s premier racing products. Knowing that, we want to make our races as convenient as possible to the most horseplayers possible.

“Our opening day overlaps closing weekend at Saratoga and Del Mar. The earlier post time lets us start early with Saratoga and also get more races in before Del Mar begins. Also, since so many of our horses, horsemen and a significant number of our guests come in from Louisville, Lexington, and the East Coast time zone, the earlier start allows them to get home at a reasonable time. We think moving up our first race an hour and 10 minutes from years past will play well in the Greater Nashville, Bowling Green and northern Alabama markets while also being more convenient for those coming from the east.”

Kentucky Downs will continue to slightly adjust individual race starting times in order to avoid running on top of a race in New York.

“One of the best things we can do for horseplayers and our horsemen is taking a little extra effort to ensure our on-track and simulcasting bettors can watch and enjoy racing from more than one track and that our races aren’t running head-on with another popular signal,” Nicholson said. “Sometimes it can’t be avoided, but we will do everything we can to keep handicappers from the annoyance of one track breaking from the gate when elsewhere horses are turning for home.”