News

Arklow ready to take on world in Breeders' Cup Turf
by Donegal Racing release

Having beaten America's best 1 1/2-mile turf specialists in his last start, Donegal Racing's Grade 1-winning turf star Arklow takes on the world next in the $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park. “I don’t know if Arklow can beat Bricks and Mortar or the Europeans,” said Arklow’s trainer Brad Cox. “But I do know that Arklow is coming into the race 100 percent physically and just had one of the finest workouts in his life at Churchill on Saturday.”

Tags: Arklow Donegal Racing Jerry Crawford Nick Nurse NBA Raptors NBA Breeders' Cup Breeders' Cup Turf Longines Breeders' Cup Turf Javier Castellano Conor Foley Brad Cox Kentucky Downs Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Belmont Park
Hui running Zulu Alpha in $4M Breeders' Cup Turf
by Jennie Rees

Michael Hui is parlaying some of the money that Zulu Alpha won in taking Kentucky Downs’ $1 million Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup into a $100,000 bet on the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita. “If the Breeders’ Cup was in Kentucky, it would have been a no-brainer," the owner said. "What makes it easier to do this is that very lucrative purse that we got the majority of at Kentucky Downs.”

Peace Achieved: The Big Cheese of Juvenile Turf?
by Jennie Rees

Peace Achieved is unbeaten in three starts with blinkers and jockey Miguel Mena, a streak his team hopes to continue in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. "You almost feel like he’s holding something back as well, that there’s a bit more in the tank if you dig down," says assistant trainer David Carroll. "So we’re excited about him.”

Gainesway winner Peace Achieved headed to Breeders' Cup
by Jennie Rees

Joe Minor's 2-year-old Peace Achieved, winner of Kentucky Downs' $500,000 Gainesway Farm Juvenile, won his third straight race Sunday at Keeneland, holding off the late-running Vitalogy by a neck in the $250,000, Grade 3 Dixiana Bourbon. With the victory in the 1 1/16-mile grass stakes, Peace Achieved earned an entry-fees paid berth in the $1 million Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.

Burgeoning Gentle Ruler takes Ramsey Farm
by Byron King and Dick Downey

It took Gentle Ruler 12 starts and more than a year and a half of competition to win her first race, but relatively little time to rise to the level of becoming a stakes winner at the $500,000 purse level. Thursday on closing day of the RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs, the filly did just that, winning the most lucrative race of her career, the $500,000 Ramsey Farm Stakes by a half-length over longshot Lantiz. The victory, her fifth of 2019, marked her third stakes triumph of the year, following earlier victories in the Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial at Delaware Park and the Keertana Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Tags: Gentle Ruler Chris Landeros Ian WIlkes Morsches Stable Franz Morsches horse racing turf racing Kentucky Downs RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs
Legends of War keys O'Neill exacta in G3 Franklin-Simpson
by Byron King and Dick Downey

After a quiet first four days of the Kentucky Downs meet, two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O’Neill waited until closing day and the meet’s final stakes race, to announce his stable’s presence. And did he ever. O’Neill-trained runners Legends of War and Stubbins finished one-two in the Thursday’s Grade 3, $500,000 Nevada State Bank Franklin-Simpson Stakes, generating a handsome reward for his stable and those that backed his runners at the mutuel windows. 23-1 longshot Legends of War paid $49.40 to a $2 win ticket, and a $1 exacta with 10-1 Stubbins delivered a $218 return.

Sisterson hoping for big closing day for Calumet Farm
by Jennie Rees

Jack Sisterson, the former University of Louisville soccer player turned horseman, could have his biggest day as a trainer on Thursday’s closing card of the RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs. As private trainer for Calumet Farm, Sisterson is running Coachwhip in the $500,000 Ramsey Farm Stakes, followed by Lexitonian in the $500,000, Grade 3 Nevada State Bank Franklin-Simpson Stakes.

Beschizza hoping to end big meet with a bang
by Jennie Rees

It’s already been a banner meet for 26-year-old jockey Adam Beschizza, who also has a second and four thirds in 31 starts. “We were ultra unlucky last year,” Beschizza said. “We’ve probably had as many wins so far as we had seconds last year. We’ve sort of made amends this year.”

Ortiz sweeps Dueling Grounds Derby, Oaks
by Kentucky Downs publicity staff

Jockey Jose Ortiz missed opening day of the five-date RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs, but the track’s 2018 riding champion has made the most of the three days he has ridden, including sweeping Sunday’s $600,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Derby under Social Paranoia and the $348,250 Fifth Third Insurance Dueling Grounds Oaks with Princesa Carolina.
Ortiz won three races Sunday, seven over the weekend and a meet-leading eighth overall while scheduled to ride all 10 races on Thursday’s closing card of America’s most unique race meet. Last year, Ortiz won nine races, the most in a single meet since Florent Geroux won 12 in 2016.

Tags: Kentucky Downs Social Paranoia Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Derby Fifth Third Insurance Dueling Ground Oaks Princesa Carolina Ted Nicholson RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs
Cambria (3-for-3) beats boys in Juvenile Turf Sprint
by Byron King

Whether a 2-year-old sprint race is in Europe, or over a European-style course like Kentucky Downs, trainer Wesley Ward and owner Stonestreet Farm mean business. The trainer-owner combination, who teamed a few years ago with multiple overseas Group 1 winner and European juvenile champion Lady Aurelia, struck again Saturday at Kentucky Downs when Cambria scored a gutty head victory over Chimney Rock in the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint. The win gave Ward back-to-back winners in the race with fillies beating the boys, following Moonlight Romance’s triumph last year.

Morticia scary good in Spendthrift Farm Ladies Sprint
by Alicia Hughes

Always consistent and never off the board on the turf in her home state of Kentucky, Morticia earned her second career graded stakes victory in decisive fashion Saturday when she headed every point of call to take the Grade 3, $500,000 Spendthrift Farm Ladies Sprint Stakes by 1 ¾-lengths over A Little Bit Me as part of Kentucky Downs’ blockbuster card featuring five stakes. The victory gave both trainer Rusty Arnold and jockey Tyler Gaffalione two stakes victories on the card.

Zulu Alpha gives Maker Calumet Farm KY Turf Cup
by Byron King

Mike Maker, the winningest trainer in Kentucky Downs history, experienced a frustrating first two days of the current Kentucky Downs meet, going winless with his first 19 starters and feeling unlucky with seven of his horses running second. Saturday during the highlight day of racing during the RUNHAPPY meet at Kentucky Downs, that frustration was put aside when Zulu Alpha rolled to an authoritative 3 1/4-length victory for the trainer in the Grade 3, $1 million Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup. The score gave Maker his fourth victory in the race after Da Big Hoss won it twice for him in 2015-’16, followed by Oscar Nominated in 2017.

Saturday, Sept. 7 early scratches
by Jennie Rees

Updated scratches for Saturday's 10-race, five-stakes, $3.88 million extravaganza, with Sunday's scratches at the bottom.

Byron King analyzes Saturday's stakes quintet
by Byron King

Who does Byron King like in Saturday's five stakes at Kentucky Downs? Find out here!

Get Western jumps up to win Old Friends
by Kentucky Downs publicity staff

Get Western secured a home for life upon his retirement by winning Thursday's $250,000 Old Friends Stakes in front-running style. “He’s one of those horses where he’s so athletic today he was there for me every pole, every step of the way,” said winning jockey Brian Hernandez. “He never traveled like he was going to get beat."

Arklow seeks to be third repeater in Ky Turf Cup
by Jennie Rees

Arklow on Saturday tries to become only the third horse to win the Grade 3 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup twice. Happily for owner Donegal Racing, trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux, the most lucrative race of the RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs this year now carries a $1 million purse. That and more in today's barn notes.

Thursday's scratches
by Jennie Rees

We've got your early scratches for Thursday's 10-race card, the big one being that 2018 Breeders' Cup Mile runner-up Catapult has come out of the featured $250,000 Old Friends Stakes.

Byron King's Old Friends Analysis
by Jennie Rees

The scratch of program favorite Catapult, who was second in last year's Breeders' Cup Mile, didn't impact the top choice of Byron King in Thursday's $250,000 Old Friends Stakes on the second day of the RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs. See who Byron has on top.

Hanalei Moon earns first stakes in One Dreamer
by Kentucky Downs publicity

Three races after getting unseated while his mount, runner-up Armchair Jockey, was galloping out, Tyler Gaffalione was in a more familiar position after the One Dreamer Stakes Saturday at Kentucky Downs: the winner’s circle. Shaking off the effects from a banged-up right knee from his tumble, Gaffalione guided Hanalei Moon past longshot Na Pali Spirit in the stretch to win the $250,000 One Dreamer on opening day of the RUNHAPPY meet at Kentucky Downs.

Tags: Kentucky Downs One Dreamer Halanei Moon
Snapper Sinclair rallies to take Tourist Mile
by Kentucky Downs publicity staff

Saturday in the richest race of the opening day of the RUNHAPPY meet at Kentucky Downs, the $749,000 Tourist Mile, Snapper Sinclair rallied to catch pacesetting Real Story in the shadow of the wire to score by a half-length, pushing his local record to two-for-two. In 2017 during his 2-year-old season, he won the Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Juvenile Stakes with aplomb. Snapper Sinclair is not alone in being perfect at Kentucky Downs. So, too, is his owner, Bloom Racing, now four-for-four at the all-turf kidney-shaped oval in southern Kentucky.

Dick Downey, Caton Bredar's opening-day selections
by Caton Bredar and Dick Downey

Check out the opening day picks by our analysts Caton Bredar and Dick Downey.

Saturday's early scratches
by Jennie Rees

Here are today's early scratches. Some horses on the also-eligible list for the stakes are staying in in hopes of a defection by 10 a.m. Central Saturday. Happy handicapping!

Tags: Kentucky Downs betting horses Kentucky Downs scratches
Snapper Sinclair back on turf in Tourist Mile
by Jennie Rees

The presence of fan-favorite Snapper Sinclair on its opening-day card is just the latest evidence of the lure of the 2019 RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs. Though he has acquitted himself well on the dirt this season, the Steve Asmussen trainee will be returning the site of his lone stakes win and making his first try on turf since October 2018 when he breaks from the rail in the 12-horse Tourist Mile field.

Byron King's stakes analysis
by Jennie Rees

See who Byron King likes in Saturday's four stakes on opening day of the RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs.

Botswana gives Combs shot at $1 million race
by Jennie Rees

Bentley Combs hasn’t been training even two years but figures to have a starter in the $1 million, Grade 3 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup on Sept. 7 with Botswana at Kentucky Downs. Combs, a graduate of the University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program, certainly wasn’t thinking he’d be in a graded stakes, let alone one with a seven-figure purse, when he claimed Botswana last year for himself as owner for $30,000 out of the gelding’s first race: a 12th-place finish and 30-length drubbing.

Great Wide Open gets another crack at Tourist Mile
by Jennie Rees

Co-owner and trainer Conor Murphy has learned that 2018 Tourist Mile runner-up Great Wide Open does not do well in the summer. Hence the 7-year-old gelding comes into this year’s $750,000 edition of the stakes on Saturday’s opening card at the RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs off of a five-month layoff since finishing sixth in Keeneland’s Grade Maker’s 46 Mile.

Total of 887 nominations for 14 stakes up 23 percent
by Jennie Rees

A total of 75 horses have been nominated for the $700,000 RUNHAPPY Turf Sprint, a Grade 3 race at six furlongs that is Kentucky Downs’ first race to be included in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. Combined nominations for all 14 stakes at the RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs, of which five enjoy graded status, totaled 887, up from 719 a year ago. The increase of 168 nominations reflects a 23-percent jump.

Tags: Kentucky Downs RUNHAPPY Turf Sprint RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs Kentucky Downs stakes nominations Rick Albright Rick Hammerle
Opening-day stakes quartet attracts 236 nominations
by Jennie Rees

Kentucky Downs’ four opening-day stakes attracted a total of 236 nominations, ranging from 53 for the $750,000 Tourist Mile to 70 for the $500,000 Gainesway Farm Juvenile. “While nominations aren’t the same as entries, the enthusiasm with which horsemen across the country made their horses eligible for our stakes foreshadows very strong races and full fields,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ senior vice president and general manager.

Stormy Liberal coming for G3 RUNHAPPY Turf Sprint
by Jennie Rees

Stormy Liberal, the two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, is scheduled to run in the $700,000, Grade 3 RUNHAPPY Turf Sprint, one of five graded stakes to be held at the upcoming RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs. “Big purse and it fits into his schedule,” said trainer Peter Miller. “The ‘Win and You’re In’ is always a factor, sure."

#LiveAtKyDowns Post Time Contest is back: Win trip to our race meet!
by Jennie Rees

Kentucky Downs’ #LiveAtKyDowns Post Time Contest is coming back for the second year in advance of the 2019 live race meet, with Twitter submissions accepted throughout July. Tweet why Kentucky Downs is on your bucket list or why you want to come back and you could win a trip to America’s most unique race meet in this free contest.

Tags: Kentucky Downs Twitter #LiveAtKyDowns Dennis Poppe Tom Pinkowski Ted Nicholson Amber Norris
Kentucky Downs' condition book now online
by Jennie Rees

Kentucky Downs’ 2019 condition book is now available online at kentuckydowns.com and equibase.com. Kentucky Downs is scheduled to pay out an average exceeding $2.3 million per card to horse owners for its five-date meet Aug. 31 and Sept. 5, 7, 8 and 12. Says racing secretary Tyler Picklesimer: “One win at Kentucky Downs could make an owner’s year, and it doesn’t have to be a stakes."

Tags: Kentucky Downs historical horse racing Kentucky horse racing Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund parimutuel horse racing horse racing purses Kentucky Downs condition book Kentucky Downs stakes schedule
This could be you, too: Retired teacher hits $780K jackpot!
by Jennie Rees

A retired school teacher turned a $3 play into a record $780,307 jackpot Tuesday evening at Kentucky Downs. That topped the prior record of $709,983 hit on July 14, 2018 on one of the entertainment facility’s parimutuel gaming terminals. "In a million years I would not have dreamed that this would happen to me," she said.

Kentucky Downs April newsletter now out
by Jennie Rees

Kentucky's April fan newsletter is out and online. Catch up with all the news, events, promotions and how our #KyDownsGrads are doing. Read here

Derby Party tickets on sale now
by Jennie Rees

The Largest Derby Party South of Louisville will be back bigger than ever at Kentucky Downs on May 4, offering a convenient and economical way to enjoy the Kentucky Derby. “The Largest Derby Party South of Louisville provides the excitement, the wagering opportunities and even the fancy-hat environment of the Derby with free admission and parking — hoopla without hassle,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ senior vice president and general manager.

Tags: horse racing Kentucky Downs Kentucky Derby Kentucky Oaks Largest Derby Party South of Louisville Ted Nicholson
Kentucky Downs sale to Winchell, Falcone completed
by Jennie Rees

Ron Winchell and Marc Falcone officially are the new owners and managing partners in Kentucky Downs, finalizing the purchase of the racetrack and year-round entertainment center from the investment group that purchased the facility in 2007. “Kentucky Downs is one of horse racing’s brightest success stories of this era,” said new co-owner Ron Winchell, a prominent horseman and entrepreneur. “We are committed to increasing that trajectory and are looking at options for expanding and improving the overall guest experience."

Tags: Marc Falcone Ron Winchell Kentucky Downs horse racing ECL Gaming Historical Horse Racing Joan Winchell Kentucky Racing Acquisition LLC
KHRC approves new Kentucky Downs owners
by Jennie Rees

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Tuesday approved noted horseman and entrepreneur Ron Winchell and prominent gaming executive Marc Falcone as Kentucky Downs owners, with the sale expected to close around March 1.

#KyDownsGrad Hembree sets course record in GP stakes
by Jennie Rees

Three Diamonds Farm’s Hembree rallied from far back in the stretch to capture Saturday’s $100,000 El Prado Stakes at Gulfstream Park, setting a track record for 7 ½ furlongs on turf in the process. Hembree won an allowance race at Kentucky Downs' 2018 meet.

January fan newsletter is out!
by Jennie Rees

Our latest free fan newsletter is out. Get up to date with our upcoming promotions, events and our #KyDownsGrads (including Next Shares, headed for Saturday's $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf - which of course will be simulcast at Kentucky Downs)
Get newsletter straight into your inbox by emailing jennierees@kentuckydowns.com with request to stay on top of America's most unique race meet.

Tags: Kentucky Downs Pegasus World Cup Turf Pegasus World Cup Next Shares Super Bowl Doctor Mounty Michael Blowen Old Friends Old Friends at Kentucky Downs
Next Shares takes on $7M Pegasus Turf
by Jennie Rees

Next Shares heads into Saturday’s $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf off of a 3-for-4 win streak that started in Kentucky Downs’ Old Friends Stakes, America's richest grass race. We'll be simulcasting it at Kentucky Downs!

Next Shares takes G2 San Gabriel
by Jennie Rees

Kentucky Downs' Old Friends winner Next Shares got up in the final stride for a nose victory in Santa Anita's $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes. Having won three of his last four starts, the gelding now is headed to the $7 million Pegasus World Cup.

Tags: Kentucky Downs Old Friends Next Shares Richard Baltas Keeneland Santa Anita San Gabriel Stakes Geovanni Franco Joel Rosario
Henley's Joy wins Gulfstream's Pulpit Stakes
by Jennie Rees

“His last race in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf, he didn’t care for the soft going at all at Churchill Downs, so we figured we’d give him a confidence builder here,” trainer Mike Maker said after Kentucky Downs Juvenile winner Henley's Joy took Gulfstream Park's Pulpit Stakes.

Tags: Henley's Joy Bloom Racing Mike Maker Kentucky Downs Gulfstream Park Pulpit Stakes Ben Colebrook Life Mission Louder Than Bombs
Winchell, Falcone-led company to buy Kentucky Downs
by Kentucky Racing Acquisition release

Kentucky Racing Acquisition, LLC (“KRA”), a new company co-founded by Ron Winchell and Marc Falcone, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase all the assets of Kentucky Downs from parent company Kentucky Downs Partners, LLC, the investment group that has owned the race track since 2007.

Racing! Wrona named Ky Downs announcer
by Jennie Rees

Michael Wrona, one of the world’s preeminent race-callers and the voice of Santa Anita Park, has been named track announcer for Kentucky Downs' live race meet. The 52-year-old Australian-born Wrona has earned a reputation as one of the sport’s most colorful and entertaining announcers, weaving humor into precise calls.

Tags: Michael Wrona Kentucky Downs horse racing track announcers Santa Anita Park Ted Nicholson
#KyDownsGrads 1-2 in Keeneland's G1 Shadwell
by Jennie Rees

Old Friends winner Next Shares and Tourist Mile runner-up Great Wide Open made it a lucrative Kentucky Downs exacta ($984 for $1) in Saturday’s $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland. Next Shares went off at 23-1 odds when he defeated 81-1 shot Great Wide Open by 3 1/4 lengths.

September newsletter: Look back at America's Most Unique Race Meet
by Jennie Rees

We look back at Kentucky Downs' best race meet ever in our September newsletter.

Day 4 betting: $7.3 million
by Jennie Rees

Wagering from all sources on Kentucky Downs totaled $7,329,490 on Wednesday's 10-race card rescheduled from Sunday because of torrential rain. That's the highest for a weekday and third-highest all-time at the track.

Dueling Grounds Derby: Channel Cat nips Cullum Road
by Jennie Rees

Until running four horses this meet, trainer Todd Pletcher hadn’t run a horse at Kentucky Downs since 2014 and hadn’t won a race since 2010. “Is that all it’s been?” Pletcher joked when told he won his first race at the track in eight years. Not to be outdone by a former assistant trainer, Pletcher picked a fortuitous time to get a horse back in the winner's circle, sending out Channel Cat to victory in the 1 5/16-mile, $400,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs on Wednesday.

Dueling Grounds Oaks: Osare adds to Thomas' big year
by Jennie Rees

Jonathan Thomas made his training debut at Kentucky Downs a memorable one on Wednesday, taking the 1 5/16-mile, $300,000 Fifth Third Insurance Dueling Grounds Oaks with front-running Osare easily holding off the late-running Princess Warrior by 2 3/4 lengths. The triumph gave Eclipse Award-winning jockey Jose Ortiz his third win on the card to pull him into what became a three-way tie for the lead of the jockey standings with defending meet titlist Julien Leparoux and Tyler Gaffalione at six wins each heading into Thursday’s closing card.

Tags: Jonathan Thomas Jose Ortiz horse racing Kentucky Downs Fifth Third Insurance Dueling Grounds Oaks Catholic Boy Osare Bridlewood Farm John C. Malone Princess Warrior Brian Hernandez
KY Downs on track to topple betting mark
by Jennie Rees

With the track’s first $10 million day in history Saturday, Kentucky Downs is on pace to topple last year’s record all-sources handle of more than $30 million, which in turn smashed the 2016 mark. A total of $22,060,345 was wagered on Kentucky Downs through the first three days of the five-date 2018 meet.

Update: Carmouche out 4-6 months
by Jennie Rees

(Photo: Kendrick Carmouche on Chattel going onto the track for Saturday's Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint. Grace Clark/Kentucky Downs photo)

Jockey Kendrick Carmouche, who went down in a spill when his mount clipped heels in Saturday’s $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint, will be out a projected four to six months with a fractured right femur that was more severe than initially thought. Carmouche underwent surgery for more than four hours late Sunday afternoon at Nashville's TriStar Skyline Medical Center, according to Mindy Coleman, the Jockeys’ Guild attorney who was at Kentucky Downs Saturday and spent Saturday evening and Sunday at the hospital.

Bravo! Proforma takes Turf Sprint
by Jennie Rees and Dick Downey

In the fourth of five stakes races worth $2.7 million on Saturday's card, Proforma pulled the upset in the $500,000, Grade 3 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint Stakes Presented by Coca-Cola. Bet down to 7-1 off a 20-1 morning line, Proforma got by 5-2 favorite White Flag late in the stretch to get the win by a head. "All I can say that both horses laid it on the line," said winning jockey Joe Bravo.

Tags: horse racing Kentucky Downs Proforma Mike Stidham Joe Bravo
Van Dyke guides Next Shares to Old Friends victory
by Jennie Rees

Next Shares, a horse that loves Santa Anita, proved on Thursday that he also loves Kentucky Downs, winning the $250,000 Old Friends Stakes under Drayden Van Dyke by 1 3/4-lengths over Siem Riep. A total of $5,815,464.58 was wagered on the 10-race card, fourth-highest all time and the highest for a weekday. There was $5,402,255 bet on the first Thursday last year.

Today's media notes: Oscar heads Maker arsenal
by Jennie Rees

Mike Maker, Kentucky Downs’ all-time winningest trainer and the three-time defending meet titlist, is seeking to become the first trainer to win the Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup four times, let alone in consecutive years. And he’s not messing around. Maker entered five horses just in Saturday’s $750,000, Grade 3 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup that is the track’s signature race. Five horses might be the entire field in some stakes at some tracks. But in the case of the 1 1/2-mile Calumet Farm, 18 horses were entered with only 12 able to start.

Gary West: Ky Downs is unique, but winning isn't
by Gary West

You've no doubt heard, sensing an unmistakable pride in the pronouncement, that Kentucky Downs is unique, owing largely to its 1 5/16-mile turf course, which from the air must look like a giant pear. As uniqueness goes, that's impressive enough and guaranteed to send a flutter through the pastoral heart. But for horseplayers, here's another and perhaps more significant reason Kentucky Downs has become something unique in America's racing experience: If you had bet $2 to win on every favorite over the last four years, you would have made a 5.3-percent profit on your investment. And that's — well, that's simply extraordinary, unprecedented in recent memory, or any memory, for that matter. 

Tags: Kentucky Downs horse racing Gary West betting horses horse-racing takeout Horseplayers Association of North America
Old Friends attracts well-balanced overflow field
by jennie rees

Thursday’s featured $250,000 Old Friends Stakes at Kentucky Downs is for horses who haven’t won a stakes race in 2018. That doesn’t mean the horses in the overflow field of 15 don’t possess talent. The Old Friends, conducted at a mile and 70 yards, attracted an excellent field whose entries include a Grade 1 winner (Undrafted), a Grade 1-placed horse (Next Share), Grade 2 winners (Conquest Panthera, Dimension), Grade 3 winner (Cowboy Culture) and multiple stakes-winners (Master Merion).

$6.2M bet on opener 2nd highest ever at Ky Downs
by Jennie Rees

Kentucky Downs had its second-highest betting day in track history on Saturday’s opening card of the five-day meet offering among the highest average daily purses in the world, with a total of $6,205,873 bet on the 10-race card that featured four stakes

Bound for Nowhere takes Tourist Mile
by Jennie Rees

Bound for Nowhere had never been beyond six furlongs, but owner-trainer Wesley Ward was more than willing to take a shot. And now he’s bound for the bank after Bound For Nowhere and jockey Julio Garcia defeated Great Wide Open by a length in Saturday’s featured $681,400 Tourist Mile, presented by WinStar Farm, on opening day Kentucky Downs.

It's Post Time!
by Jennie Rees

It’s post time for the Fastest Five Days in Racing as Kentucky Downs kicks off America’s most unique race meet Saturday with a 10-race card featuring four stakes worth $1.8 million, including purse supplements for Kentucky-born and -sired horses. “The enthusiasm and buzz going into this meet is unprecedented in Kentucky Downs’ 26 seasons of conducting live racing,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs senior vice president and general manager.

Jockey7 wager returns
by Jennie Rees

The Jockey7 — the innovative wager that allows horseplayers to bet on individual jockeys and their mounts over each card’s last seven races — returns to Kentucky Downs after last year’s debut. The Jockey7 wager will be conducted over Races 4 through 10, with results based on a points system for top-four finishes. The bet will be a special wagering event listed as the Kentucky Downs Jockey7 with mutuel tellers and at self-service machines.

Tags: horse racing Jockey7 Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund Kentucky Downs C.J. Johnsen
Wesley Ward stretches out Bound for Nowhere
by Jennie Rees

Wesley Ward has become as much a part of Kentucky Downs as grass racing. You know he’s going to be well-represented at America’s most unique race meet. The question often is: where?

Tags: Wesley Ward Kentucky Downs Horse racing Brendan Walsh Julio Garcia Tommy Drury Bound for Nowhere Tourist Mile WinStar Farm
And we're off! 190 horses entered for opener
by Jennie Rees

To show how Kentucky Downs has evolved, a Grade 3 stakes at world-famous Saratoga was the back-up plan for Henley’s Joy, one of 11 two-year-olds entered Tuesday for Saturday’s $400,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile on opening day of America’s most unique race meet.

Kennedy could have 'big horse' in Jazzy Times
by Jennie Rees

Jazzy Times is the kind of break-through horse that Ty Kennedy has worked for throughout his young riding career. The gelding, claimed for $25,000 four races earlier by owner-trainer Wes Hawley, gave Kennedy the biggest victory to date in capturing Ellis Park’s $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint. Now the 24-year-old jockey is hoping that Jazzy Times tops that in the $500,000, Grade 3 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint on Sept. 8 at Kentucky Downs.

Tags: horse racing Ty Kennedy Declan Cannon Kentucky Downs Jazzy Times Wes Hawley Ellis Park
TVG's Scott Hazelton to be #LiveAtKyDowns Sept. 6, 8
by Jennie Rees

TVG, the popular cable racing network, will be broadcasting onsite for the first time from Kentucky Downs, with Scott Hazelton reporting from America’s most unique race meet on Sept. 6 and 8. The five-date all-grass meet that offers some of the largest purses in the world opens Sept. 1 and also runs Sept. 9 and 13. Hazelton will conduct pre- and post-race interviews and provide analysis, betting selections, featured wagering plays and segments designed to give viewers the feel and flavor of Kentucky Downs, which has been the top-ranked track the past three years by the Horseplayers Association of North America.

Tags: TVG Television Games Network Scott Hazelton Caton Bredar horse racing Kentucky Downs
Megan Devine joins analyst team
by Jennie Rees

Santa Anita’s Megan Devine is joining Kentucky Downs’ team of racing analysts for America’s most unique race meet, which runs Sept. 1, 6, 8, 9 and 13. Devine, an on-air analyst for Santa Anita who also works for TVG as a studio host and is Sky Racing World’s social-media manager, will join Kentucky Downs stalwarts Caton Bredar and Gary West in providing pre-race handicapping, analysis and paddock picks for the all-turf meet.

Kentucky Downs July newsletter
by Jennie Rees

Just under the gun to making it the July newsletter, here is your latest update for What's Up at Kentucky Downs!

Tags: Kentucky Downs horse racing Rick Albright Kentucky Downs Preview Day Ellis Park Grace Clark Kentucky Downs group sales Debbie Blair
Record Jackpot

Jackpot! Record $709,983 payout on penny machine; 'Life-changing money being won at Kentucky Downs'

Tags: Kentucky Downs Jackpot
Debbie Blair named group sales director
by Jennie Rees

Debbie Blair, known throughout the horse industry for her world-class event management experience, has joined the Kentucky Downs team as director of group sales. Blair will market Kentucky Downs’ reserved-seating areas to groups of at least 10 people, including the new Top of the Stretch Chalet, a casual, open-air venue devoted entirely to groups. The other reserved areas — the Turf Club Tent, Finish Line Pavilion and Director’s Room — also offer individual tickets, with groups receiving a discounted rate.

Kentucky Downs sponsoring fireworks Sunday, July 1
by Jennie Rees

Kentucky Downs stepped in as sponsor of the City of Franklin's fireworks display when a funding shortfall threatened to force cancelation of the popular free event, which will be Sunday, July 1 at America's most unique racecourse. “We pride ourselves on being a good civic partner, and our facility and property are ideal for fireworks and a celebration of our nation’s birthday,” said Amber Norris, Kentucky Downs’ director of marketing.

Tags: Kentucky Downs horse racing Independence Day City of Franklin Steve Thurmond Amber Norris fireworks racetracks Kentucky horse racing
Win trip to our 2018 race meet with #LiveAtKyDowns Post Time Contest!
by Jennie Rees

Contest participants post on Twitter and/or Facebook about why they want to go to Kentucky Downs for the first time or why (if they’ve been) they want to go back. General posts describing Kentucky Downs will also be considered. Must include hashtag #LiveAtKyDowns. Free with no limit on entries, though an entry blank must be completed for each post.

Kentucky Downs' horsemen transfer $500K to three tracks
by Jennie Rees
Tags: Kentucky Downs horse racing Kentucky HBPA Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association Keeneland Churchill Downs Ellis Park
Kentucky Downs: $10 million at 2018 meet
by Jennie Rees

Kentucky Downs will offer a record $10 million in purses and Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund supplements at its five-date meet Sept. 1-13, with all 13 existing stakes getting increases and the creation of the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint. The Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup and Tourist Mile had their purses raised to $750,000.

Kentucky Downs funds quartet of $100K Ellis stakes
by Jennie Rees

Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs are teaming again to boost the Kentucky racing circuit and keep horses and jobs in the state during the summer, with Kentucky Downs funding four new $100,000 turf stakes at Ellis on Aug. 5.

Grand Reopening this Friday, March 23
by Jennie Rees

FRANKLIN, Ky. — When Steve Thurmond helps Kentucky Downs celebrate its Grand Reopening this Friday, March 23, his motivation isn’t the t-shirt given out to the first 100 arrivals. He’ll be on hand to commemorate the 170 jobs that Kentucky Downs has created.

The Grand Reopening will feature other giveaways of merchandise, free play and cash spread throughout the festivities, which begin at 10 a.m. CT Friday and run until the facility closes for the night in Saturday’s wee hours. Nashville radio personalities do live remotes and two bands will perform. But for Thurmond, as executive director of the Franklin-Simpson County Chamber of Commerce, the special attractions afford a chance to publicly rejoice in what Kentucky Downs provides the community on a daily basis. Thurmond sees the most extensive renovation since the track opened in 1990 as a grand step in Kentucky Downs’ evolution as a destination attraction.

Hogy stretches out to mile in Canadian Turf
by Jennie Rees

Michael Hui’s Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint winner Hogy, a durable 9-year-old millionaire gelding, surged away from seven younger rivals through the stretch to capture the $150,000 Canadian Turf (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Tags: Kentucky Downs hogy michael hui mike maker irad ortiz horse racing Gulfstream Park
Hogy going strong at 9
by Jennie Rees

You never want to get too far ahead of yourself when plotting out a schedule for a 9-year-old horse. But owner Michael Hui and trainer Mike Maker, who claimed the gelding for $80,000 last summer, do have one spot firmly penciled in for Hogy: Kentucky Downs’ 2018 meet. Yet to be determined is which race.

Feb. newsletter & 3/23 Grand Reopening
by Jennie Rees

Our renovation project is finally over . We're ready to celebrate and we want you to join us in the party! Read all about our Grand Reopening on Friday, March 23 in our February newsletter. Plus get updates on our #KyDownsgrads - horses that ran at our meet.

Snapper Sinclair squarely on Derby trail
by Jennie Rees

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photo that’s less and not been a dead-heat,” Jeff Bloom, who heads the partnership that campaigns Snapper Sinclair, said of the narrow defeat in the Fair Grounds' Grade 2, $400,000 Risen Star Stakes. “What was so tough is he was in front, in front, in front — missed it — in front, in front. It was like the only time the other horse got the head bob.

Could Daddys Lil Darling run in Kentucky Turf Cup?
by Jennie Rees

Record-setting Dueling Grounds Oaks winner Daddys Lil Darling finally got her Grade 1, but trainer Kenny McPeek doesn't discount that she'll back back at Kentucky Downs -- perhaps against males.

#KyDownsGrad Dimension wins Buddy D at 40-1
by Jennie Rees

'I know he’s turning 10. But if you watch this horse train every morning, he loves it. If you look back through his form, he’s only run five or six times every year' -- owner-trainer Conor Murphy of Dimension, first horse he bought after winning steeplechase parlay wager for $1.5 million

Tags: Kentucky Downs Fair Grounds race course Dimension horse Conor Murphy James Graham Buddy Diliberto Sir Dudley Digges Skylight training center
Special Ops wins Claiming Crown
by Jennie Rees

Skychai's Special Ops pulls off Kentucky Downs-Claiming Crown Emerald parlay

Ladies Turf now Grade 3 stakes
by Jennie Rees

'This is the latest step in our evolution into an industry leader,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ senior vice president and general manager. “Kentucky Downs will be well-positioned as a launching pad to the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs next fall.'

Tags: Kentucky Downs graded stakes horse racing Kentucky Downs' Ladies Sprint Christophe Clement Brian Hernandez Jr. Claiborne Farm Adele Dilschneider Ted Nicholson Kentucky horse racing American Graded Stakes Committee Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
Snapper Sinclair: Waiting game for Juvenile Turf
by Jennie Rees

"Snapper was so impressive breaking his maiden at Saratoga, so to come to that race at Kentucky Downs and perform as well as he did with the added distance, and to dominate the way he did, solidified what we always felt: That this is a very talented horse" -- owner Jeff Bloom

Tags: Kentucky Downs Steve Asmussen Ricardo Santana Jr. Breeders' Cup Del Mar racetrack Saratoga
Bullards Alley: Another G1 for Kentucky Downs!
by Jennie Rees

"He tries every time, gives 100 percent. This was off the radar. I mean, I knew he’d try, run hard. I didn’t know if that meant third, fifth. This is the toughest field he’s ever run against. They just told me that this is the largest margin in the history of the race, and Secretariat ran in this race."

Tags: Kentucky Downs Tim Glyshaw Indiana University Evansville Harrison High School Bullards Bay Pattison Canadian International Eurico Da Silva Woodbine Entertainment Oscar Nominated Wayne Spalding Faron McCubbins
Morticia spooky good in Grade 3 Buffalo Trace
by Keeneland press release

Morticia is the third Keeneland graded-stakes winner this meet who made her prior start at Kentucky Downs, joining Heavenly Love (Grade 1 Alcibiades) and Zipessa (Grade 1 First Lady).

Miss Temple City goes for 3rd G1 vs boys at Keeneland
by Jennie Rees

'At this stage of her career, I don’t think we’re really going around to look for the easier spot. I think we’ve kind of got her back on track, and we’re looking to take on all challengers' -- trainer Graham Motion on Miss Temple City

Tags: Miss Temple City Graham Motion Breeders' Cup Kentucky Downs Keeneland Shadwell Turf Mile Santa anita Del Mar Kevin Plank Sagamore Farm Under Armour Aaron Jutte Allen Rosenblum Edgar Prado Maker's 46 Maker's 46 Mile Shadwell
Heavenly Love caps huge day at Keeneland for Ky Downs grads
by Jennie Rees

“It just goes to show the caliber of horse that runs at Kentucky Downs. And more importantly, the horses come back well…. I don’t think it mattered what she ran on." -- David Carroll, assistant trainer to Mark Casse

Tags: Kentucky Downs Julien Leparoux Mark Casse David Carroll Breeders' Cup Keeneland Debby Oxley John Oxley Heavenly Love
Kentucky Downs provides historical horse racing blueprint
by jennie rees

"Kentucky Downs runs only five days and it’s an incredible amount of money. But their foresight by taking some of that income to make the circuit stronger I think has resulted in the rejuvenation of the Kentucky racing circuit.” - breeder Craig Bandoroff of Denali Stud

Tags: Kentucky Downs Kentucky horse racing Kentucky Equine Education Project Kentucky horse industry Ellis Park Churchill Downs Keeneland
Kentucky Downs pays out record $8.6 million in purses
by Jennie Rees

"We are proud to be the Kentucky trailblazer in using historical horse racing to become a national leader and to help improve the commonwealth’s entire racing circuit," -- Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs senior vice president and general manager

Wilkes can cap big meet with Sonic Boom
by Jennie Rees

“I think the mile and a quarter was just a little too far for him,” trainer Ian Wilkes says of Franklin-Simpson favorite Sonic Boom. “I think he’s going to be a really good miler next year. He’s going to be a nice horse.”

Big Bend gives Van Dyke big 23rd birthday
by Jennie Rees

"They gave it to us, his ears went up and that basically was the whole trip. I kind of coaxed him along, let him breathe.... Once I got over that hill and started going down, I got to ask him and he really kicked in," -- Drayden Van Dyke

Tags: Kentucky Downs horse racing dueling grounds dueling grounds derby big bend Tom Proctor Drayden Van Dyke Ted Nicholson Kentucky horse racing turf racing
Daddys Lil Darling explodes in Dueling Grounds Oaks
by Jennie Rees

“If I had any doubts about her ability going forth, this dispelled all of them. She won with authority today, and that was very exciting to see.” -- Nancy Polk, owner/breeder of Daddys Lil Darling

Joe Kristufek's Kentucky Downs picks for Sunday
by Joe Kristufek

Who does Joe like in Sunday's Dueling Grounds Oaks and Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Derby? Find out here!

Joe Kristufek analyzes Saturday's Kentucky Turf Cup card
by Joe Kristufek

Joe's picks in the $600,000 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup: #1 Postulation, #3 Muqtaser, #7 Enterprising, #4 Oscar Nominated

Miss Temple City too much class in KD Turf Ladies
by Jim Mulvihill

“I’m always nervous when I run her,” he said. “Obviously I’m very attached to her and just want to see her run well. You get much more nervous about these deals when you’re a favorite. There’s a lot more riding on it, and I’m just glad it worked out.”

Oh baby! Landeros hoping for second Giant Payday
by Jennie

"You can’t just see the baby born and just leave," jockey Chris Landeros said of missing racing when his first child, son Beckham, was born four weeks early. "This is a once a lifetime deal, and I took full advantage and got to enjoy it… That’s why they say it’s life-changing. Because your priorities change."

Oscar Nominated gives Maker 3rd Turf Cup on record-shattering day
by Jennie Rees

“He’s never had a bad day in his life,” said Maker, who now has won eight stakes here over the past two years, all but Sir Dudley Digges having been acquired through the claiming ranks. “Unfortunately it’s taken this long this year to get his first victory.”

Muqtaser can pad McLaughlin's Kentucky Downs stats
by Jennie Rees

Native Kentuckian Kiaran McLaughlin has run only three horses before at Kentucky Downs. But one of those was a victory in the 1999 running of the Kentucky Turf Cup with Shadwell Stables' Fahris.

Postulation right at home at Kentucky Downs
by Jennie Rees

"If a horse seems like he wants to go hop logs in the woods, if it seems like it’s going to help his mind, he’ll go hop logs in the woods."

Tags: Postulation Edward Graham Eddie Graham Wendi Graham Arlington Park Kentucky Downs turf racing Hardest Core Arlington Million
Glyshaw hoping Kentucky Downs up Bullard's alley
by Jennie Rees

"I think he knows he runs in big races. He’ll do everything he can. Fortunately and unfortunately, he’s running against some of the top long-distance runners in the United States," Tim Glyshaw, Bullard's Alley trainer

Tags: Bullard's Alley Kentucky Downs Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup Kentucky Turf Cup Tim Glyshaw Calumet Farm horse racing turf racing Jose Ortiz Julien Leparoux Marcelino Pedroza Jon Court Over Thinking Downton Kitten' Ken and Sarah Ramsey Kitten's Joy
Sir Dudley Digges wins Old Friends
by Jennie Rees

"I didn’t come in here with many high expectations. I just wanted to come in here and get a good experience, learn as much as I could. But you can’t knock what’s happening," - Tyler Gaffalione on winning two stakes in two days the first time riding at Kentucky Downs

Jockey7: innovation at 'fabulously lucrative boutique season'
by Gary West

'The wager just might appeal to casual bettors, to the folks who follow the sport intermittently and maybe go out to the racetrack rarely, but have seen enough and bet enough to know which jockeys they like.'

Gary West analyzes Wednesday's stakes quartet
by Gary West

Youngsters are in the spotlight Wednesday, and what’s arguably the day’s most compelling race, the $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Showcase Juvenile, has attracted a full field of 2-year-olds that bulges with potential.

Miss Temple City to run in Ladies Turf
by Jennie Rees

Miss Temple City, who twice beat the boys to win Grade 1 races last year at Keeneland, is using the Kentucky Downs race as a means to get back to the Lexington track.

Van Berg's big summer could continue in Fasig-Tipton Juvenile
by Jennie Rees

Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg is running Ellis Park Juvenile runner-up Northern Trail and Make Noise in Kentucky Downs' $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Juvenile.

Tags: Jack Van Berg horse racing Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Downs Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Alysheba Make Noise Kay Stillman Northern Trail Jerry Caroom Kentucky Derby Breeders' Cup