News

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
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.

#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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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.

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.

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.

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
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