News

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.”

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.

RUNHAPPY Turf Sprint is Totally Boss
by Alicia Hughes

The one time underachieving Totally Boss is now a graded stakes winner and Breeders’ Cup contender after running off to a 1 ¼-length victory over Smart Remark in the Grade 3, $700,000 RUNHAPPY Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs on Saturday. The six-furlong Turf Sprint was a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) and one of five stakes races – four of which were graded – on the Kentucky Downs lineup.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
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
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.