The sale of 85% of the Franklin, Ky.-based racetrack was completed in early August. Former owners Churchill Downs, Kelley Farms and Turfway Park each retain 5%.
“We’re looking forward to our inaugural meeting as majority owners of Kentucky Downs,” said Johnsen. “Our team has been working hard in preparation for the upcoming meet and is dedicated to presenting an entertaining and exciting racing program coupled with outstanding customer service.
“We’re proud to be a part of the Kentucky racing industry and are excited to be a part of the continuing development of this unique facility.”
America’s only European-style race course, Kentucky Downs’ mini-meet features only turf racing for its two-week meet, with live cards on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. On Saturdays, the live racing is intermingled with Turfway Park’s card, which begins at 12:10 p.m. CST. Post time for Kentucky Downs racing is 1:45 p.m.
The meet is highlighted by the Kentucky Cup Turf Festival Sept. 22, which offers four stakes races and $500,000 in purses. The feature race is the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and up at a mile-and-a-half.
Among the changes at Kentucky Downs are free parking and clubhouse admission, and the new Longshots Sports Bar. The renovated and renamed restaurant, Winning Colors, is also an upgrade. On Saturdays, the new family area will feature activities for children, as well as free cotton candy and snow cones. Finally, a redesigned Web site, kentuckydowns.com, offers the latest track information and racing news, plus handicapping tips and picks.
Opening day will offer six live races and will feature the $45,000 Pleasant Temper Stakes for 3-year-olds. Doors open at 11:10 a.m.