Thoroughbred racing returns to Northern Kentucky Nov. 29 with the opening of Turfway Park's 37th holiday meet.
Stakes racing returns as well, ushered in by the 27th running of the $50,000 Holiday Inaugural on Dec. 1. The Holiday Inaugural, at six furlongs for fillies and mares, drew 37 nominations, including defending winner Fortune Play, trained by John Booker; three-time Turfway stakes winner Lotta Lovin, trained by Mike Maker; trainer Gary Simms' grade III winner Flashy Lassie; and trainer Kellyn Gorder's stakes winners Devious Intent and Culotte. Entries will be drawn Nov. 29.
The Dec. 15 Prairie Bayou Stakes and the Dec. 29 Holiday Cheer Stakes complete the stakes schedule. Each carries a $50,000 purse.
"We always look forward to the holiday meet," said Chip Bach, Turfway's director of operations. "We have a solid history of strong average field size and good stakes racing during this meet, and we cater a lot of holiday parties for local businesses and groups."
Turfway will present live racing Thursday through Sunday each week in December, going to post at 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and 1:10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with exceptions for the track's customary post-Christmas schedule. In keeping with tradition, Turfway will present daytime racing the full week after Christmas, including Dec. 26, Dec. 31, and Jan. 1. Post time that week is 1:10 p.m. except on New Year's Eve, when racing begins at 3 p.m.
The holiday meet runs through Dec. 31 and is followed by the winter/spring meet, which ends March 30.
On Dec. 2, Turfway will host its traditional qualifier for the 14th annual DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. Working with a live bankroll, horseplayers will vie for three seats in the $1.5 million national tournament as well as cash prizes. The qualifier entry fee is $150, which includes the bankroll. Multiple entries are allowed. Complete details
The "50 Shades of Skinnygirl Party" makes its first appearance on the holiday schedule. The $10 ticket to the ladies-only party on Dec. 14 offers light appetizers, raffle tickets, and a cash bar featuring the hot Skinnygirl wines, vodkas, and cocktails served by equally hot male bartenders. Pure Romance, Miche handbags, Fabulous Furs, and jewelry, fitness, make-up and spa vendors add shopping and prizes. The party runs 7 to 11 p.m.
Another event making its first—and presumably last—appearance is the "Shock Top End of the World VIP Party" on Dec. 21. Tickets are required but are free and will be given away on days to be announced at Brothers Bar & Grill in Newport, Turfway Bar & Grill in Florence, Edgewood Tavern, and Turfway Park. The event plays off the Mayan prediction that the world will end Dec. 21.