Turfway Off-Season Training Plan Progresses

Horsemen's representatives said hundreds of commitments have been made.

The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said Jan. 22 that efforts to keep Turfway Park open as a training center when live racing isn't held are progressing.

The proposal was made public in December 2012.

The plan primarily stems from the status of River Downs, located about 20 minutes from Turfway in neighboring Ohio. Because of its conversion into a racetrack casino, there will be no live meet or training at River Downs this year.

The meet is expected to move to Beulah Park near Columbus, but nothing has been finalized.

"We have sent out several hundred brochures throughout the country," said trainer David England, a member of the Kentucky HBPA board of directors. "I have been on the phone day and night, and we have hundreds of commitments."

England said Churchill Downs and Indiana Downs are considering providing free shuttle service from Turfway should it serve as a training center in the spring and summer months.

Turfway general manager Chip Bach earlier said the stabling plan hinges on having a core number of horses to make it financially viable.