Edited press release
Kentucky Downs is gearing up to host its live race season this September. The southern Kentucky track’s fall meet will include six days of turf contests from Sept. 13-23.
Racing will take place on Saturdays, with a post time of 1 p.m., and Mondays and Tuesdays starting at 1:30 p.m.
Kentucky Downs’ opening day, Sept. 13, will kick off with the $500,000 Kentucky Cup Turf Festival. The seven-race card will include four stakes and is highlighted by the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT). The day will also mark the return of Steeplechase racing to Kentucky Downs, with two jump races, including the $50,000 Belle Meade Plantation Stakes.
Fans will be treated to a festival atmosphere on opening day. There will be live music, an infield Jumbotron showing the races, a favorite hat contest for both men and women, games and activities for children, and festival foods and beverages.
There will also be a special party zone exclusive and free to Western Kentucky University students. After each of the seven races Sept. 13, a WKU student's name will be drawn for a $1,000 scholarship. Students should register at the track, and they must be present to win.
WKU students are encouraged to bring chairs, tents, and blankets. As usual, racetrack admission and parking are free.
"You don't want to miss our opening day and the Kentucky Cup Turf Festival this year,” said Corey Johnsen, president of Kentucky Downs. “There's something for everyone. We are pulling out all the stops to make sure it is exciting and memorable for adults and children."
Other special events during the race meet will be a national handicapping contest Sept. 20. Limited to the first 200 entries ($150 to enter), contestants will play for $10,000 in cash prize money, plus a chance to advance to the national finals in Las Vegas. See details and rules at www.KentuckyDowns.com. A wiener dog race and a new Jack Russell Terrier race will also take place that day. Both exhibition races are non-betting.
Kentucky Downs officials noted that during the off season, a considerable amount of time and money was spent on reconditioning the turf course and making improvements throughout the facility.
Since 2007, a major renovation has been completed in the Colonial clubhouse, which includes the addition of the new Winning Colors Restaurant and Gallery, the introduction of full bar service, and the installation of more than 50 flat screen TV's in the new Longshots Sports Bar.
"It's an all new Kentucky Downs, everything from the live racing experience to our new food and bar service,” said Jon Goodman, general manager of Kentucky Downs. “If you have not been here in a while, the upcoming live race season is the perfect time to come out and see what a fun and value oriented entertainment option Kentucky Downs is."