Officials to Meet on Kentucky Quarter Horse Racing

By Kathleen Adams

Representatives of the Kentucky Quarter Horse Racing Association plan to meet with Turfway Park president Bob Elliston May 13 to discuss the possibility of holding live Quarter Horse races at the track.

It has been more than 10 years since Quarter Horse racing was held in the Bluegrass state, but earlier this spring, the Kentucky General Assembly voted to amend state statutes to include Quarter Horse racing in sections related to intertrack wagering and simulcasting.

Now, supporters of the sport are trying to find a racetrack willing to host Quarter Horse events.

"We don't have any specific dates in mind," KQHRA president Dwaine Cissell said. "But we're thinking about sometime during the fall meet."

At a Kentucky Racing Commission meeting held last October, Elliston said Turfway is open to the idea of adding Quarter Horses to its race card. However, in a recent telephone interview, Elliston insisted there is no definitive plan in place to bring Quarter Horses to the Northern Kentucky track.

"We've got to see if logistically we can do it," Elliston said. "Stabling is an issue. We are a Thoroughbred track, and we have limited stall space."

Another stumbling block is money. Elliston said no purse money currently exists for Quarter Horse racing in the state. "We have to generate purse money, and we're all in agreement that Thoroughbred money won't be used to fund Quarter Horses," he said.

Figuring out how to best administer newly enacted legislation that promises to return Quarter Horse racing to Kentucky may take a while, but it's not an impossible task.

"We're just beginning that process," Elliston said. "There are a lot of people interested racing Quarter Horses, and I'm willing to sit down and chat with them and find out how this would all work."