A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Churchill Downs Incorporated to acquire Turfway Park, will build $150m state-of-the-art facility onsite

*This story has been updated Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI” or “the Company”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced today that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary NKYRG, LLC (“NKYRG”), it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky from Jack Ohio LLC, an affiliate of JACK Entertainment LLC (“JACK”) and Hard Rock International for total consideration of $46...

JACK fires back, calls Churchill Downs’ plan to build race track in NKY an attack on Turfway Park

KyForward staff JACK Entertainment has responded to the announcement by Churchill Downs Thursday that it plans to build a $200 million race track in Northern Kentucky. Churchill Downs also announced that it has requested the dates traditionally allotted to Turfway Park on the 2020 Thoroughbred racing schedule from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), beginning in January of next year. The...

Churchill Downs applies to bring new $200M Latonia Racing & Gaming thoroughbred facility to NKY

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor Churchill Downs has announced plans to build a new $200 million Latonia Racing and Gaming Facility in Northern Kentucky. The historic twin spires of Churchill Downs . Churchill Downs has announced plans to build a new $200 million Latonia Racing and Gaming Facility in Northern Kentucky and has requested racing dates traditionally reserved for Turfway Park in...

Vekoma punches KY Derby ticket with Blue Grass win, Out for a spin pulls off shocker in the Ashland

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor Never before had Keeneland seen such a large crowd on the opening Saturday of a meet. Vekoma draws off from the field to an impressive 3 1/2 length win in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Saturday, stamping his ticket to the Kentucky Derby (photos by Mark Hansel). The combination of perfect weather, spots in the starting gate of the Kentucky...

JACK Entertainment to sell Turfway Park and JACK Cincinnati Casino to Hard Rock, VICI for $780M

From Northern Kentucky Tribune Following a strategic assessment of its business portfolio, JACK Entertainment LLC (“JACK Entertainment”) today announced that it has entered into multiple contracts to sell JACK Cincinnati Casino and Turfway Park to Hard Rock International and VICI Properties for $780 million, pending regulatory approval. VICI will simultaneously enter into a favorable triple-net...

Somelikeithotbrown takes Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway; Naughty Joker captures Bourbonette

Somelikeithotbrown set a brisk pace and then turned the corner into a 20 mph headwind but had plenty left to win the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park Saturday, pocketing 20 points toward a spot in the Kentucky Derby gate in the process. Final time for the 1 1/8-mile race was 1:52.05. Somelikeithotbrown is well ahead of the field nearing the wire in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park...

Post positions drawn, line set for Saturday’s Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway, KY Derby points up for grabs

Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable’s Somelikeithotbrown has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite among a field of 11 entered for Saturday’s $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park. Post positions for the race were drawn Wednesday at Jeff Ruby Steakhouse in downtown Cincinnati. National racing analyst and longtime oddsmaker Mike Battaglia set the morning line. Somelikeithotbrown,...

Somelikeithotbrown tops field of 11 prospects for Saturday’s 48th running of Jeff Ruby Steaks

The gate for Saturday’s 48th running of the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park is approaching full, with 11 so far expected to enter. The 1 1/8 mile race for 3-year-olds offers 34 points toward the Kentucky Derby: 20 to the winner, eight to the runner-up, four for third place and two for fourth place. Somelikeithotbrown, winner of the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes (listed) Feb. 15, is...

Turfway Park’s 48th running of Jeff Ruby Steaks draws 151 nominations for event on March 9

The 48th running of the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park has drawn 151 nominations, Turfway Park racing secretary Tyler Picklesimer announced Tuesday. The 1 1/8 mile race for 3-year-olds is scheduled for March 9 and offers 34 points toward the Kentucky Derby: 20 to the winner, eight to the runner-up, four for third place and two for fourth place. “Scheduling the race a week or two earlier...

Tickets for 48th running of Turfway Park’s Jeff Ruby Steaks go on sale online to general public Thursday

Tickets for the 48th running of the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park, a designated points race for the legendary Kentucky Derby, will be released online to the general public on Thursday. Links to the ticketing site are found at www.turfway.com. Scheduled for March 9, the Jeff Ruby Steaks is the centerpiece of a 12-race day that includes five undercard stakes races. First post is 1:10 p.m. The day’s...

Turfway Park set to open 43rd holiday meet on November 28; racing scheduled for New Year’s Eve

Kentucky’s year-round Thoroughbred racing circuit makes its annual stop at Turfway Park (“Turfway”) beginning Wednesday, Nov. 28, the start of the Northern Kentucky track’s 43rd holiday meet. Turfway will offer eight races nightly, Wednesday through Saturday, with first post at 6:10 p.m. ET. Racing is also scheduled for New Year’s Eve, a Monday, with post time at 1:10 p.m. Admission and...

Turfway Park to feature free admission, concert during Saturday’s Kentucky Derby simulacast

Northern Kentucky’s Turfway Park racetrack will host its annual Kentucky Derby simulcast and Party in the Paddock Saturday, May 5, including a free concert by Naked Karate Girls. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and wagering windows open at 10 a.m., 30 minutes before the first race from Churchill Downs. The Party in the Paddock begins at 1 p.m. and continues to 8 p.m., with Naked Karate Girls taking the...

Clydesdales, dachsunds visit NKy’s Turfway Park as meet wraps with fan appreciation night March 31

Big horses and small dogs will join Thoroughbred racehorses at Turfway Park Saturday, March 31, as the Northern Kentucky track closes its winter/spring meet with Fan Appreciation Night. Weather permitting, a full eight-horse hitch of Budweiser Clydesdales and their famous wagon will parade on Turfway’s Polytrack, giving fans an up-close look at the beloved icons. One of the massive draft breeds,...

Overflow field expected to enter Wednesday draw for Turfway Park’s 47th running of the Jeff Ruby Steaks

An overflow field is expected to enter the 47th running of the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3), Turfway Park’s Kentucky Derby points race that runs this Saturday, March 17. Entries will be drawn Wednesday, March 14. Heading the list of probables is Archaggelos, who won the Grey Stakes (G3) at Woodbine in impressively professional fashion in just his third career start. Racing about seven lengths off the leader...

Jockey Perry Ouzts, 63, rides his 50,000th race, hustling his mount to second place at Turfway Park

Ageless jockey Perry Ouzts rode the 50,000th race of his long career Saturday when he hustled Need the Wall out of the gate in the third race at Turfway Park.   Now 63 years old, Ouzts currently ranks ninth by wins among all jockeys in the history of North American racing with 6,881. He also has 6,509 seconds and 6,181 thirds and has accumulated purse earnings of nearly $44.5 million since he was...

Turfway Park to celebrate history during ‘Latonia Days’ Feb. 23-24 with special events and stakes

Turfway Park will celebrate its long and colorful history Feb. 23 and 24 with Latonia Days, two days of storytelling, special guests, memorabilia displays, films and photos. The event supports the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, which assists riders who sustain catastrophic on-track injuries. “We’re proud of our history and our place in Kentucky’s racing heritage,” said Turfway Park general...

Georgetown trainer Kelsey Danner earns first career win with Majestic Bold Saturday at Turfway Park

Trainer Kelsey Danner, 32, scored her first career training win Saturday, Jan. 13, when 3-year-old filly Majestic Bold broke her maiden in the first race at Turfway Park. The milestone win came with Danner’s ninth starter. The trainer also counts one second-place finish. A self-described “backside rat,” Danner is the daughter of trainer Mark Danner. She took out her first industry license at...

Trainer Mike Maker gets career win 2,000 at Turfway Park Thursday with a horse owned by the Ramseys

Trainer Mike Maker scored his 2,000th career victory Thursday, as Tomahawk Kitten scored his first, cruising home a 4 1/4-length winner in the first race at Turfway Park. Maker (file photo) Fittingly, Tomahawk Kitten was bred and is owned by Maker’s longtime clients Ken and Sarah Ramsey. The 2-year-old colt sat off the pace down the backstretch of the one-mile maiden claiming race, swept five wide...

Track photographer Pat Lang succumbs to cancer; captured many of horse racing’s historic moments

By John Engelhardt Special to the KyForward Surrounded by his family and longtime friend John Engelhardt, Patrick Lang died peacefully on a late Nov. 17. After more than 30 years of making photos from the finish line, track photographer Pat Lang had hung up his camera three years ago. Pat Lang as many horse racing fans remember him; with his camera, headed toward the finish line at Turfway Park (Provided...

Turfway Park announces changes to stakes schedule; Spiral Stakes purse cut, KY Cup Classic returns

Turfway Park will open its 59th season Nov. 29 with upgrades to its most important day of racing as well as modifications to its stakes schedule, General Manager Daniel “Chip” Bach announced today. Chip Bach One significant change is the resurrection of the Kentucky Cup Classic, to be run on the Spiral Stakes (G3) undercard. Last run in 2011 as a Grade 2 race, the Kentucky Cup Classic trophy has...