Kentucky Downs

2024 Kentucky Race Dates Set

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) on Tuesday approved a Thoroughbred racing calendar for 2024 that largely mirrors the template that has been in place for the past three seasons. The board's unanimous approval included a conditional "optional dates" placeholder for Ellis Park's July and August calendar that has to be solidified into a three-dates-per-week commitment before the end of this year. The gaming company Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), which owns Ellis, Churchill Downs Racetrack, and Turfway Park, had requested additional time to figure out if swapping Fridays for Mondays...

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Nicolai Hoping Saratoga Sale Topper Just the Start of October Success

Richard Nicolai, who sold the record-setting sale topper at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Fall Mixed Sale Tuesday, hopes the month ends on another high note in the winner's circle at Keeneland where Secret Money (Good Samaritan) goes postward in the Oct. 27 GIII Valley View S.. Nicolai knew he was sending a good horse through the ring when the weanling son of Good Magic was offered at Fasig-Tipton Tuesday, but the breeder admitted he was surprised when the colt brought a sale-record $230,000 from C F Farm. "I thought he would...

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Spooky Channel Retired to Old Friends

Popular 8-year-old gelding Spooky Channel (English Channel--Spooky Kitten, by Kitten's Joy) has been retired from racing and will be heading to Old Friends Farm, according to a post on X by trainer Jason Barkley. The four-time graded winner posted a career record of 31-13-6-1 and earnings of $1,380,142. Bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm, the $10,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall yearling concluded his career for owner NBS Stable and Barkley with a runner-up finish in the GII FanDuel Kentucky Turf Cup S. at Kentucky Downs Sept. 9. Good as time as...

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Sikura: No Simple Solutions for a Fractured Sport

At a time that so plainly demands leadership, where better to come than the desk of John Sikura? A man of notably independent outlook, the owner of Hill 'n' Dale can be relied upon for a perspective that combines candor and detachment with flair and imagination. And those are all assets that appear to be in short supply right now. For while our community's emotional response to the traumas at Saratoga this summer was one of shared horror and grief, the polarization of opinion since has been emotive. Much as...

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Wagering Up 4.3% at Kentucky Downs

Edited Press Release The key indicators to measure the success of a race meet were either up or maintained a lofty level at the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs, which came to a close Wednesday. Purses paid out to horse owners were a record for the 12th straight year. Money wagered was another record, increasing 4.3%. Field sizes remained among the highest in the country with an average of 10.42 starters per race. "Kentucky Downs' ownership led by Ron Winchell and Marc Falcone continually pushes us to present racing in...

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Gaffalione, Walsh And Ramsey Take Home Kentucky Downs Titles As Meet Closes

Edited Press Release Tyler Gaffalione capped off his third Kentucky Downs riding title in style, winning three races on Wednesday's closing-day card to finish with 12 victories for the FanDuel Meet, five more than 2021 riding champion and second-finisher Joel Rosario. Brendan Walsh earned his second training title, and first outright, at the track with eight wins, three more than Kentucky Downs' all-time win leader Mike Maker, who had a meet-high 10 seconds and nine thirds. Ken Ramsey, the winningest owner in Kentucky Downs history as well as Kentucky, won...

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Classic Empire Filly Delivers Untapable Upset

Crown Imperial (f, 2, Classic Empire--Mi Fiori, by Congrats), beaten just a nose by the streaking Amidst Waves (Midshipman) in Saratoga's Bolton Landing S. Aug. 20, delivered a 13-1 upset in Wednesday's $500,000 Pepsi Untapable S. at Kentucky Downs. She was outsprinted in eighth through scorching early fractions of :20.79 and :44.32, and, after diving toward an inviting opening toward the inside beneath Ricardo Santana, Jr. in the stretch, came alive to get the money by 1 1/4 lengths. Copper Em (Copper Bullet) was second; Buttercream Babe (Twirling Candy) was...

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Divisidero Gelding Upsets Juvenile Sprint

Vote No (g, 2, Divisidero--Sistas Ready, by More Than Ready) became the first stakes winner for his freshman sire (by Kitten's Joy) with a 12-1 upset in Wednesday's $500,000 Pepsi Juvenile Sprint S. at Kentucky Downs. He raced in a midpack fifth through an opening quarter in :21.79, set his sights on the top two in the stretch and came rolling over the top to reel in favored Hedwig (Maclean's Music) by 3/4 of a length. Please Advise (Palace Malice) was third. Vote No became the first winner for Divisidero with...

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Wednesday Insights: Maidens Tackle Kentucky Downs On Closing Day

2nd-KD, $150K, Msw, 2yo, 1mT, 2:02 p.m. TIRELESS (Not This Time), an $875,000 Keeneland September yearling, makes the races for Repole Stables and St. Elias Stables under the guidance of trainer Todd Pletcher. Third dam Tizso, herself a full-sister to Horse of the Year Tiznow, is also responsible for GISW and sire Paynter (Awesome Again). Lined up just to that one's outside, American Decision (American Pharoah) is a son of champion female sprinter Informed Decision racing for Augustin Stable and trainer Jonathan Thomas. TJCIS PPS 5th-KD, $150K, Msw, 2yo, f,...

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Mendelssohn Filly on Top at Kentucky Downs

Austere, never far from the lead, powered home to an easy three-length victory in the Global Tote Juvenile Fillies S. at Kentucky Downs Sunday. The dark bay filly settled in third and was within striking distance racing up the hill. Waiting for racing room nearing the stretch, she tipped out three wide at the top of the lane and reeled in pacesetting Bella Haze with a furlong to run before drawing clear to the wire. Bella Haze held on to second as Latte Lizzie and Kodiac Wintergreen (Ire) (Kodiac {GB})...

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Constitution Maiden Wins Juvenile Mile at Kentucky Downs

KENTUCKY DOWNS JUVENILE MILE S., $499,286, Kentucky Downs, 9-10, 2yo, 1mT, 1:38.17, fm. 1--ASPENITE, 118, c, 2, by Constitution 1st Dam: Aspening, by Candy Ride (Arg) 2nd Dam: Motokiks, by Storm Cat 3rd Dam: Matoki, by Hail to Reason ($375,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC; B-Glen Hill Farm (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Cristian A. Torres. $294,150. Lifetime Record: 3-1-1-0, $350,450. 2--Tough Little Nut, 118, c, 2, Palace Malice--Celestial Kitten, by Kitten's Joy. ($20,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). 1ST BLACK TYPE. O-Town and Country Racing, LLC; B-Austin...

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Bay Storm Holds Off Wakanaka In Ladies Turf Sprint

This year, she was on the winning side of the photo. After coming up just a nose short to MG1SW Campanelle (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) in this race just last year, Bay Storm (Kantharos) parlayed a victory in Ellis Park's KY Downs Preview Mint Ladies Turf Sprint S. into a win in the real thing as she held off a closing Wakanaka (Ire) (Power {GB}) right on the wire. After making her first two starts of 2023 at Santa Anita, the 5-year-old came east and checked in a valiant second to...

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