Turfway MSW Purses Could Nearly Double to $60,000

Turfway Park executives are projecting purses for maiden special weight (MSW) races to nearly double to about $60,000 for the upcoming dual meets that will be run December through March. Last season, Turfway paid out just $32,000 for MSW races while conducting meets heavily compromised by both the COVID-19 pandemic and a massive grandstand rebuild that kept the northern Kentucky oval closed to on-track spectators. Turfway's 2021-22 MSW purse projection was disclosed Tuesday during a Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory board meeting by Tyler Picklesimer, the track's director of...

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Upcoming Kentucky MSW Purses: KD $135K, CD, $125K, KEE $78K

Projected purse levels for maiden special weight (MSW) races on the Kentucky circuit in September and October will be $135,000 at Kentucky Downs, $125,000 at Churchill Downs, and $78,000 at Keeneland Race Course. Those figures were revealed by representatives of those respective tracks Tuesday during a video meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory committee. Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs' senior vice president and general manager, also said that his all-turf venue will also be raising non-stakes purses across the board by 8% from the amounts that were initially...

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Under Glare of Probing Questions, Curious Answers in Kentucky

The Week in Review by T.D. Thornton In theory, state racing commissions are supposed to provide a layer of checks and balances by making both racetrack operators and horsemen accountable for their actions. In practice though, that often doesn't happen because regulators in many jurisdictions fail to ask probing questions of licensees during open, public meetings. In Kentucky, for example, if you want the most concise on-the-record snapshot of what's going on with the circuit, the best source generally isn't a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) meeting. Instead, the proceedings...

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Drumette Named Broodmare of the Year

Drumette (Henny Hughes), dam of last year's champion older mare Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) as well as GII Risen Star S. winner Mr. Monomoy (Palace Malice), has been named the 2020 Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Broodmare of the Year. Both Monomoy Girl and Mr. Monomoy were bred by Frankfort Park Farm and Michael Hernon's Highfield Ranch, who sold for $1.85 million in foal to Mastery to Bridlewood Farm at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton November sale. GI Kentucky Derby and GI Longines Breeders' Cup Classic winner Authentic (Into Mischief) was named Kentucky-Bred...

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Turfway Operator Error Led to Pavement Chunks in New Tapeta Surface

Human error on the part of a heavy equipment operator at Turfway Park has been identified as the cause of several chunks of pavement being discovered in the recently installed Tapeta Footings synthetic track at Turfway Park that just opened for racing in December. During the Jan. 26 Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory board meeting, Tyler Picklesimer, Turfway's director of racing and racing secretary, was asked to update the board on how the new Tapeta surface was performing. Picklesimer told the board members via teleconference that, "We've had no...

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More Ky Outfits to Winter at Turfway Despite Muted Purse Projections

Turfway Park, currently in the midst of being demolished and rebuilt under new corporate ownership, is projecting 2,400 applications for 900 stalls for the upcoming 52-date combined holiday, winter, and spring meets that will open Dec. 2. But even though a larger-than-usual number of Kentucky racing outfits are expected to remain at Turfway for the winter instead of shipping out to warmer-climate race meets, track officials told members of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory committee during an Oct. 6 video meeting that purse expectations should be tempered because...

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Ellis Raising Overnight Purses

Ellis Park is increasing its base purses by 20% starting with Friday's races, the track announced Sunday. The increase boosts the purses of all overnight races, which are claiming, maiden and allowance races. It comes on top of a $6,000 per-race increase in Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) purse supplements announced last week for non-claiming maiden and allowance races. With the hike for the remaining three weeks of the RUNHAPPY Summer Meet at Ellis Park, maiden special weight (non-claiming) races will have a purse totaling $46,200 for Kentucky-bred horses and...

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MSW Purses: $97K Derby Week, $75K Rest of Churchill Meet; $70K at Keeneland

Projected autumn purse levels for maiden special weight races on the Kentucky circuit were revealed during a video meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory committee on Tuesday. Ben Huffman, director of racing at Churchill Downs, said, "We're going to have two [MSW] purses. We're going to supercharge [GI Kentucky] Derby week, like we've been doing. And that maiden purse Derby week is going to be $97,000. The remaining nine days are going to be $75,000." Churchill had closed out its spring/summer season at the $79,000 level for...

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Beshear: KY Historical Racing Facilities Can Reopen Monday

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced on Thursday that the state's four historical horse racing (HHR) facilities can re-open Monday, June 8 after having been shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) released the following statement in response: "KEEP applauds Governor Beshear's announcement that historical horse racing (HHR) facilities can reopen on June 8, 2020. KEEP commends the Governor and the horse industry for working together on this solution, which will allow the facilities to operate at one-third capacity and provide a safe environment for the...

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KTDF in 'Fragile' State; Ellis 'Moving Heaven and Earth' to Have Race Meet

As the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) closes in on the three-month mark without being able to generate money via historical horse race (HHR) gaming and on-track wagering, Bill Landes III, the chairman of the fund's advisory committee, warned in a public teleconference meeting Wednesday that the money that gets allocated to pay a portion of purses on the state's racing circuit is running dangerously low. Although no specific dollar amounts were mentioned about how dry the funding is because of the recent COVID-19 business closures, a real-life example of...

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