Ted Nicholson

Keeneland and Kentucky Downs Team Up for KEESEP Graduates

Horses offered at auction during the upcoming Keeneland September Yearling Sale will be eligible to run in a pair of $250,000 allowance races at the 2022 FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs. Kentucky Downs will stage one $250,000 allowance race for 2-year-old fillies and one for 2-year-old colts and geldings restricted to horses that go through the sales ring at this year's Keeneland September Sale. Yearlings that are sold as well as those not reaching their reserve bid will be eligible for the lucrative allowance events the following September at Kentucky...

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KY Downs & NYRA Reach Simulcast Agreement

Edited Press Release Kentucky Downs and the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) have reached a simulcast agreement that will allow NYRA, its affiliated racetracks and its online betting platform NYRA Bets to accept wagers on Kentucky Downs' six-date meet that begins Sunday. "We are grateful and appreciative of NYRA management for this amicable resolution and delighted that all NYRA outlets will be able to wager on Kentucky Downs," said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs' Vice President for Racing. The agreement also means horseplayers betting on-site at any Kentucky track will...

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Lucrative Kentucky Downs Meet Opens Sunday

FRANKLIN, Ky. - With huge purses offered during a mighty short season all run over a distinctive European-style turf course, the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs has emerged as a gem of American racing. It's different, to be sure. Once an obscure little meet quietly contested at a track called Dueling Grounds in a small town on the border with Tennessee, much closer to Nashville than Kentucky's big cities, Louisville and Lexington, it has flourished, gotten noticed and embraced. This year it features six graded stakes, three of them with...

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Kentucky Downs Turf Course Renovated

Kentucky Downs has just completed a major renovation of its turf course--its first since the track was laid out in a field as a steeplechase course in 1990. The project involved nearly half of the 1 5/16-mile kidney-shaped course. A swath five-eighths of a mile long and 63-feet wide around the far turn and into the stretch was replaced with sod featuring a blend of 90% Kentucky 31 fescue and 10% Kentucky bluegrass. Kentucky 31, named for the state and year it was discovered (in this case, in 1931 by...

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Kentucky Downs Hoping for Better News From Graded Stakes Committee

Every year, the Kentucky Downs stakes schedule seems to get richer and attract better horses. This year, there were 16 stakes worth a combined $8.6 million and many were won by horses that could have an impact at the Breeders' Cup. The stakes schedule is a source of pride among the track's management team, but also a source of frustration. Only five of the stakes are graded and those are all Grade III events, which the track's senior vice president and general manager Ted Nicholson called "dumbfounding." "It's frustrating," Nicholson...

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Runhappy Meet at Kentucky Downs Generates Record Handle

The Runhappy meet at Kentucky Downs, which concluded Wednesday, Sept. 16, saw record betting handle across the six days of live racing that totaled $59,828,44 for a total of 62 races (average per race $964,975), including $9,487,705 on the final day. The previous record of $41,239,699 (average $824,794) was set in 2019. Even with a modest reduction in prize money owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and a two-month absence of revenue from historical racing machines, a record total of $12,337,000 was paid out over the course of the meet, bettering...

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Kentucky Downs Postpones Sunday Card to Tuesday

As a result of afternoon-long rains that pelted the track and with more inclement weather forecast for Sunday, officials at Kentucky Downs announced late Saturday afternoon that the 11-race program originally scheduled for Sunday would be postponed and run in its entirety on Tuesday. "With the steady rain that we had from the fifth race on and the projected forecast for rain overnight and tomorrow, we felt it the prudent thing to do safety-wise for both horses and riders," said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs' senior vice president and general manager....

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Kentucky Downs to Promote Support of Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation

Officials at Kentucky Downs have announced that the track will be promoting support of the Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation during its upcoming meet by enabling owners to donate a percentage of prize money or a flat fee per starter to the organization. Owners can direct the horsemen's bookkeeper to allocate funds from their accounts to Grayson through InCompass Solutions' Track Manager system, and paper forms will be available for owners to fill out in the racing office. Kentucky Downs is kicking off donations with a lead gift of $2,500. "Our sponsorship...

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Ky Downs Set to Open The Mint Gaming Hall in September

Kentucky Downs will open its Mint Gaming Hall, a new 30,000 square-foot historical horse racing (HHR) in early September, and will coincide with the track's live six-day racing meet. The hall, which will add more than 600 historical horse racing terminals, will also include a new multi-media Center Bar, entertainment stage and a new high-limit betting area. The addition of The Mint Gaming Hall is the first of a multi-phase expansion and growth plan that began last year since it was sold in March 2019. "We are always seeking ways...

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Kentucky Downs Stakes Schedule Released

Kentucky Downs' six-day live meet in September will include 16 stakes, headlined by the Runhappy Meet at Kentucky Downs. The all-turf festival, which will be contested Sept. 7, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 16, includes five graded stakes, four of those are showcased on the Sept. 12 card--the $1-million GIII Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup; GIII Runhappy Turf Sprint (a Breeders' Cup 'Win and You're In' for the BC Turf Sprint Nov. 7); GIII Three Chimneys Ladies Turf; and GIII Spendthrift Farm Ladies Sprint. The card will also feature the...

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