09/11/2015 9:57PM

Saturday's Kentucky Cup card postponed until Monday


Following heavy afternoon rain on an already saturated turf course, Kentucky Downs announced Friday evening it would postpone Saturday’s 10-race Kentucky Cup card until Monday.

This marks the second time this week that rain has wreaked havoc on the all-turf European style course at Kentucky Downs, which has hills and valleys that can cause slippery or boggy conditions in low portions of the course following rainstorms. The track, located in Franklin, Ky., had been forced to cancel racing Thursday after two races when jockeys deemed the course unsafe after Wednesday storms.

The weather forecast is favorable for a return to racing Monday, with sunny skies forecasted Sunday and Monday after clouds and a slight chance of rain Saturday.

“We appreciate the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission authorizing us to make this transition to Monday,” Kentucky Downs president Corey Johnsen said in a press release.  “We are also grateful to the horsemen for their continued support throughout the 2015 race meet.”

The races for Monday will not be redrawn and will be contested in the same order and with the same post positions, aside from those changed from scratches, as had been scheduled for Saturday.

The Monday card of racing will feature 10 races and four stakes: The Dueling Grounds Derby, The Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint, The Kentucky Downs Turf Dash, and the richest race of the meet, the Grade 3, $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup.  Including incentives for Kentucky-bred horses, purses for the day total more than $2.2 million.

Horses that were scratched Friday morning, the traditional scratch time for the track when it runs Saturdays, will not be able to participate Monday, Kentucky Downs racing secretary Tyler Picklesimer said in the release.

Kentucky Downs will close the race meeting with 13-race cards on Wednesday and next Saturday – lengthy programs that collectively make up six of the eight canceled races from Thursday. First post those days will be at 12:05 pm Central instead of the previously scheduled 1:35 p.m. post time, while Monday’s card will go at the regular 1:35 p.m. first post.

The long-term forecast for all of next week is bright, with Weather.com calling for sunny or partly cloudy skies through next Saturday.

This is the second time Kentucky Cup Turf Day has been rescheduled during the past 10 years due to inclement weather. It was delayed two days as well in 2006 following similarly wet conditions.