08/08/2012 11:14AM

Turfway Park scraps stakes schedule for September meet


Not only has the Kentucky Cup series been abandoned again at Turfway Park, but there won’t even be one stakes race during the 16-day fall meet at the Florence, Ky., track.

The track issued a media release Wednesday with a brief statement that there are no stakes on the schedule “in order to maintain daily purses.” Turfway has undergone intense financial problems in recent years, and the track president of 13 years, Bob Elliston, resigned in May to become chief operating officer of the Breeders’ Cup. No replacement has yet been named, although Lee Dillard, an official with co-owner Caesar’s, is serving as an interim general manager at Turfway.

The Kentucky Cup series was inaugurated in 1994 and attracted major stars such as Tabasco Cat, Serena’s Song, and Silver Charm in its heyday. Turfway did not run the series in 2010 but revived them last September with lower purse values and with the help of partial race sponsorships from WinStar Farm. Turfway said WinStar was still willing to help fund the Kentucky Cup again but that the track had to use their own share of the purse account to maintain daily levels at around $110,000 for the coming meet.

If the Kentucky Cup races are brought back next year they will have lost their grades since they will not have been run twice in the last three 3 years, which is the criteria used for grading. Last year the Kentucky Cup Classic was a Grade 2 and the Distaff and Sprint were Grade 3s.

Meanwhile, it was announced that weeknight post time for the meet, which runs Sept. 6-30 with a Thursday-to-Sunday schedule, will be 6 p.m. Eastern, a half-hour earlier than last year. Saturday and Sunday post time remains 1:10.

Some of the Turfway dates will be run in conjunction with Kentucky Downs, where purses have been enhanced by the Instant Racing machines installed last year. Turf-only Kentucky Downs will be giving away $2.4 million during its six-day September meet.

samuel gontz More than 1 year ago
@ computer posts(all) my thinking is that the best room in the world is "THE ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT".( all the tracks not just KENTUCKY need slots.) i don"t want to sound too crass but as far as smoke anywhere at any track and lots of people at the track while "HANDICAPPING" sounds to me like just another day at the track?its been that way for over 100 years until the new "NO SMOKING" designated areas came about recently in the past 10 years.it"s sometimes better to lose the "battle" than lose the "war" sometimes.i just heard that quote recently and believe it applies here.take a look at the way the( HONG KONG) tracks run for instance.they got slots and other stuff going plus when they race its only once or twice a week.the stands are packed with 100.000 plus people,half of them smoking too.the race courses over there are top notch and kept in immaculate shape due to their system of thinking($$$).i think we could cut back to 3 days racing nationwide and that would work a lot better (with slots) than the way things have been in the past and continue to be in the present.
D More than 1 year ago
These racetrack owners are doing everything they can to make it look like "if we don't get slot we will close" I say WHATEVER! They are full of it, they just want that slot money so bad they will do anything to get it. That is including hurting horse racing and in turn hurting themselves. I say "NO" to slots at Ky horse tracks. Churchill Downs has done everything it can to run people off so they look like they need it as well to survive! Joey W has it correct. You need to be a local in Louisville and know how Churchill operates to truly understand how bad they want slots and how they will do or say anything in order to make the people in KY and in Frankfort believe them. The last thing I want is a smoke filled room with nothing but the noises of slot going off while I am trying to read my DRF. Keep that crowd away from me and the racetrack, after all people who play slots could care a less about a race that will run in 18 mins from now,.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
oaklawn park in hot springs needs to build a turf course, and have a winter meet. track makes money in the spring,can do the same in the fall.
Genie Mittleider More than 1 year ago
It's the beginning of the end of racing in Kentucky-- unless they get slots...
Joey W More than 1 year ago
that's what they want you to believe. take a look this fall at how much is in the wagering pools at turfway. They are screwing the horsemen and the bettors, in order to obtain slots.