If handle is the measure—and until a better matrix comes along it will continue to be–the first of five racing days at the popular Kentucky Downs Racetrack was a huge success.
Even with races as difficult to handicap as those run over the Franklin, KY track’s undulating, European style turf course with its distance-dependent right and left turns, the huge purses attract limit fields.
Maiden allowance horses, for example, race for purses worth $130,000. The Tourist Mile opening day carried a purse of $750,000.
The track handled $5,704,052 at their Labor Day opening day, if our calculations are correct.
(Since Kentucky Downs and many other tracks do not publish attendance and handle statistics as a matter of course, we added pool totals published in official result charts).
The track will run a five-day meet this year but new owners Ron Winchell and Marc Falcone will request two additional days beginning September, 2020, according to a Thoroughbred Daily News report.
One of the two added days would be included to create and begin a holiday weekend.
Added dates require approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Subject to parameters agreed to in a previous accord, Kentucky Downs presently supports Ellis Park to cover any shortfalls created by competition from a track where purses average $2.3 million daily. That amount is estimated at $5 million.
Racing cards for Thursday and Saturday have been drawn and past performances data are available.