Tag Archives: Kentucky Downs

The Eclipse at Kentucky Downs

Raise Money for Old Friends

GEORGETOWN, KY – AUGUST 16, 2017 – On Monday August 21, Kentucky Downs Racecourse in Franklin, KY will welcome followers of the Great American Total Solar Eclipse to come and raise money for Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement.

As the track is in the eclipse’s path of totality, Kentucky Downs will offer visitors a prime parking and viewing option with funds benefiting the non-profit organization that cares for over 175 retired race horses.

On August 21, Kentucky Downs will open its parking lot to eclipse visitors beginning at 7:30 am.  The charge for parking will be a $10 donation per car, with all proceeds benefiting Old Friends.

The parking lot will be clearly marked, concessions will be available in the track’s pavilion area, and restroom facilities will be also be available.

Due to customer request, the track is selling parking passes presently at its Players Club, again, for the $10 donation. The Players Club, located inside the front lobby of the pavilion, will be open until 4 am on Aug 20-21 for convenient pre-purchasing.

Kentucky Downs is home to “Old Friends at Kentucky Downs,” a satellite division of the Old Friends farm based in Georgetown, KY. Old Friends at Kentucky Downs features nine pensioned Thoroughbreds, including Kentucky Turf Cup winner Rumor Has It and Kentucky Turf Dash winner Good Lord. Tours to meet the equine athletes are offered daily through the Simpson County Tourism Office (for schedules and information call: 270- 586-3040).

The Total Solar Eclipse will darken skies from Oregon to South Carolina along a stretch of land about 70 miles wide. The shadow of the moon will also pass through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina. Anyone within the path of totality will witness one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights.

The duration of this rare celestial event varies by location, but in Franklin, KY, it is expected to begin at approximately 11:58 am with totality reached approximately 1:28 pm.

Please note: Approved eclipse glasses (those that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard) will NOT be available at the track. Sky watchers should NEVER look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection. Looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage or blindness. For a complete guide on how to view the eclipse safely, visit nasa.gov.

Located at 5565 Nashville Road in Franklin, KY, Kentucky Downs conducts its live turf racing meet each September on the only “European-style” race course in North America. (In 2017 live racing will take place September 2, 7, 9, 10 and 14.) The meet is staged in an informal festival setting and features the annual running of the Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup race. Additionally, Kentucky Downs is home to over 600 Vegas-style gaming machines, live music and entertainment, year-round simulcasting, and charity bingo events.

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 175 retired racehorses. Its Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in Greenfield Center, New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen, (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

First “Old Friends Stakes” to Take Place at Kentucky Downs, Sept. 16

Three-time Santa Anita Handicap Winner Game On Dude, now retired at Old Friends (Photo by Rick Capone)

GEORGETOWN, KY – September 1, 2015 – The inaugural running of the $150,000 Old Friends Stakes will take place on Wednesday Sept. 16, 2015 at Kentucky Downs, the historic oval located in Franklin, KY.

Sponsored by Tribute® Equine Nutrition, the race will honor Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY, that cares for more than 150 former racehorses.

Old Friends recently entered into a joint venture with Kentucky Downs, which now features five retired Thoroughbreds in its “Old Friends Exhibit” located on its grounds.

The $150,000 stakes (which includes $75,000 from Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund) is for three-year-olds and up, and is contested over one mile and 70 years on the turf. Nominations close September 5 and entries taken Sept. 13.

For this special event Kentucky Downs is offering a special seating option: an enclosed Old Friends tent In the Kentucky Downs Turf Club venue that will feature premier views of the races and be equipped with wagering windows, dining tables and include a buffet lunch. Admission will also include a special tour of the Old Friends live-horse exhibit hosted by Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the non-profit organization.

Tickets to the Old Friends tent are $50 and can be reserved in advance by calling (270) 586-7094 or by visiting www.kentuckydowns.com. Tickets will also be available at the door.

In addition to the Old Friends Stakes, every race on the card will be dedicated to a horse pensioned at the non-profit organization. Sponsorships to the races are available and interested parties can contact Old Friends’s Blowen for information at (502) 863-1775.

Currently, The Game On Dude is sponsored by Red Brand Horse Fence and the Williamstown is sponsored by Peter W. Willmott, who campaigned the graded-stakes winning son of Seattle Slew.

“This is such a milestone for the organization,” said Old Friends’s Blowen. “This represents enormous recognition from the racing industry, and I can’t think of a better way to honor our horses, so many of whom were stakes winners.

“Our thanks goes out to Kentucky Downs for all that they’ve done to support Old Friends and to Tribute® for their generous sponsorship of this race,” Blowen added. “I hope everyone will come out and spend the day with us.”

Tribute® is the official feed supplier of Old Friends.

“We are so proud to be providing great nutrition to these retired champions,” said Larry Belluscio, Tributes’s Director of Equine Business. “Quality nutrition is what we are all about and these horses give us so much so we need to be sure to give them something back,” Belluscio added. “We are honored to be associated with Old Friends.”

“We truly value this partnership,” said Kentucky Downs President Corey Johnsen. “We expect this stakes to have more nominations than any in Kentucky Downs history, so I am sure it will be a great race for an even greater cause.”

Located at 5629 Nashville Road in Franklin, KY 42135, Kentucky Downs’s five-day, live race meet begins Sept. 5, with full cards set for Sept. 10, 12, 16 and 19. Gates open at 10 a.m. on race days and parking is free.

Old Friends farm in Georgetown is home to over 100 of the organization’s 154 retirees, and star attractions include Hall of Fame Champion and 1997 Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm, three-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude, Breeders’ Cup Champions Gulch and Amazombie and 2002 Belmont stakes winner Sarava.

About Kentucky Downs

Kentucky Downs is located in Franklin, KY. The track conducts a live turf racing meet each September on the only “European-style” race course in North America. The meet is staged in an informal festival setting and features the annual running of the Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup. Additionally, Kentucky Downs offers year-round simulcasting and an expanded Gaming Floor that now offers 390 Historical Horse Racing games. Kentucky Downs also serves as the site for numerous entertainment events in Franklin and Simpson County. For visitor information, call (270) 586-7778 or see their website at www.kentuckydowns.com.

About Tribute

Tribute® Equine Nutrition was designed and approved by Ph.D. Equine nutritionists with decades of experience and knowledge developing state-of-the-art, innovative equine diets. Its fixed formula products are based on the latest research and are manufactured under strict quality control standards. Tribute offers competitively priced products designed specifically for all horses, whether a backyard friend, broodmare, stallion, young and growing or performance horse, from show ring to elite race horse.

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 110 retired racehorses. Its Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in Greenfield Center, New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen, (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org; Rick Albright, (270) 776-3447, rickalbright@kentuckydowns.com

Old Friends at Kentucky Downs Horse Exhibit Now Open

Canadian Horse of the Year Thornfield is one of the Old Friends retirees now at Kentucky Downs.

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 16, 2015 – Old Friends at Kentucky Downs, the joint venture between the Georgetown, KY Thoroughbred Retirement Facility and the historic oval in Franklin, KY, will open its doors to the public on Friday July 17.

The new horse exhibit, located at 5565 Nashville Rd in Franklin, KY, will showcase five retired racehorses — including athletes with a history of running at Kentucky Downs — via tours coordinated by the Simpson County Tourism Commission.

The 30-minute tours will be offered at 11 am and 4 pm daily except Mondays. Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling the Simpson County Tourism Office at (270) 586-3040 or toll free at (866)-531-2040. Tours are $5 per adult, children 12 and under are free. Group tours can also be accommodated by appointment.

Five Old Friends retirees are currently featured on the tour:

Ball Four, the 14-year-old son of Grand Slam who earned over $730,000 in his 31 starts. Ball Four has some distinct ties to Kentucky racing having won the Kentucky Cup and the Tejano Run Stakes at Turfway Park and the Fayette Stakes at Keeneland.

Rumor Has It won the Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs in 2008. The son of Awesome Again, he captured over $300,000 in his 38 starts.

Sgt. Bert won the 2005 and 2006 Woodford Stakes at Keeneland, where he set a track record for 5½ furlongs. The bay son of Confide earned over $350,000 in his career.

Thornfield is a Champion from the North. The 21-year-old son of Sky Classic was Canada’s Sovereign-Award winner and Horse of the Year in 1999 and is best remembered there for his searing victory in the Canadian International at 19-1.

Tour of the Cat is a multiple graded-stakes winner of over $1.1 million. After a prestigious career he was found racing at bottom level at 11 years old. Concerned owner Maggie Moss claimed him in order to retire him at Old Friends in 2009.

Other equine retirees are expected to arrive in the fall.

In addition to the horse exhibit, an adjoining Visitor’s Center and an Old Friends gift shop, open from 10 am – 5 pm daily except Monday, will be housed in a newly renovated structure on the Downs stable area.

“We’re proud to be working with Kentucky Downs and the Simpson County Tourist Commission on this venture,” said Old Friends Founder and President Michael Blowen. “This is a great facility, and the best part is that we’ll be able to introduce these retired athletes to even more fans. This exhibit will offer people a way to maintain emotional ties to the horses, and it will also offer a new way to celebrate the history of horse racing in their community.”

“We are so pleased to be the first live racetrack to provide a home for these former equine athletes,” said Rick Albright, Racing Manager and Assistant Racing Secretary at Kentucky Downs. “This is a very unique layout that will allow them to enjoy their retirement in an environment they are accustomed to: a beautiful racecourse. Some of the paddocks even border the outer fence of the course,” Albright noted, “so the horses can look down the homestretch of a track they may have once won races on. That, to us, is a very exciting twist to the Old Friends at Kentucky Downs facility.”

Franklin-Simpson County Tourism Director Dan Ware also noted: “People everywhere associate Kentucky with horses, and visitors to our tourism log cabin are always asking, ‘Where can we see a horse?’ It’s great to finally be able to direct them to Old Friends at Kentucky Downs. There is no other tourist attraction like it anywhere along the I-65 corridor in Kentucky,” Ware added.

The joint venture is expected to help raise awareness of the need for Thoroughbred aftercare and to promote local attractions and increase tourism in Simpson County.

For additional information, contact the Simpson County Tourist Commission at (270) 586-3040.

About Old Friends

Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement farm in Georgetown, KY, conducts tours daily and attracts nearly 20,000 visitors annually. The farm is home to over 100 of the organization’s 150 retirees, and star attractions include Hall of Fame Champion and 1997 Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm, three-time winner of the Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude, Breeders’ Cup Champions Gulch and Amazombie, and 2002 Belmont stakes winner Sarava.

About Kentucky Downs

Kentucky Downs is located in Franklin, KY. The track conducts a live turf racing meet each September on the only “European-style” race course in North America. The meet is staged in an informal festival setting and features the annual running of the Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup. Additionally, Kentucky Downs offers year-round simulcasting and an expanded Gaming Floor that now offers 390 Historical Horse Racing games. Kentucky Downs also serves as the site for numerous entertainment events in Franklin and Simpson County. For visitor information, call (270) 586-7778 or see their website at www.kentuckydowns.com.

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 110 retired racehorses. Its Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in Greenfield Center, New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen, (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org; Dan Ware, (270) 586-3040, dan@franklinky.com; Rick Albright, (270) 776-3447, rickalbright@kentuckydowns.com