Sunday, July 24, 2005 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . August 24, 2005 . . . The racing world will be watching Turfway Park September 7, opening night of the track’s Fall Meet, as horses officially race for the first time on Polytrack in North America. The revolutionary racing surface is one of several changes at the Northern Kentucky track this fall.
“Other tracks are watching Turfway intently,” said Turfway Park president Robert Elliston, “and many are seriously interested in using this system. Turfway Park is on the cutting edge of racetrack technology.” Polytrack has been installed on a few training tracks in this country, but Turfway is the first facility in North America to use the system for racing.
To mark the advent of Polytrack, Turfway will host a VIP reception on opening night, with ribbon-cutting ceremonies at 6:45 p.m. The track also will give away 1,000 dated souvenir hats that night, with coupons available at the gates beginning at 6:00 p.m.
The track also will unveil its renovated paddock and winner’s circle, both of which will give fans a better view of the horses.
Secure wagering with the swipe of a card
Polytrack is not the only technological advance at Turfway this fall. The track is installing 62 new touch-screen wagering machines from United Tote. The machines provide real-time odds, calculate the cost of wagers, display results and payouts, and allow patrons to wager using cash, vouchers, or a dedicated debit card. The card tracks wagering activity as well as points earned through Turfway’s FasTrack Rewards program.
This fall Turfway also will offer ten-cent superfecta wagering, already popular at several other tracks.
Scholarships, Spring Break trips given away
Also new this fall is College Scholarship Day on September 17, when Turfway Park and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association will give away $10,000 in scholarship money.
To be eligible, students must be enrolled full-time for the 2005 fall semester at an educational institution that qualifies for federal aid. To register, students need only show a valid college ID verifying full-time status. Ten $1,000 scholarships will be awarded by random drawing, one after each live race. The first nine are open to all students; the tenth is open only to students affiliated with the Thoroughbred industry. Students can register from noon to 7:00 p.m. on the 17th and must be present to win.
Also on September 17, college students can register to win one of 15 Spring Break trips. Turfway has partnered with Cincinnati’s 97.3 FM for the giveaway.
Kentucky Cup Day of Champions
September 17th already boasts the highlight of the Turfway Park Fall Meet: the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions. With five stakes races—four of them graded—the Kentucky Cup series headlines a million-dollar day, the biggest on the fall schedule and a magnet for top horses and trainers. Since 1994, the Kentucky Cup series has proven itself a profitable stop on the way to the Breeder’s Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and year-end Eclipse Award honors.
Grandstand, clubhouse, and general admission are free on Kentucky Cup Day, presented as Turfway’s day for the fans. Reserved seating is available. Parking is free; valet parking is available. First post on Kentucky Cup Day is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.
Games, contests, and Friday night parties
On Thursdays, college students receive a free program, $2 betting voucher, and soft drink and can win prizes, including a Spring Break trip. Friday nights offer $1 beer, $1 hot dogs, $1 bets, and more prizes. Every Saturday except September 17, patrons can play for more than $1,000 in weekly handicapping contests. More information about the meet’s games, contests, and promotions is available at www.turfway.com.
The Fall Meet runs September 7 through October 6. Live racing begins at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and at 1:10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.