Monday, November 20, 2006 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . November 20, 2006 . . . Live Thoroughbred racing returns to Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky on Sunday, November 26, as Turfway Park opens its 28th Holiday Meet.
The meet opens the second winter of racing on Polytrack, the all-weather surface that Turfway introduced to U.S. racing just over a year ago.
"The Polytrack surface met every expectation last winter and we expect this winter to be just as successful," said Turfway President and CEO Robert N. Elliston. "If the temperature is bitterly cold, we'll of course change our schedule to protect our jockeys and horses, but otherwise we expect to be racing every scheduled day. We're looking forward to the kind of strong, competitive fields that make for good wagering, which is what we've seen over the past year."
Five stakes races, each with a $50,000 purse, highlight the meet:
December 2 Holiday Inaugural Stakes for fillies and mares, 6 furlongs
December 9 My Charmer Stakes for fillies and mares, 1 1/16 miles
December 16 Prairie Bayou Stakes for three year olds and up, 1 1/8 miles
December 23 Gowell Stakes for two-year-old fillies, 6 furlongs
December 30 Holiday Cheer Stakes for three year olds and up, 6 furlongs
The track will again offer its popular Friday parties, a strategy that has paid off in attracting a young crowd to the country's oldest sport. Fridays during the Holiday Meet feature beer, hot dogs, and bets for just a dollar, along with live music from Doghouse on the 22nd and ticket giveaways on the 8th and 15th for the Bengals-Colts game in Indianapolis.
On Saturday, December 30, the first 1,500 fans through the gates will receive a free 2007 Turfway Park calendar.
Turfway is open for live racing every Wednesday through Sunday, with first post at 5:30 p.m. on weeknights and at 1:10 p.m. on weekends through most of December. The schedule changes for Christmas, with the track closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then open from Tuesday, December 26, through Monday, January 1, with first post at 1:10 p.m. all week. Gates open at 11:15 a.m. each day. Admission and parking are free.
The Holiday Meet is followed immediately each year by the Winter/Spring Meet, so that live racing continues without interruption at the Northern Kentucky track through early April.