Monday, November 19, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . November 19, 2007 . . . Live racing returns to the Tri-State Sunday, November 25, with the start of Turfway Park’s 29th holiday meet. The meet’s 27 days of racing include six stakes races, including the Magic City Classic on opening day.December 1: Holiday Inaugural Stakes for fillies and mares 3yo and up, 6 furlongs
The $55,000 Magic City Classic, a mile race for horses three years old and up, is restricted to horses bred in Alabama. While Alabama has not offered live racing since the mid-1990s, off-track wagering in the state provides purses for state-bred races, which now are hosted at other tracks. The Magic City Classic is the first such race to be run at Turfway.
The traditional Turfway Park stakes, each run for a purse of $50,000, continue on Saturdays:
December 8: My Charmer Stakes for fillies and mares 3yo and up, 1 1/16 miles
December 15: Prairie Bayou Stakes for three year olds and up, 1 1/8 miles
December 22: Gowell Stakes for 2yo fillies, 6 furlongs
December 29: Holiday Cheer Stakes for three year olds and up, 6 furlongs
With the exception of the week after Christmas, racing begins at 5:30 pm (ET) each Wednesday through Friday and at 1:10 pm each Saturday and Sunday. From December 26 through December 31, first post is at 1:10 pm each day. The holiday meet ends Monday, December 31, but racing in fact continues uninterrupted with the start of the winter/spring meet on Tuesday, January 1, also with first post at 1:10 pm. Turfway is otherwise dark each Monday and Tuesday.
During the holiday meet, admission and parking are free every day. Gates open at 11:15 am.
Holiday meet events include $1 draft beer, $1 hot dogs, and $1 bets each Friday beginning at 5:30 pm. Local bands After Midnight, Never Enuff, Doghouse, and Chrome will appear in concert on successive Fridays starting November 30, and Friday’s fans can play games for prizes as well.
Also on the holiday meet schedule is Turfway’s qualifier for the 2008 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship. The qualifier, set for December 2, offers prize money to 10th place and sends the top three finishers to the $1 million national championship in Las Vegas in January.
The holiday meet also features a mixed martial arts competition on December 8. Tickets are $15 and $20 and available at Turfway and at www.warriorfc.com. Doors open at 6:30 pm; first bell is at 8:00 pm. The competition is presented by Warrior Fighting Challenge.
Local rock radio heavyweight WEBN will host a holiday "office party" on December 20. Tickets are free but available beginning early December only through on-air giveaways, at WEBN’s remote broadcasts, and by registering at www.webn.com. A limited number also will be given away at Turfway.
On December 29, the first 1,500 fans through the gates will receive a free 2008 Turfway Park calendar.
Once the holidays are over, the track is dark on Wednesday, January 2, and then resumes its regular schedule for the winter/spring meet.