Tuesday, November 18, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . November 18, 2008 . . . Live Thoroughbred racing returns to Turfway Park on Sunday, Nov. 30, the start of the Northern Kentucky track's annual Holiday Meet. Highlighting opening day is the $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares.December 6: My Charmer Stakes for fillies and mares 3yo and up, 1 1/16 miles
Stakes racing continues each Saturday with the rest of the traditional line-up, each with a $50,000 purse:
December 13: Prairie Bayou Stakes for three year olds and up, 1 1/8 miles
December 20: Gowell Stakes for 2yo fillies, 6 furlongs
December 27: Holiday Cheer Stakes for three year olds and up, 6 furlongs.
Through Dec. 21, live racing runs Wednesday through Sunday according to the track’s usual schedule, with post time at 5:30pm Wednesday through Friday and at 1:10pm Saturday and Sunday. As tradition dictates, the track will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then open daily, including Monday and Tuesday, from Dec. 26 through Dec. 31, with first post at 1:10pm each day.
Admission and parking are free every day of the Holiday Meet.
On December 5, 12, and 19, Turfway will once again host its wallet-friendly Dollar Fridays, when fans can enjoy $1 draft beer, $1 hot dogs, and $1 bets from 5:30pm to the end of live racing. In addition, WEBN personality "Meat" will be on hand from 7 to 9pm to match handicapping wits with fans. The Budweiser Brew Crew will also be in the crowd from 8 to 10pm on Fridays, playing games and giving away prizes.
Live music keeps Friday nights going past the last race, with After Midnight scheduled to appear on Dec. 5, Doghouse on Dec. 12, and Naked Karate Girls on Dec. 19.
Also on the holiday schedule is Turfway’s qualifier for the 10th Annual DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship. The qualifier, set for December 7, offers prize money to 10th place and sends the top three finishers to the $1 million national championship in Las Vegas in January.
On Dec. 17 from 5:30 to 8pm, Turfway will host the Corporate Pinewood Derby Challenge, in which teams from local businesses carve and decorate small wooden cars and race them down an incline for trophies and bragging rights. The challenge, a take on the Cub Scouts' annual Pinewood Derby, benefits the local council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Although the turn of the calendar technically starts a new meet, in practice racing continues without interruption from the 2008 Holiday Meet into the 2009 Winter/Spring Meet, which begins Jan. 1.