Tuesday, August 17, 2010 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., August 17, 2010 – Turfway Park opens its 52nd fall race meet Sept. 9, with a full slate of activities on tap. The meet, which ends October 3, encompasses 16 days of live Thoroughbred racing, highlighted by the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship on Sept. 11.
Live racing runs Thursday through Sunday each week. In a change from previous fall meets, first post on Thursday and Friday is 5:30 p.m. First post on Saturday and Sunday remains 1:10 p.m. Admission and parking are free every day.
For the third year, the Grade III Fall Championship has been designated a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race, with the winner guaranteed a spot in the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon at the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs Nov. 5-6. The Grade III Marathon, to run Nov. 5, was added to the World Championships in 2008 and earned graded status this year.
Turfway's recession-proof Dollar Fridays return for the meet, with $1 draft beer and $1 hot dogs available throughout the grandstand and games and live music on the track apron each Friday of the live meet.
Also available each Friday is Turfway's popular $17.95 prime rib buffet, served 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the Homestretch restaurant. On Saturdays, the restaurant offers a $12.95 lunch buffet from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Reservations for the Homestretch are strongly recommended during live racing and are available at (859) 371-0200.
Activities begin Thursday, Sept. 9, with an opening day kick-off on Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati. Visitors to the square from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. will enjoy free popcorn and Pepsi products and can win dinner for two in the Homestretch, among other prizes.
The 2nd Annual Mascot Race returns Friday, Sept. 10, during the night's card. Last year 17 mascots from local businesses, the Reds and Florence Freedom, and local colleges turned out to challenge Turfway Tommy.
On Saturday, Sept. 11, noon to 4:30 p.m., Turfway hosts the 2nd Annual Horsepower Cruise-In for classic, custom, and hot rod cars and motorcycles. The family fun day includes activities for children and golden oldies spun by DJ J. D. Richards. The $10 entry fee per vehicle includes a dash plaque to the first 75 entries and chances to win door prizes. Trophies will be awarded in Mopar, GM, Ford, Rat Rod, and Best of Show categories. Entries are accepted until 3:00 p.m. The track's concession stands will be open as usual on a race day. The event is free to spectators.
American Cornhole will host a two-day Masters Qualifier at Turfway on Sept. 17-18, starting 6:30 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday. The event is free to spectators. Competitors can register by clicking “Cornhole Tournaments” at www.americancornhole.org.
Horses and Hope, a breast cancer awareness initiative established by Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear for workers in the state's equine industry, returns for the third year to Turfway on Friday, Sept. 24. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., breast cancer survivors are invited to gather in the VIP tent for a reception. The group also will present a special trophy to the winner of a race for fillies and mares and have their photo taken in the winner's circle. New to the Horses and Hope celebration this year is an appearance by the Kentucky Thorough-Breasts, the state's first dragon boat racing team made up of breast cancer survivors and supporters. Those wishing to attend should call the Northern Kentucky office of the Kentucky Cancer Project at (859) 442-3525 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by Sept. 18. There is no charge to attend.
With the Disney movie Secretariat scheduled for release in early October, Turfway has planned Secretariat Day on Saturday, Sept. 25, beginning at 1:10 p.m. On hand to sign autographs will be Secretariat's real-life jockey, Ron Turcotte; Otto Thorwarth, the jockey who plays Turcotte in the movie; and Turfway's long-time announcer Mike Battaglia, who plays a racing official. Fans also can win passes to the movie.
Absolute Action Mixed Martial Arts returns Saturday, Oct. 2, with 14 scheduled pro/am bouts. Tickets are available at www.aamma.net. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The first bell rings at 7:30 p.m.
The RaceBook at Turfway Park is open for simulcast racing Wednesday through Monday through Oct. 11. After that date, the schedule returns to Wednesday through Sunday. Gates open daily at 11:15 a.m.
Opened in 1959 as Latonia, Turfway Park offers Thoroughbred racing during the fall and winter as part of Kentucky's year round racing circuit. The track was renamed in 1986 and has been owned since 1999 by the Keeneland Association and Harrah's Entertainment. More information is available at www.turfway.com.