Monday, November 22, 2010 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., November 22, 2010 . . . Live Thoroughbred racing returns to Turfway Park Dec. 2, the start of the Holiday Meet and the beginning of the Northern Kentucky track's four-month winter schedule.
Though divided into two meets to facilitate year-end accounting, racing in practice continues uninterrupted from Dec. 2 through April 3, 2011.
The 2010 Holiday Meet offers live racing four days each week, Thursday through Sunday, from Dec. 2 through Dec. 31. With the exception of the final week of the month, post time is 5:30 p.m. EST on Thursday and Friday and 1:10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission and parking are free every day.
There will be no live racing Dec. 23, 24, and 25, and then the track will continue its tradition of racing the entire week after Christmas, with first post at 1:10 p.m. EST Sunday through Thursday, Dec. 26-30. With New Year's Eve falling on Friday this year, however, Turfway will break with its daytime tradition that day and run at 5:30 p.m. EST as part of the track's first annual Track Bash New Year's Eve party.
Holiday Meet weekends are highlighted by four stakes, each carrying a $50,000 purse:
Dec. 4 Holiday Inaugural Stakes (fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, 6 furlongs)
Dec. 11 My Charmer Stakes (fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, 1 1/16 miles)
Dec. 18 Prairie Bayou Stakes (3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles)
Dec. 26 Gowell Stakes (2-year-old fillies, 6 furlongs)
The track's popular Dollar Fridays return for the Holiday Meet, with dollar draft beer and hot dogs, games and prizes, and local bands extending the party beyond the last race. Bands booked for the meet are Fibbion Handful (Dec. 3), Doghouse (Dec. 10), Code 9 (Dec. 17), and the high-powered party band Color Blind on New Year's Eve.
On opening weekend, Turfway and Cincinnati country radio station WUBE will team up with the United States Marine Corps Reserve for the Marines' annual Toys for Tots campaign. WUBE morning drive DJs Chris Carr & Company and members of the Corps will set up Camp Carr for Kids on the Turfway lawn and camp out 54 consecutive hours beginning at 5:30 a.m. Dec. 2 and closing at noon Dec. 4. Chris Carr & Company will broadcast live from Camp Carr Thursday and Friday. New, unwrapped toys may be dropped off any time during the campout.
Turfway will continue its four-day schedule in January. Post time will remain 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 1:10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; Thursdays will move to 1:10 p.m. as well.
The track drops to three days a week, Friday through Sunday, for February, March, and April and adds a daytime card on Presidents Day, Feb. 21.
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.