Turfway Park’s 38th Annual Holiday Race Meet Opens Dec. 1
FLORENCE, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2013) – Live Thoroughbred racing returns to the Tristate on Sun., Dec. 1, with the opening of Turfway Park’s 38th consecutive holiday meet.
The track will present nine races daily on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through December, as well as on the Monday and Tuesday after Christmas day.
Races on Thursdays, Fridays, and Tues., Dec. 31, start at the new time of 6:15 p.m., with the exception of Dec. 26. Races start at 1:10 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, Thurs., Dec. 26, and Mon., Dec. 30. All times are Eastern.
Two stakes highlight the racing schedule, each offering a $50,000 purse: the 28th running of the Holiday Inaugural Stakes on Dec. 7, six furlongs for fillies and mares 3 years old and up; and the 19th running of the Prairie Bayou Stakes on Dec. 21, 1-1/16 miles for ages 3 and up.
In preparation for the winter racing season, Turfway’s Polytrack surface has been upgraded by the first phase of a three-year, $500,000 renovation. The first synthetic racing surface in North America, Turfway’s Polytrack has been in near-continuous use for racing or training since its installation in September 2005.
“After an eight-month hiatus, we’re very excited to bring Thoroughbred racing back to Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati,” said Turfway Park general manager Chip Bach. “We’re adding some new elements, like craft beer, new food items, and education for new fans. But we’re also getting back to the basics of what—besides live racing—makes coming to Turfway so much fun: friendly service, good value on Dollar Friday with dollar bets and larger dollar drafts, high-energy local bands, and a New Year’s Eve party that’s again truly a party, where the fans get involved instead of just watch the entertainment. We're looking forward to a great meet.”
Club Inferno Track Bash Tops Social Calendar
The annual New Year’s Eve Track Bash is the social highlight of the holiday meet. Themed Club Inferno, the party offers options from free admission to reserved seating as well as a free dance-worthy concert by classic rockers Doghouse. Between races, DJ Toad will get the party started. For the free admission crowd, beer and drink specials are available throughout the night. Those who prefer reservations have two options. A $150 reservation includes a table for six on the mezzanine above the Willis Music Stage, party favors, a champagne toast, and admittance to the Club Inferno bar. Reservations in the Top of the Park and Homestretch dining rooms are $75 per person and include buffet, beer, wine, mixed drinks, party favors, and a champagne toast. Reservations are available by calling (859) 371-0200 or online at www.turfway.com.
Dollar Friday Returns with Craft Beer and New Focus on Fan Education
Turfway’s popular Dollar Fridays return as well, with dollar draft beer, dollar hot dogs, dollar bets, games, prizes, and live music. On the Willis Music Stage this meet are Doghouse (Dec. 6), top party band Naked Karate Girls (Dec. 13), country rockers the Cef Michael band (Dec. 20), and Zack Attack (Dec. 27), covering party tunes from the ‘90s.
New on Friday nights is a concentrated effort to teach new fans how to play the races and, more important, how to play to win. Turfway staffers will use games and one-on-one instruction to turn novices into knowledgeable handicappers.
Craft beer also makes its Friday night debut, in the third-floor Terrace Room bar.
DePew Revamps Homestretch Menu
Fridays during live racing feature a $19.95 prime rib buffet in the Homestretch dining room, now led by Director of Food and Beverage Rick DePew. The Friday buffets are open from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and reservations are recommended. A Saturday lunch buffet also will be available.
DePew’s influence is front and center in the Homestretch, where new items spark the menu. Alongside familiar favorites, diners also will find several vegetarian choices, DePew’s own Firebrand marinade, specialty meatballs, Sicilian preparations, and such traditional Kentucky fare as burgoo, hot brown, goetta, catfish, and salmon enhanced with Marker’s Mark.
Homestretch diners also will enjoy extended hours of service. The restaurant, trackside on the first floor, will be open during live racing from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Charity and Player Events Round Out the Season
For the fifth straight year, Turfway will host members of the U.S. Marine Corps and WUBE-FM DJs Chris Carr & Company as they collect new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. The WUBE crew and Marines will camp out on-site around the clock from 5:30 a.m. on Thurs., Dec. 12, through noon on Sat., Dec. 14. Chris Carr & Company, the WUBE morning show, will broadcast live from Turfway during the event.
On Dec. 8, as many as 300 handicappers will compete in Turfway’s qualifying contest for the 15th annual DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, the richest competition for horseplayers in the world. The top three finishers in the local qualifier earn a trip to the national tournament, held in Las Vegas in January. Handicappers are encouraged to register in advance by calling (859) 647-4843 or visiting www.turfway.com. Walk-up registrations paid by cash or check are accepted if seats remain. Registration begins at 11 a.m.
Turfway’s winter racing season runs without interruption through March but for recording purposes the period is divided into two meets: the holiday meet that ends Dec. 31 and the winter/spring meet that begins Jan. 1.
Contact Sherry Pinson, (859) 647-4842.