Thursday, March 8, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY. . . March 8, 2007 . . . While the field for the $500,000 Grade II Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park remains a matter of speculation, festivities surrounding the race already fill the calendar with fun and community outreach.
The Lane's End Stakes, Turfway's Kentucky Derby prep race scheduled this year for March 24, long has been a vehicle for community involvement. Including proceeds from events this year, race-related activities will have generated about $500,000 for community charitable causes since Lane's End began sponsoring the race in 2002.
Sixth Annual Charity Night at the Tables
Charity Night at the Tables, now in its 6th year, is expected to draw about 1,000 people to Turfway on Saturday, March 17, for play-money casino games, food, drink, silent auction, live music, and dancing. Players assign their "winnings" to one of eight participating charities. The charity with the most money gets first pick of the horses in the Lane's End Stakes. The charity whose horse finishes best receives $10,000 for its work. The other seven receive $3,000 each.
Charity Night is sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, the Yearlings, and the Scripps Howard Foundation. Participating charities for 2007 are Dress for Success Cincinnati, Parish Kitchen, HealthPoint Family Care, Steinford Toy Foundation, Interfaith Hospitality Network of Northern Kentucky, Kentucky 4-H Foundation, New Hope Family Life Center, and Senior Services of Northern Kentucky. Tickets to Charity Night are $75. The event begins at 7 p.m.
Maker's Mark bottle and benefit aid two area charities
In 2004, the Lane's End Stakes became the first Northern Kentucky event to be feted with the release of a limited edition Maker's Mark bottle. This year marks the fourth such release and the third to benefit local causes. Sales of the 2007 bottle, which honors Cincinnati Reds broadcasting legends Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall, will benefit the Reds Community Fund and One Way Farm Children's Home of Butler County, Ohio. Sales of the limited edition bottle begin March 16 and are expected to raise $25,000.
Additional funds for the Reds Community Fund and One Way Farm will be raised via Trackside with Marty and Joe on Friday, March 23, at Turfway. Reds greats, longtime friends, and local radio personalities will entertain the crowd with inside stories of Marty and Joe's 30 years in the Reds broadcast booth. Sponsored by Turfway, Maker's Mark, the Reds, and 700WLW, the event begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $75.
Inaugural Gateway poster benefits college foundation
New this year, design students at Gateway Community and Technical College competed to create a poster commemorating the race. Sales of the poster, designed by Bill Fox, benefit the Gateway Community and Technical College Foundation. The poster is $10 and available at Turfway Park and the Gateway College Highland Heights campus. A framed and signed copy will be auctioned in the Maker's Mark VIP Tent, the premier venue at the Lane's End Stakes.
Crawfish Boil a foil to elegance
The Lane's End Stakes also gives racetrackers a chance to benefit their own. The Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association annually kicks off Lane's Ends Stakes week with an invitation-only dinner, and on Tuesday, March 20, horsemen, stable workers, track staff, and friends will enjoy the 17th Annual Crawfish Boil, a rowdy counterpoint to the week's dressy affairs. The event benefits Turfway Park's own charitable fund.
BCVVA showcases local artists
The Lane's End community connection starts early this year, with a show and sale by the Boone County Visual Arts Association on Saturday, March 10. Local artists, some nationally recognized, will present their work at Turfway from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Chamber events at Turfway
For the first time, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce will host two of its regular events at Turfway during race week. On Tuesday morning, March 20, Eggs 'N Issues welcomes Churchill Downs Director of Communications John Asher, Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen, and Turfway track announcer Mike Battaglia. On Thursday, March 22, the Chamber will host the networking event Business After Hours at the track. More information is available by calling Pam Allen at 859-578-6384.
Strategy begins at Call to the Post luncheon
On Wednesday, March 21, horsemen, community leaders, and race fans will gather at Turfway for the annual Call to the Post luncheon and post position draw, when the speculation ends and the field for the Lane's End Stakes is set. The luncheon begins at noon. Tickets are $35.
Wine Maker's Dinner new to calendar
The newest and most elegant event on the Lane's End calendar is the Wine Maker's Dinner, pairing six fine courses with six wines specially selected by guest Craig Addis, winemaker from Santa Barbara Winery. The dinner, set for Wednesday, March 21, at 6 p.m., is $75.
Annual giveaways for collectors
The run-up to the race also includes the annual souvenir hat giveaway to the first 1,500 fans at Turfway on Saturday, March 10, and the 28th annual souvenir glass giveaway to the first 1,500 fans to arrive at the track on Saturday, March 17. Gates open at 11:15 a.m.
Except as noted, tickets for all Lane's End Stakes events are available by calling the track at (859) 371-0200. Further information is available by calling the track or visiting www.turfway.com.