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Turfway Park Ready to Party on Kentucky Derby Day

Thursday, April 23, 2015 12:00 AM
  • General

Turfway Park Ready to Party on Kentucky Derby Day

Unique Silent Auction to Benefit Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund

FLORENCE, Ky. (April 23, 2015) - The greatest two minutes in sports will last all day at Turfway Park, when the Northern Kentucky racetrack hosts its annual Kentucky Derby party on Sat., May 2.

“Nobody knows how to throw a party like Turfway,” said General Manager Chip Bach. “We’ve got options for everybody’s budget, music, a special silent auction and of course wagering on the Derby and all the day’s simulcast races.”

The day’s hot spot is the Party in the Paddock, the track’s outdoor venue, featuring drink specials, the Derby day simulcast, Derby hat contests and, starting at 3:30 p.m., music by popular classic rock cover band Doghouse. The Party in the Paddock runs noon to 8 p.m. Admission is free. In case of rain the party moves indoors.

Some reserved seating is still available in Turfway’s indoor venues. On the fifth floor, guests can choose tables with individual TV monitors in the clubhouse at $50 per seat or tables in the Racing Club, with views of screens around the room, at $45 per seat. Both fifth-floor options include Turfway’s Derby day buffet. The fifth floor is a non-smoking area.

The four-course Derby day buffet, served from 1:30 to 5 p.m., features prime rib, Southern fried chicken, linguini pasta and assorted appetizers, salads, sides and desserts.

On the first floor, tables in the Homestretch are sold out; a few seats at the Homestretch bar are still available at $45 per seat, also including the Derby day buffet. The Homestretch is a non-smoking area.

In the first-floor RaceBook, a few individual handicapping stations remain at $5 each, in smoking and non-smoking areas.

Reservations for first- and fifth-floor seating are available by calling (859) 371-0200 during regular business hours or in the general office the day of the party if seats remain. The second and third floors will be open for first-come, first-served indoor seating at no charge.

In a unique event that spans the country, Turfway will join 25 other tracks and racing venues in a silent auction to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Framed, autographed, professional photos of some of racing’s most beloved horses will be up for bids, including California Chrome, last year’s Derby and Preakness winner, champion 3-year-old colt and Horse of the Year; Zenyatta, three-time champion older mare and 2010 Horse of the Year; Hall of Fame legend Secretariat, who won the Triple Crown in 1973; and Wise Dan, who won six Eclipse championships in two years, including Horse of the Year in 2012 and 2013. Wise Dan is a particular favorite of Turfway fans, having scored the first win of his astonishing career at the track.

The photos of California Chrome, Zenyatta and Wise Dan are signed by their jockeys, respectively Victor Espinoza and Hall of Famers Mike Smith and John Velazquez. The photo of Secretariat is signed by his owner, Penny Chenery.

Turfway’s doors open at 10 a.m. on May 2, in time for the first race from Churchill Downs at 10:30 a.m. Post time for the Kentucky Derby is 6:24 p.m.

Admission to the track and parking are free. Valet parking is available.

Derby day simulcast racing includes a spectacular lineup of graded stakes from Churchill Downs, culminating with the 141st Kentucky Derby, which boasts Grade 1 status, a $2 million purse and priceless bragging rights. This year’s outstanding crop of 3-year-olds promises a memorable Run for the Roses, notably American Pharoah, Carpe Diem, Dortmund, International Star and Dubai invader Mubtaahij.

As always, the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, a million-dollar race for 3-year-old fillies, runs the day before the Kentucky Derby, this year Fri., May 1. Turfway will take advance wagers on the entire Kentucky Derby card on Friday, including the unique Oaks-Derby Double. The track opens at 10 a.m. also on Friday.

Turfway ended its live racing season March 29 but is open Wednesday through Sunday year-round for simulcast racing from around the country.


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