TURFWAY PARK WILL KICK OFF 42ND HOLIDAY MEET NOVEMBER 30
Five-Day Racing Returns to the Track
November 29, 2016 (Florence, Ky) – Turfway Park opens its 42nd holiday Thoroughbred race meet Nov. 30, racing Wednesday through Sunday through Dec. 31. Admission and parking are free.
First post is 6:15 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday with nine races each day. The track will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Highlighting the racing schedule are two black type stakes offering $50,000 purses: the 31st running of the Holiday Inaugural Stakes on Dec. 3, six furlongs for fillies and mares, and the 22nd running of the Prairie Bayou Stakes on Dec. 17, a mile and a sixteenth for horses three years old and up.
All races will run on Turfway’s Polytrack, among the safest racing surfaces in the country.
Five-Day Week Racing Returns
Wednesday racing and a five-day week return to the schedule for the first time since 2009.
“Over the last two years, field sizes for the holiday meet have averaged 10.6 horses, and I am confident our director of racing, Tyler Picklesimer, and his staff will be able to maintain similarly solid fields across five days,” said Chip Bach, Turfway Park general manager. “We appreciate the support we’re receiving from horsemen, some who have been with us during this meet for decades. Our barns are full and we’re looking forward to a competitive meet.”
Notable Trainers and Jockeys Set to Compete
Wesley Ward, a two-time Breeders’ Cup-winning trainer noted for international success with two year olds, has brought 20 horses to Turfway for the holiday meet, the first time in his 26-year career he has stabled at the track.
National trainer Mike Maker, who holds 17 training titles at Turfway and has trained two Breeders’ Cup winners, will maintain a string of nearly 40 horses. Leading regional trainers Jeff Greenhill, Bill Connelly and Tom Drury Jr. also return with their usual strong contingents.
Among jockeys returning for the meet, Albin Jimenez will aim for his sixth straight Turfway leading rider title. Rodney Prescott, who leads the holiday meet colony with 15 Turfway stakes wins and is perennially among Indiana’s leading riders, also returns.
Jockey Perry Ouzts, subject of the 2015 Eclipse Award-winning documentary Ironman Perry Ouzts, also returns to Turfway. Now 62 years old and fresh off his 32nd Belterra Park riding title, Ouzts is currently ranked 11th all-time by career wins. Of those ranked above him, only Mario Pino, 10th, and Edgar Prado, 8th, are still active. This summer fans launched a grassroots effort to urge Ouzts’s induction into the National Racing Hall of Fame. A link to the petition and more information are available on the Turfway website here.
Weekends Feature Fan Favorite Parties and New Events
For the weekend crowd, Turfway brings back its much-anticipated dollar Fridays. Once voted Greater Cincinnati’s Best Cheap Date, Rockin’ Fridays feature free concerts by live local rock bands as well as domestic draft beer and hot dogs for just a dollar each. Racing fans also can enjoy dollar win, place and show bets on Fridays.
Kickin’ Country Saturdays are full of excitement with free concerts by live local country bands, $10 domestic beer buckets and $5 import and craft beer, in addition to dollar win, place and show bets. The entire band schedule is available on the Turfway website here.
The holiday meet will wrap up with Turfway’s New Year’s Eve party featuring live racing, free admission, free parking and a free concert by Doghouse. Reservations with buffet and/or open bar options are available. The year-end celebration draws one of the largest crowds of the season.
While New Year’s Eve closes the holiday meet, racing continues without interruption on New Year’s Day, the start of the track’s 49th annual winter/spring meet.