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Friday, March 6, 2020 2:16 PM
  • Spiral Stakes


FLORENCE, Ky. (March 6, 2020) – The road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) runs through Northern Kentucky Saturday, March 14, when Turfway Park hosts its annual Derby prep race, the $250,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3). The signature race is one of 12 races on the day, including six stakes races.

As Jeff Ruby Steaks day is the highlight of Turfway’s racing season, so the VIP tent is the centerpiece of the day itself. Situated along the homestretch of the one-mile track, the enclosed, clear-span tent seats 1,700 and is sold out. The chefs of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment will prepare the grand buffet featuring USDA Prime striploin and such Jeff Ruby favorites as six-cheese macaroni and cheese. Guests will also enjoy the tent’s premium open bar, including Maker’s Mark specialties and craft beers from Braxton Brewing Company. Between races, Louisville, Ky.-based band Soul Circus will entertain, and guests can win prizes, including Ultimate Air Shuttle flights.

Maker’s Mark provides the tent’s unique silent auction, offering 30 of the iconic bottles with the distillery’s trademark red wax but blank labels. Winning bidders will then have their caricatures drawn on their bottles. Proceeds from the auction benefit Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship.

Among special guests in the tent is Consul General of Canada Joseph Comartin. In 2019 Turfway and Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack established the All-Weather Winner’s Challenge, giving winners of specified races at one track automatic spots in premier races at the other track. The Jeff Ruby Steaks winner is guaranteed a spot in the Marine Stakes (G3) at Woodbine, while the winner of Woodbine’s Grey Stakes (G3) is invited to start in the Jeff Ruby Steaks.

New this year, Jeff Ruby’s chefs also will prepare the buffet served in three venues in the grandstand: the Homestretch restaurant on the first floor, the Clubhouse on the fifth floor, and the Party Deck on the third floor. Reservations without buffet service are available on the second floor and in Players’ Row, individual handicapping stations on the first and second floors. Reservations in the grandstand range from $25 to $90 and are available by calling (859) 371-0200.

All venues are non-smoking except Players’ Row on the first floor and a separate cigar tent in the courtyard of the VIP tent.

General admission is free, with seating available on the second and third floors and the track apron. Fans may bring lawn chairs. Neither food nor beverages may be brought in. Parking is free; valet parking is available.

Thoroughbred racing loves its traditions, and for Turfway on Jeff Ruby Steaks day that includes 175 gallons of “green drink,” a fan favorite that blends orange juice, pineapple juice, blue Curaçao, gin, tequila, rum, and vodka. Another tradition is the annual hat giveaway. The first 1,000 fans who purchase the $5 souvenir racing program on March 14 will receive a free cap stitched with the Jeff Ruby Steaks logo.

Gates open at 11 a.m. First post is 1:10 p.m., and the first of the day’s six stakes races goes off at 3:42 p.m. The Jeff Ruby Steaks is the 11th race, with a 6:42 p.m. post.

First run in 1972 as the Spiral Stakes, the 1 1/8-mile Jeff Ruby Steaks for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds is one of 47 races in the United States, Europe, Japan and the Emirate of Dubai to award points that determine the 20 starters for the $3 million Kentucky Derby. Similarly, the Maxim Crane Works Bourbonette Oaks (listed) on the Jeff Ruby undercard is one of 30 races for 3-year-old fillies that offer points toward the Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Also on the card are the Twin Spires Kentucky Cup Classic, the Mayers Electric Company Animal Kingdom Stakes, the Latonia Stakes and the Rushaway Stakes.

This year’s edition of the race, the 49th, will be the first run under track ownership by Churchill Downs Inc. and the last at the current facility. The existing 60-year-old grandstand is slated for demolition after Turfway’s racing season closes March 28 to make way for a new racing and gaming facility.



About Turfway Park
Established in 1959 as Latonia Turfway Park is a Thoroughbred racetrack in Northern Kentucky. The track hosts live racing from late fall through early spring, maintaining the winter dates for Kentucky’s year round live racing circuit, and offers simulcast wagering year round. Turfway was the first track in North America to install the all-weather surface Polytrack for live racing and is home to the Jeff Ruby Steaks and the Bourbonette Oaks, qualifying races for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, respectively. Turfway Park has been owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated since October 2019.

About Churchill Downs Incorporated
Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI") (Nasdaq: CHDN), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event - The Kentucky Derby. We own and operate Derby City Gaming, a historical racing machine facility in Louisville. We also own and operate the largest online horseracing wagering platform in the U.S.,, and are a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 11,000 slot machines / video lottery terminals and 200 table games in eight states. We also operate sports wagering and iGaming through our BetAmerica platform in multiple states. Additional information about CDI can be found online at

Information set forth in this news release contains various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”), which provides certain “safe harbor” provisions. All forward-looking statements made in this presentation are made pursuant to the Act. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently.

Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include the following: the effect of economic conditions on our consumers' confidence and discretionary spending or our access to credit; additional or increased taxes and fees; public perceptions or lack of confidence in the integrity of our business; loss of key or highly skilled personnel; restrictions in our debt facilities limiting our flexibility to operate our business; general risks related to real estate ownership, including fluctuations in market values and environmental regulations; catastrophic events and system failures disrupting our operations; online security risk, including cyber-security breaches; inability to recover under our insurance policies for damages sustained at our properties in the event of inclement weather and casualty events; increases in insurance costs and inability to obtain similar insurance coverage in the future; inability to identify and complete acquisition, expansion or divestiture projects, on time, on budget or as planned; difficulty in integrating recent or future acquisitions into our operations; number of people attending and wagering on live horse races; inability to respond to rapid technological changes in a timely manner; inadvertent infringement of the intellectual property of others; inability to protect our own intellectual property rights; payment-related risks, such as risk associated with fraudulent credit card and debit card use; compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or applicable money-laundering regulations; work stoppages and labor issues; difficulty in attracting a sufficient number of horses and trainers for full field horseraces; inability to negotiate agreements with industry constituents, including horsemen and other racetracks; personal injury litigation related to injuries occurring at our racetracks; our inability to utilize and provide totalisator services; weather conditions affecting our ability to conduct live racing; increased competition in the horseracing business; changes in the regulatory environment of our racing operations; changes in regulatory environment of our online horseracing business; increase in competition in our online horseracing; uncertainty and changes in the legal landscape relating to our online wagering business; continued legalization of online sports betting and iGaming in the United States and our ability to predict and capitalize on any such legalization; inability to expand our sports betting operations and effectively compete; failure to comply with laws requiring us to block access to certain individuals could result in penalties or impairment with respect to our mobile and online wagering products; increased competition in our casino business; changes in regulatory environment of our casino business; costs, delays, and other uncertainties relating to the  development and expansion of casinos; and concentration and evolution of slot machine manufacturing and other technology conditions that could impose additional costs.

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