Few horse racing tracks have as interesting a back story as the Kentucky Downs Racetrack. Located in Franklin, Kentucky, this thoroughbred horse racing track is remarkable for its European-style course, and for its history as a dueling ground during the colonial and early independence periods. It is currently ranked 2nd in the Top 10 Thoroughbred Racetrack list by the Horseplayers Association of North America.

According to the local accounts, the Sandford Duncan farm, situated within the current bounds of the Kentucky Downs venue, served as a dueling hot-spot for quarreling gentlemen until the practice was outlawed by the state in 1827. The 260-acres large property was then used for agricultural purposes and others until, in 1980, a group of investors purchased the land with the hopes of building a Steeplechase racing ONLY course. The track was then christened as the Dueling Grounds and it opened its doors to the general public on April 22nd, 1990, with a special meet that offered a record-high purse of $750,000 US.

A joint effort by the Churchill Downs and Turfway Park conglomerates took over Dueling Grounds in 1997 and immediately proceeded to change its name to the current Kentucky Downs, as they realized the old name had become an impediment to better public relations. Once again, in 2007, a new group of investors -that included businessmen Ray Reid and Corey Johnsen- bought 85% of the shares, while the former owners retaining the remaining percentage. It has since added new installations, that include a casino, a bingo parlor, and other amenities.

Kentucky Downs features a 5/16 mile long turf racecourse and has a single yearly meet; its key event is the Kentucky Cup Turf Festival, crowned by the main race of the same name; it also offers simulcasting all throughout the year.

BETMANIA players can find Kentucky Downs Betting Odds on competing horses, including popular horse racing bet types such as Win/Place/Show, Exactas, Trifectas, Superfectas and many more. Visit our racebook to learn more about the available bet options and other popular race tracks.

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Kentucky Downs Racetrack Facts:

  • Racecourse type: American Thoroughbred Horse Racing (European-Style, turf).
  • Purse: varies
  • Venue Capacity: N/A
  • Track length: 5/16 mile turf.
  • Important Records: (1990) Awarded a record-high $750,000 purse for its opening day Steeplechase racing events.