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Kentucky Downs

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Kentucky Downs

Kentucky Downs is a horse-racing track in Franklin, Kentucky, United States. It opened in 1990, at Nashville Road.

History of Kentucky Downs

1990 – Ron Winchell and Marc Falcone opened the Kentucky Downs as Dueling Ground Racecourse on April 22, 1990. 1992 – The track conducted only steeplechase races in its first year but removed the fences and switched to flat racing. The first meet featured Dueling Grounds International with a purse of $750,000 that remains the richest in American steeplechase history. It was also utilized as a concert site and a bingo hall.

1997 – The track was purchased at auction by Turfway Park, Churchill Downs, and other investors. Turfway took over day-to-day management of the facility, having some of its existing staff do double duty at the new track. The name was changed to Kentucky Downs to remove the stigma attached to the Dueling Grounds brand under its previous mismanagement.

2000 Steeplechase racing returned with a Grade II event and traditional flat racing.

2001 – The track returned to flat racing only.

2007 – A partnership led by investors Corey Johnsen and Ray Reid agreed to purchase 85% interest in the track in March 2007.

2008 – The track again resumed steeplechases.

2009 – The Horseplayers Association of North America introduced a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in North America, in which Kentucky Downs was ranked #2.

2011 – Kentucky Downs introduced Instant Racing, a hybrid between slot machines and pari-mutuel wagering, where bettors play at a terminal using historical racing data and video on September 1, 2007.

2019 – The racetrack was acquired by Kentucky Racing Acquisition LLC in March 2019, making Ron Winchell (of Tapit fame) and Marc Falcone the current owners and managing partners of the track.


It is a Thoroughbred horse racing track with a European-style course. The name originated from the history of the Sandford Duncan farm, on whose property the track was located. The farm was the site of numerous duels in the 1800s because dueling was illegal in Tennessee but not Kentucky.

Track Details and Other Facilities

Track Details

  • 🐎Turf Track
    • It is kidney shaped, Not Oval
    • It measures 1 mile and 550 yards (2.112 km) in length, with three turns.
    • It has an undulated and a unique right-hand bend. The track’s average field size of about 11 horses per race.
    • The first turn is a sharp left-handed turn to the backstretch. Approximately 7 furlongs to the finish line, the course turns right. It then gradually turns left into the homestretch.

Other Facilities

  • 🐎Total Area
    • There is a total of 300 acres of land for seats.
  • 🐎Seats
    • Unlike most racetracks, it does not have typical grandstand seating but includes stadium seats and picnic tables and even allows guests/audience to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets, and seating for a casual day at the races.
  • 🐎The Mint Gift Shop
    • Mint merchandise and grab ‘n’ go food and drink items are available.
    • Open Hours
      • Monday to Thursday 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm.
      • Friday to Sunday  12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight.
  • 🐎Event Center
    • It is a 5,000-square-foot event center for weddings, parties, conferences, corporate meetings, and live entertainment.
    • Accommodating groups from 12 to 445 people.
  • 🐎Casino
    • It has more than 1,000 gaming machines.
    • Open Hours
      • Monday to Wednesday – 9:00 am to 5:00 am.
      • Thursday (open at 9:00 am) to Sunday – Open 24 hours


  • 🐎Irons steakhouse
    • Open Hours
      • Wednesday – 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
      • Thursday – 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
      • Friday to Saturday – 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
      • Sunday – 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
  • 🐎Center bar
    • Offers a range of Cocktails & Beers
    • Open Hours
      • Sunday to Thursday – 9:00 am to 1:00 am.
      • Friday to Saturday – 9:00 am to 3:00 am.
  • 🐎Corner café
    • Open Hours
      • Monday to Thursday – 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.
      • Friday – 9:00 am to 1:00 am.
      • Saturday – 7:00 am to 1:000 am.
  • 🐎Oasis sidebar
    • It offers frozen cocktail, beer or drink.
    • Open Hours
      • Monday to Thursday – 4:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.
      • Friday to Saturday – 12:00 noon to 3:00 am.
      • Sunday – 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight.

Race Schedule and Major Events & Races

Kentucky Downs Race Schedule

  • 🐎Live Racing Schedule
    • Every seven (7) days each year, Kentucky Downs hosts one of the most exclusive thoroughbred horse racing meets in North America, normally takes place in late August to early September.

Graded Races

  • Grade II 
      • 🐴Kentucky Turf Cup
      • 🐴Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint Stakes
  • Grade III
      • 🐴Dueling Grounds Derby
      • 🐴Franklin-Simpson Stakes
      • 🐴Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint Stakes
      • 🐴Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Stakes
      • 🐴Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon Stakes
      • 🐴Mint Million

Listed Important Races

      • 🐴Dueling Grounds Oaks
      • 🐴Kentucky Downs Juvenile Sprint
      • 🐴Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies
      • 🐴Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile
      • 🐴Music City Stakes
      • 🐴One Dreamer Stakes
      • 🐴Tapit Stakes

Location and Access to the Racecourse

  • It is located on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee, in Franklin, Kentucky, just off Interstate 65.
  • It is 35 minutes from Nashville and 20 minutes from Bowling Green.
  • Admission to the track is free.
  • No RV or Semi-Truck Parking is allowed. Uber and Lyft services are limited in this area.
  • The Mint is not responsible for transportation issues to and from The Mint.


Other racetracks are sorted and listed on the page “List of Racetracks”. To view the full list, hit the button below. You can also check the horse racing types and breeds to have a lot more in-depth knowledge about horse racing. 

Kentucky Downs

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