The Kentucky Cup Turf Festival
After being closed for several years, Kentucky Downs (formerly the Duelling Grounds) reopened this year under the management of Turfway Park. The track is grass only with a European style turf course of rolling hills and wide sweeping turns. Today they had the inaugural running of the Kentuck Cup Turf Festival with $700,000 spread over 4 stakes races: KY Cup Turf Dash (6f, $100,000), KY Cup Ladies Turf (8f, $100,000), KY Cup Mile (8f, $200,000), KY Cup Turf (12f, $300,000). Because the horsemen were a bit leery of the course since it had been idle for so long, they didn't get as many stars and they hoped but it was still a nice day of racing.
The feature race was won by the 8 year old Irish bred Yaqthan who had a large and vocal busload of owners there to cheer him on. He had previously won the Dallas Turf Cup and Independence Day Breeders' Cup but was trying 1 1/2 miles for the first time. He did put on a nice display in the paddock looking very much like a winner. He broke on top and lead the entire way despite constant pressure and the final part of the stretch being uphill.
You may view the charts of all four races here:
Here are a few photos from the day taken with my digital camera:
Rob 'n Gin was the big favorite in the Mile and lived up to his reputation, winning in style.
Have you ever eaten food served from a pig? This was one of the concession stands behind the bleacher seats.
What else would a guy who owns a giant pig drive?
All graphics by the author