The Racing Journal Logo

Something old, something new: Quarter Horse racing in Kentucky


September 12, 2008     E-mail this page to a friend!

The last time Quarter Horses entered the starting gate at Turfway Park was 1972. The last time horses that ran at Turfway Park ran on dirt was August 2005.

Kentuckyís powerful Thoroughbred horsemenís groups have blocked not only racing of but also simulcast-betting on Quarter Horses over the past three decades in an effort to protect their own industry. But the groups have signed off on a one-time-only Quarter Horse race at the Florence, Kentucky, oval. The $25,000 Turfway Park Sprint Stakes is scheduled as the eleventh and final race on Friday, September 12.

This renewal will also be the first-ever competition among Quarter Horses running over a synthetic surface. Turfway Park was the first North American venue to install a synthetic track, in September 2005.

The race has attracted shippers from Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, and Ohio, as well as Kentucky horses. The American and Kentucky Quarter Horse Associations have put together the purse money for the event.

Because the trainers cannot know how their charges might handle the new surface, Turfway Park officials allowed the entrants to break from the gate and train over the track this past Tuesday.

TVG is scheduled to carry the event live.