Revitalized Kentucky horse racing circuit shifts to Churchill Downs
September 13, 2018 9:52 AM
by Robert Mann
The revitalized Kentucky horse racing circuit shifts to Churchill Downs on Friday (Sept. 14). An opening day, 10-race program starts at 12:45 p.m. EDT (9:45 a.m. PDT) at the home of the Kentucky Derby and is available for wagering at simulcast locations nationwide.
The September Meet has an 11-date run through Sunday, Sept. 30.
This year's meet will feature record purse levels totaling $5.275, an average of $479,545 per day. Last year, an unprecedented $4.692 million was paid to horsemen for a daily average of $427,000, which was up 12 percent from the prior year.
A total of 97 horses and four also-eligible entries were drawn Tuesday for Friday's opener for a substantial average of 9.7 horses per race. The average field size during last year's meeting was a September record 8.9 horses.
Revenue from slot machine-like terminals in the state, called historical racing machines, has helped Kentucky racetracks to fund purses to record levels in recent years.