Churchill Downs Picks Up Kentucky Track
Turfway Park, a racetrack in Florence, Kentucky, was purchased last week by Louisville-based Churchill Downs. Turfway Park was owned by Jack Entertainment, which is slowly exiting the gaming industry, recently selling properties in Detroit and Cincinnati. Churchill has big plans for its new acquisition.
Jack Entertainment continued its inexorable exit from the gaming industry last week when it sold Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky to Churchill Downs for $46 million. Jack has recently sold its Greektown casino in Detroit to Penn National, and its Jack casino in Cincinnati to Hard Rock.
Northern Kentucky’s Turfway Park will be completely renovated by Churchill Downs. It’s grandstand will be demolished and replaced with a historical racing machine facility featuring up to 1,500 machines, a state-of-the-art clubhouse, more food and beverage venues, and a new inner dirt track to complement the existing one-mile synthetic main race track.
Churchill Downs had previously bid on the winter racing dates traditionally reserved for Turfway Park it would have used for new racetrack at New Latonia. With the Turfway purchase, Churchill dropped that request and welcomed Turfway Park to the company.
“We are thrilled to welcome Turfway Park to the Churchill Downs racing family,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs. “Our team is poised to restore Turfway to its former glory, anchored by northern Kentucky’s first historical racing machine facility. The result will be a first-class racing product fueled by increased purses that keeps high-quality horses in Kentucky year-round and appeals to horseplayers nationwide.”
The full cost of the new facility would be in the neighborhood of $150 million (including the purchase price).