LOUISVILLE, Ky.— North America’s most lucrative purses. Full fields of turf racing. The best jockeys and trainers from across the country converge for seven days of turf racing. A horseplayer’s dream.
The FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs is fast approaching, and ESPN Louisville will be the place to hear all about America’s most unique race meet.
Wednesday, Aug. 17, is Kentucky Downs Preview Day, presented by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF), airing live from noon-6 p.m. ET on ESPN Louisville (680-AM, 105.7-FM and on espnlouisville.com) from the downtown Louisville Thoroughbred Society.
Bob Valvano’s ESPN V Show will air noon-3 p.m. ET from the Louisville Thoroughbred Society, featuring interviews with racing personalities both in person and on the phone interspersed among general sport-talk fare. The Take With Andy Sweeney follows onsite at LTS from 3-6 p.m.
Kentucky Downs’ seven-day meet runs Sept. 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11 and 14. ESPN Louisville will broadcast live from Kentucky Downs on two days: Sept. 1 with former SI.com National Sports Voice of the Year Valvano (noon-3 p.m. ET) and again Sept. 8 with basketball Hall of Famer and racing fan Dan Issel and Louie Rabaut (10 a.m.-noon ET).
“Louisville is a huge market for us in terms of horses, horseplayers and racing enthusiasts,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ vice president for racing. “We have enjoyed a long association with ESPN Louisville, and having Kentucky Downs Preview Day in Louisville to share our excitement about the 2022 meet just made a lot of sense. This is a new venture for us, and we appreciate the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund’s involvement as the sponsor to make it possible. Of course, the KTDF makes a lot of things possible in Kentucky racing.”
Kentucky Downs is horse racing’s biggest success story of the last decade, going from a track teetering on the brink of extinction to offering among the most lucrative purses in the world, including an unprecedented $150,000 maiden races for registered Kentucky-breds.
The KTDF is a major part of the success. The fund was created by the state legislature in 1978 to encourage breeding and racing in the commonwealth by providing purse supplements to registered Kentucky-bred horses, which form the large majority of horses competing in the state.
The real game-changer came when Kentucky Downs introduced historical horse racing to the state in 2011. The electronic games, which are parimutuel in nature, have allowed Kentucky tracks to offer record money to racehorse owners, both in regular purse money for which all horses are eligible and the KTDF supplements that go exclusively to registered Kentucky-breds.
The Louisville Thoroughbred Society, which opened up last year at 209 E. Main Street in downtown Louisville’s historic distillery district, is a private membership club featuring on-site pari-mutuel wagering, bourbon bar, walk-in humidor, member dining, rooftop terrace and cigar lounge.
ESPN Louisville has been Kentuckiana’s Big Game, Big Race Place since 2010. Tune in to ESPN 680/105.7 and 93.9 the Ville on the radio in the Greater Louisville market and the ESPN Louisville app, ESPNLouisville.com, TuneIn app, iHeartRadio app or connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“We’re looking forward to unrestricted fun this week and in September, too, as we begin our eighth season together with Kentucky Downs and its partners,” said ESPN Louisville’s John Salzman. “Our inaugural Kentucky Downs Preview Day broadcasts this week continues our ever-growing commitment to Kentucky’s signature industry.”
Kentucky Downs Press Release
Photo: ESPN 680’s Bob Valvano (left) with Kentucky Downs vice president for racing Ted Nicholson at the track in 2019. (Kentucky Downs photo)