FRANKLIN, Ky. — Kentucky Downs’ 2021 race meet will again feature six days, racing both the Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend for the first time.
Kentucky Downs’ all-grass meet was awarded dates of Sept. 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, and 12 for next year. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved 2021 dates for the state’s thoroughbred and harness tracks. The KHRC’s dates committee in an earlier meeting Tuesday recommended the schedule voted on by the full commission.
It’s the second year in a row that Kentucky Downs has been granted a six-date meet after a decade of running five or fewer days. This year, Kentucky Downs opened its live meet on Labor Day for the first time in a schedule that was changed to accommodate the COVID-delayed Kentucky Derby week at Churchill Downs.
Kentucky Downs pays out some of the most lucrative purses in the world, including offering an average of about $2 million a day the past two meets. The track, which in recent years has attracted the largest average field sizes in North America, smashed its betting records at last month’s six-date meet with total wagering of $59,828,444 on 62 races. The previous record was last year’s $41,239,699 for 50 races over five days.