European Bluegrass

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 21, 2010 in General Discussion | 1 Comment >>

Kentucky DownsI just came back from Franklin, Kentucky and have to say that I experienced a little slice of heaven. A European style turf course that features a short and unique meet, that gives you the feel of a country festival. They travel up the crest in the rise, and when they make their way home, there is about 3/8ths of a mile to run. So, don’t toss your tickets just yet….

I played in a handicapping tournament. I did pretty well on the KyD races, and found myself caught in the twilight zone of running third….. That is the punishment of any horseplayer.

The track sits on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee. It used to be called Dueling Grounds back in the day, and Sam Houston was said to have drawn pistols on this site. He went on to be Governor, so I guess he must have been a good shot in his day….

They love to bring the action to the players. Corey Johnsen, Kentucky Downs president, believes in giving the fan an exciting on-track experience. They are about 40 miles north of Nashville, and draw from a great population area. The building looks like an old-style mansion, and the grounds are even said to be haunted. You can check it out if you make the trip, and would like to take the nightly stroll.

The final turn of the undulating course rolls into Tennessee. Bingo and BBQ are the two staples of the area, and simulcast racing makes up the trifecta. But, in 2010, racing only went for half of the normal amount of days due in part to a massive date cutback in Kentucky……

So, as I left with an action packed day under my belt, I will make plans to be back next year. It is like a little Keeneland or Saratoga, and  I would add it to your bucket list. It even garnered the respect of H.A.N.A.,who ranked it #2 on the best tracks in the country list at one point. Neat place…… Make the trip next year……