Turning For Home

by Ed Meyer

posted on February 27, 2020 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

“We’d drive out with great expectations. There were races to play and a fortune to be made. Or, that’s what a young man would think on his way to the track. Looking at my Dad, and listening to stories of the big winner. It not only made the ride a little quicker but grew a love for a sport.”

 

This is the old Latonia Race Course. It was located on Winston Avenue in Latonia (Covington) Kentucky. – It saw Black Gold the winner of the 1924 Kentucky Derby run and gave legendary rider Eddie Arcaro his start in the saddle. – It was also the place my grandpa met my grandmother. She and her friend Virginia Kordenbrock took in a day at the races and met a stocky plumber with a flair for talking to the ladies. – A year later they drove to Churchill Downs to watch the Kentucky Derby. They made a stop in Carrolton, Kentucky at the justice of the peace and the rest is history. – I still have the 1938 program from his luckiest day at the races. Lawrin won, and our family began.

 

The old track lasted until financial difficulties closed the doors for good on July 29, 1939. – There would be no racing in Northern Kentucky until 1959 when the new Latonia Race Course opened in Florence, Kentucky. – Racing was back and many greats showed their talents over the years.

 

 

Over the years there were harness races in the summer and Thoroughbreds in the Winter-Spring. – Racing under the lights set the stage for excitement as I spent many an evening with my Dad and grandpa. – The track was sold to Jerry Carroll in 1986 and renamed the icon, Turfway Park. – That was the year I began my employment at the races as a parking lot attendant.

 

The track allowed me to work my way through college and offered me many opportunities. – My love for racing began here. It continues to grow, and to this day I’ve never strayed too far away from my first love. – In the Spring of 2020, the race meet will come to an end and so will Turfway Park. – It has been purchased by Churchill Downs and they are going to build a state-of-the-art facility with VLT’s, the best in simulcast racing and top-notch live racing on a Tapeta surface.

The next chapter is about to happen and I get to share my love of the sport with my son. He loves the thought of making a wager and watching the excitement. – Nothing like it for this fan, as I hope to spend some evenings with friends and family here during my life.

I’ve seen many changes over the years and look forward to the future. – There’s nothing like going to the track. It was my first love and continues to this day to captivate my inner-fan. – Here’s to wishing the New Turfway Park a great start and many fantastic finishes!

 

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