Fresh Starts and Fantastic Finishes

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 7, 2020 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Fresh Starts and Fantastic Finishes


Racing is a great way to spend the day. Especially if you’re sheltering in place. – There is something about making a few bets and watching the action that makes life feel normal for the gambler.

So, your favorite ADW is open, or you’re tuning into your favorite oval. The graphics and enhancements have made the experience second to none. This isn’t your grandpa’s game anymore.

Turfway Park opened on December 03, 2020, with a brand new surface, top-shelf outfits, and a rider colony that is one of the best I’ve seen in years. There are only a few things missing. – There is no building, grandstand, patron viewing area. You can’t come out and watch the races for now as the entire property is surrounded by a huge fence and everything has been demolished for the new facility that will be open in December 2021. Good things coming to Northern Kentucky!

In the winter, I work in the racing office and hold down the position of a placing judge. – It’s a split shift, but the sport is well worth it for me. We have “pods” or the suite pods that are located on the inner turf at Churchill Downs for Oaks and Derby. – Quite a step up from the 1959 building which is a memory.

One for the stewards; one for placing judges and teletimer/photo finish; and the other for Equibase and the announcer. The cameras are mounted on top of the large pods, and temporary lights illuminate the darkness. If you’re watching from home, you can’t tell one thing has changed. But for me, it is a brand new feelĀ  – No stands, no cheering fans, or buzz of humanity on the apron.

I walk out onto the steps leading to our pod and look into the darkness; which was a well-lit aging building that horseplayers called home since 1959. – It’s the dark that catches my attention as I still can see the large antiquated building in my mind. There are large fences that circle the entire property, and even one around the paddock. But you won’t see this at home. Everything looks perfect.

Next year will be home to a brand new facility owned by Churchill Downs Inc. I have to admit, I’m looking forward to seeing this glimmering building with gaming, racing, and entertainment. It’s, going to be top-shelf. But, I digress. – I’m still seeing that old building in my mind where I spent so many days with my grandpa and dad as a boy. I learned to hone my craft as a handicapper, and took about every single first date to share what I love. – I have made friends of a lifetime and said goodbye to many who have passed this way. – I started in the parking lot and had the opportunity to build my resume by learning the sport from many angles. I’m still learning.

The track is on target as horses and handle reflect an interest in the Kentucky oval. – I love the idea of the shiny and new but still look back for the old and historic oval which was a big part of my life. – So, here’s to a great meet, new Tapeta surface, and some of the biggest connections in the land. But, the new Turfway is going to be a showplace. One you’ll want to add to your race track bucket list next year.