LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – For the first time in more than a decade, quarter horse racing is back in Kentucky and it’s at Lexington’s iconic racetrack for a period of time.
Sandy Ridge at Red Mile will take place with races starting at 2 p.m. through April 6.
Unlike thoroughbred racing, quarter horses race in a straight-away before crossing the finish line.
“Quarter horse racing in Kentucky is alive, said Revolutionary Racing Kentucky President John Marshall. “The first race in the books, 2023. it’s exhilarating for the horse racing industry, for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. all horse enthusiasts and lovers in Kentucky. It’s a big day.”
Owners, trainers, and fans gathered at Red Mile to bring world-class back to the Bluegrass after more than a decade long, most agreed it was something they all agree was long overdue.
Horse trainer and owner Matt Frazier said, “It’s really, really nice to see what they’re doing. historically, we’ve had to ship to Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Oklahoma go everywhere but Kentucky to run quarter horses. and as people have been based in central Kentucky with quarter horses over our entire lives. it’s really, really nice to have something closer to home.”
With the help of Revolutionary Racing Kentucky, this week’s races will be just the beginning of bringing quarter horse racing back to central and eastern Kentucky after the company secured the ninth and final horse racing license for a brand-new state-of-the-art track.
Revolutionary Racing Kentucy chairman Larry Lucas said, “We’re under construction for our o-t-v facility and we’re starting the design, we’ve been designing the track in Ashland, and it’s going very, very well.”
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Revolutionary Racing plans to invest $55 million in building the track and on-site casino in eastern Kentucky. In the meantime, millions more are being invested to bring the best product to Red Mile.
“We’ve made a big investment here. we put in over 7,000 tons of new sand. and for the new rail, safety’s our number one priority for the horses and the jockeys,” said Lucas.
If you can’t get to the track this week, don’t worry. Quarter horse racing will be returning to Red Mile in the spring of 2024. It will then move to Ashland in 2025 after the track’s completion.
The new facility will be called Sandy Ridge.