Keeneland press release (Photo: Kentucky Downs co-owner Ron Winchell)
LEXINGTON, KY (Sept. 21, 2020) – Keeneland and the majority owners of Kentucky Downs announced today their filing of an application for a racing license and proposed construction of a state-of-the-art racing facility and related track extension in Kentucky to be located in Corbin and Williamsburg, respectively. The proposed facilities will feature live Standardbred racing and historical racing machines for guests from Kentucky and beyond.
Kentucky Downs, located in Franklin, Kentucky, is majority owned, controlled and managed by a partnership led by Ron Winchell and Marc Falcone.
“Horse racing is an extremely vital part of the Commonwealth’s economy,” said Winchell. “With the addition of a new race track and related amenities in southeastern Kentucky, it will help to continue the momentum we have created for the state and our industry in recent years.”
“Keeneland has dedicated resources to this region and project for many years and we look forward to working alongside our partners at Kentucky Downs to bring this project to life,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “This project will strengthen Kentucky’s vital horse industry and positively impact the Commonwealth and the local communities by stimulating significant economic growth, generating hundreds of new jobs and enhancing tourism andhospitality.”
Officials from each racing association are working with state and local officials on a number of incentives and necessary infrastructure improvements to bring the facilities to fruition. Additionally, the venture is working with local investors to enhance the magnitude of the impact to the region.
“Corbin is thrilled to be a part of this endeavor,” Corbin Mayor Suzie Razmus said. “The new racing facility will be a welcome addition to our city’s already long list of sites and attractions for local residents and visitors.”
“We are proud of the significant investment this partnership is committed to making in our community, and are excited to see the infusion of tourism, economic development and new jobs it will bring to Williamsburg and Whitley County,” Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison stated.
Each facility is contingent upon approval of an initial pari-mutuel racing license by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.