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Kentucky Downs Ownership Changing Hands

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Kentucky Downs, via WKYU
Kentucky Downs in Franklin is being sold to Kentucky Racing Acquisition.

Kentucky Downs is being sold and its new owners are pledging improvements and expansions at the Simpson County horse-racing track.

Kentucky Racing Acquisition, LLC has agreed to purchase the track from parent company Kentucky Downs Partners, the investment group that has owned the venue since 2007. 

KRA was co-founded by Ron Winchell and Marc Falcone, both well-known within the horse racing and casino gaming industries.  Winchell oversees Winchell Thoroughbreds, his family’s racing and breeding operation in Lexington.  Falcone brings financial and gaming experience to Kentucky Downs.

Kentucky Downs is located just off I-65 on the Kentucky-Tennessee border and features more than 750 historical horse racing machines.  The track also hosts live turf racing each September. 

Since introducing historical wagering, betting at the track has increased from $20 million in 2010 to nearly $800 million so far this year, according to KRA. 

Ray Reid, President of Kentucky Downs Management, Inc. and Kentucky Downs Partners, LLC, said he sees KRA as a “perfect fit” for the next chapter in the track’s history.

“We purchased Kentucky Downs in 2007 with the goal of reversing the business fortunes of Kentucky racing, and I believe we have done that. Kentucky Downs Partners is confident that Ron and Marc are the right people to continue to expand on this momentum," said Reid in a news release.

The company plans to make new investments in the track and develop a second venue in Oak Grove near Fort Campbell, contingent upon license approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. 

The sale of Kentucky Downs is expected to close in early 2019.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

© 2018 WKU Public Radio

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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