Kentucky Downs hosted its second annual Hall of Fame Jockeys’ Day on Wednesday, as Hall of Famers Calvin Borel, Pat Day, Chris McCarron, Laffit Pincay, Jr. and Randy Romero came together for an autograph signing before the races to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund (PDJF). Additionally, Hall of Fame Trainer Jack Van Berg was on hand, signing autographs and copies of his new book: “Jack, From Grit to Glory.”
“It is truly an honor to host these Hall of Famers at Kentucky Downs,” track President Corey Johnsen said. “They have given so much to our great sport, and it is indeed a privilege to work with them and the Jockeys’ Guild to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund.”
During the 10 live race card, the day belonged to potential future Hall of Famers Rosie Napravnik and Julien Leparoux. Napravnik guided home four winners, while Leparoux was aboard an additional three. Napravnik’s wins came in race #2 (Holiday Drama), race #3 (Catalactic), race #6 (First Romance) and race #10 (Ventoux). Leparoux rode winners in race #1 (Expecting Cash), race #5 (Cool Comfort) and race #7 (Aripeka).
Hall of Famer Calvin Borel came home first aboard Shake Up in the fourth race, marking his 38th career win at Kentucky Downs, tying him for first-place with Larry Melancon in all-time wins at the track.
Additionally on Wednesday, Kentucky Downs hosted a $15,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Qualifier handicapping contest, with the winner earning a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, slated for October 31 and November 1, 2014 at Santa Anita Park.
This year’s remaining Kentucky Downs live racing dates are September 13, 17 and 24. Purses for this year’s live meet average over $1,000,000 per race day. Kentucky Downs features a one-of-a-kind European-style turf course that offers a fair test to horses at all levels of competition. The Kentucky Downs race course is among the longest courses in North America at 1.3125 (1 5/16) miles in length. With subtle elevation changes throughout the course, a sweeping turn into the stretch run and a quarter-mile run from the end of the final turn to the finish line, racing at Kentucky Downs is unlike any racing seen this side of the Atlantic Ocean.