Name: Kentucky Downs, LLC
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 405, Franklin, Kentucky 42135
5629 Nashville Road, Franklin, Kentucky 42135 (click for map)
Telephone: (270) 586-7778
Fax: (270) 586-8080
Founded in 1990, Kentucky Downs was originally named
Dueling Grounds in recognition of the area's colorful history. In the early
1800's, gentlemen from Tennessee traveled just across the Kentucky border to
settle their differences by duel. That method of conflict resolution was
illegal in Tennessee, but was allowed in Kentucky. Such famous figures as
Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston were said to have witnessed duels at the
When dueling became illegal in Kentucky, the 260-acre site had a more
conventional agricultural use for the next 150 years until new owners built
a clubhouse and stable area to support a new a 15/16-mile European-style
turf race course. The new track staged a $750,000 steeplechase race, the
world's richest event for that discipline.
In 1997, the track was purchased by a new group and renamed Kentucky Downs.
Then, in 2007, Corey Johnsen, Ray Reid and a group of investors bought
controlling interest in Kentucky Downs.
On July 14, 2011, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission unanimously approved
Kentucky Downs’ application for a license to offer pari-mutuel wagering on
historical horse races. Forty-eight days later, Kentucky Downs completed the
renovation of the first floor of its Colonial-style clubhouse and became the
first race track in Kentucky to offer expanded wagering options when its new
historical horse racing center opened on September 1.
The arrival of historical horse racing was the first step in Kentucky Downs’
strategic plan to reinvent itself as a year-round entertainment destination
for residents of south central Kentucky and north central Tennessee.
In 2016, Kentucky Downs will host five days of live racing on September 3,
8, 10, 11, and 15. The Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup will again highlight the
President: Corey Johnsen
Senior Vice President and General Manager: Ted Nicholson
Location: Franklin, Kentucky
Nearest Cities: Franklin is approximately 35 miles north of
Nashville, Tennessee and 20 miles south of Bowling Green, Kentucky
Nearest Airports: Nashville International Airport (commercial) and
Portland (TN) Municipal Airport (private aircraft)
Track Data: Kentucky Downs features a one-of-a-kind European-style
turf course that is 1.3125 miles in length. Originally built to host
steeplechase races in the early 1990’s, the Kentucky Downs race course
offers a fair test for horses at all levels of competition, including 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
Total Track Capacity: 20,000
Parking Capacity: 8,000
Simulcasting Information: The Kentucky Downs simulcasting venue is
open seven days a week throughout the year and offers wagering on tracks
from across North America.