Turfway Park racing dates in flux? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Turfway Park racing dates in flux?

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FLORENCE, KY (FOX19) -

Northern Kentucky leaders are mounting a late-stretch campaign in support of Turfway Park ahead of a decision on next year's racing assignments. 

The business and political leaders are targeting the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which is weighing competing requests from Turfway and Churchill Downs to host racing next September. 

The commission's Race Dates Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday, and the full commission is set to meet Oct. 23.  

The commission has a Nov. 1 deadline to assign 2013 dates for the state's race tracks. 

Turfway has been the state's traditional home of September racing, but Churchill is seeking permission for racing during four three-day weekends in September. The famed Louisville track, home of the Kentucky Derby, says it could offer at least $200,000 in daily purses in September, twice the amount of daily winnings Turfway awarded to horsemen during its 16-day racing schedule last month. 

Turfway also has a holiday meet in December and a winter-spring meet from January through March. Those meets enable Kentucky to offer racing year round. But September racing is seen as a crucial revenue generator to help get Turfway through winter. 

Meanwhile, Kentucky Downs is asking for three racing dates next March, another time traditionally set aside for Turfway. That would be on top of five days of racing the southern Kentucky track is requesting in September.

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