Turfway Park remains on track for 2022 opening

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 4:47 PM EDT
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BOONE COUNTY, Ky. (WXIX) - The last beam for the new Turfway Park Racing and Gaming Facility was put in place Friday, moving the project another step closer to completion.

Churchill Downs CEO Bill Castanet says work on the horse racing track has not been a smooth ride.

”Over the last number of months, we’ve had a lot of challenges,” explained Castanet. “COVID’s continued to surge; as a result of that, we’ve had labor shortages. We’ve had price increases. We’ve had changes in the global supply chain that made this process harder than it might ordinarily be.”

Turfway Park is still on track to open in 2022, despite the challenges mentioned by Castanet.

Once complete, it will offer the largest simulcast area in the state and will reinvent purses for the Kentucky circuit.

Gov. Andy Beshear, who was at Friday’s ceremony, says horse racing is a big piece of Kentucky’s economy. The industry brings in $3.4 billion each year on its own, the governor said.

That is why he says it is critical to keep investing in its infrastructure.

”Horse racing, it is a major draw contributing to Kentucky’s $8.9 billion tourism industry,” Gov. Beshear said. “It is clear to see that the horse racing industry is essential. It is indispensable. It is a major part of our economy, and we have to always treat it as such.”

Since the announcement of the $145 million project, the governor says it has created a draw to the area, bringing more than 2,400 jobs in the past few months.

”We have seen so much growth and so much development and much positive energy in our community,” said Florence Mayor Diane Whalen “This is the diamond in a rough and we are very appreciative for Churchill for polishing that diamond for Florence and Boone County.”

Turfway Park will continue to offer live Thoroughbred racing and historical racing machines to allow customers to bet on live races around the country.

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