I was in Northern Kentucky on business this Monday and took the time to go and check out the newest simulcast and Historical Horse Racing venue in the area. The Newport Racing & Gaming operation — which is owned and operated by Turfway Park — is located in a strip mall in the river city and is now open for business seven days a week.
Just like with any other property that is ultimately owned and run by Churchill Downs, Inc., this location is pure glitz and long on entertainment.
There is casino-like carpet to dazzle the eyes and there are machines galore to catch the attention.
There is a bar to offer you refreshment and nourishment.
There is a simulcast room full of TVs, and massive TVs full of racing videos. A wall full of horses racing this way, and that way, and every which way.
And, there were people.
Lots of people.
Despite the fact that it was a Monday afternoon, let’s say around 2 p.m. ET, the rooms had people sitting and playing; standing and playing; and, most of all, playing and enjoying.
Another addition to the Kentucky horse racing scene.
Another fine addition.
Soon, the new and improved Turfway Park will begin to be resurrected, too.
We stopped by the grounds of the Thoroughbred racetrack on Monday, as well, and we took note:
All that is left of the former structures are the office spaces and the backside barns. Thank goodness. If anything in this free world was ever in need of a total face lift, it was the drooping eyes of the old Turfway Park.
A new metal fence blocks off the parking lot. The old grand stand is no more. In its’ stead is a clear view of the new racing surface which has been installed.
Gone is the weathered all-weather surface of Polytrack. Down and installed is a new Tapeta racing surface. Mounds of the grey material are piled to the end of the facility; ready to be used if need be.
It won’t be long before Kentucky’s racing circuit returns to Northern Kentucky. When it does, the new grandstand and the new Historical Racing Facility on the grounds will only be dreams of tomorrow.
But the track will be ready.
Sitting on go.
Here’s a glimpse into the future:
Newport Racing & Gaming:
(All photos by Gene McLean)