By Dick Downey
Following rain at Kentucky Downs on Wednesday and Thursday, a high pressure system and sunshine has moved into the area, and racing is on for Saturday's stakes card worth almost $1.4 million.
Wednesday afternoon after the fourth race, a thunderstorm suddenly struck the track. Hard rain and lightning were followed by a cancellation of races 5 through 10.
"The lightning compromised our tote, but we could have kept running on the track Wednesday. The track held up fine. It would have been rated good at worst," said C. J. Johnsen, Simulcasting and Live Racing Manager.
More rain came Thursday, but not as much as Wednesday.
"It poured for 15 minutes yesterday afternoon and drizzed for a little while after that, but the track held up just fine, and we'll be ready to go Saturday," Johnsen said.
The six races that were cancelled will be made up on the final two days of the meet, with three races added to the Sept. 18 card and three more on Sept. 25. First post on Saturday is 1:35 CDT. First post for the elongated cards the following two Wednesdays is 12:35 CDT.
Johnsen said the additional races pose a logistical issue with next Wednesday's handicapping contest, a qualifier for the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge. Official rules posted for the contest call for it to start at 1:35 CDT with 10 races at the track comprising the competition's structure. Johnsen said the issues will be resolved shortly. He said that travel plans of persons already signed up for the event must be considered, and a decision has be made about how many and/or which of the 13 races will be involved in the contest.
Handicapping contest entries can be arranged by contacting Ashlee Perdue at AshleePerdue@kentuckydowns.com or call (270) 776-7335. For more information about the contest, click here.