'It's A Fun Track'
Julien Leparoux, winner of the Kentucky Downs riding title in 2014 and 2017, will again ride all five days of Kentucky Downs meet, and the jockey’s says it's one of his favorite stops.
“Kentucky Downs is different than the tracks we see everywhere else,” Leparoux said at Saratoga before guiding 15-1 shot Glorious Empire to victory in the Grade I Sword Dancer. “It’s a lot up and down, hills, right turn, long turns. It’s a fun track. You have to know the track, to be able to adapt to it. But it’s a very fun track to ride, and we really look forward to those five days in September.
Leparoux called Kentucky Downs a “very tactical” track to ride and said his preparation includes frequently walking the course.
“Especially the first day, anyway,” he said. “But now they can move the rail. They used to not be able to do that. Now they can do it, so we walk to the track to see where it is.
“Obviously the purses are the best. Corey Johnsen has done a great job with the track,” he said, referencing Kentucky Downs’ president and part-owner. “Not only the purses but the track itself. The turf course is awesome. They have a new rail now that they can move. With the drainage system they have now, the water doesn’t sit on the track. They did a great job with it. I think they’ve done some renovation this year, so I can’t wait to see it.
“It’s like a country-fair type feeling, where people love to come. I’ll bring the kids sometimes, too. They love to be there. For the jockeys, it’s a great change.”