Reserved seating for the 2020 RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs are on sale now through the track’s online ticket office at

COVID-19 protocols and restrictions have forced Kentucky Downs to adjust its seating availability and admission policy. As a result, admission to the live race meet will be by reserved seating only. There will be no general admission and no tailgating for the 2020 live race meet, which runs Sept. 7, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 16. Horsemen and their employees with a valid Kentucky thoroughbred license will be admitted at no charge but will require a ticket for access to reserved-seating venues.

Ticketed seating will be available in three outdoor areas: an expanded Finish Line Pavilion, Turf Club Tent and picnic tables with all-weather umbrellas. Tables in every venue will be at least six feet apart. Seats must be purchased by the table, with no individual tickets sold.

In addition, a BYOT (Bring Your Own Tent) area will be sectioned into 10 feet by 10-feet spaces.

“Kentucky Downs’ race meet has become a late-summer rite for horseplayers and sports fans in the region, as well as a bucket-list item for racing enthusiasts across the country,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ senior vice president and executive director. “The health pandemic has turned the world upside down, and we’re just grateful that Kentucky has been allowed to safely open up racetracks at a reduced capacity. So we’ve worked hard and had to get creative to allow as many people as possible to enjoy our racing in person.”

The details:

Finish Line Pavilion: Located right before the finish line and near the paddock, Kentucky Downs’ popular seating venue is being expanded to accommodate more horsemen and race-goers. A table of six costs $240, including box lunches and track programs. The area includes easy access to a cash bar and betting windows.

Turf Club Tent: This has been relocated to inside the sixteenth pole from its previous location in front of the main building. The more upscale seating option costs $390 for a table for six, including plated meals and track programs for guests, with easy access to a cash bar and betting windows.

Picnic tables: These open-air tables for eight have umbrellas and are positioned near the racetrack apron just before the sixteenth-pole. At $160 per picnic table, guests may bring in food and non-alcoholic beverages, with the venue in close proximity to a cash bar and the betting pavilion.

BYO Tent: Located in the grassy area behind the picnic tables, guests can bring their own tents to set up in 10 X 10-foot areas, which will accommodate up to six people for $100 per square. Food and non-alcoholic beverages may be brought in, with the venue adjacent to the restrooms and in close proximity to a cash bar and betting pavilion.

Horsemen: Those with a valid Kentucky Horse Racing Commission thoroughbred license, including hotwalkers, grooms, trainers and owners, are welcome at no charge but will not have access to reserved seating without a ticket.

Historical Horse Racing gaming in the main building will remain open throughout the live race meet, as will simulcasting on the second floor, with free admission. Due to COVID restrictions, the number of people who can be admitted is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis for both HHR and simulcasting. Guests will not have access to the racetrack areas without a ticket or KHRC license.

“Our tickets sell very quickly when we’re at full capacity with unlimited general admission,” Nicholson said. “So we cannot stress enough how important it is to purchase seats early in order to avoid getting shut out. The good news is that we do have a sixth day this year that should allow more people to enjoy America’s most unique race meet, with Kentucky Downs’ nation-leading full fields and low takeout.”

For questions or more information on ticketing, contact Kentucky Downs stakes coordinator Rick Albright at or 270.586.7778.

Kentucky Downs 2020 condition book

Kentucky Downs 2020 stakes (all on turf)

Purses include Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund supplements

Monday Sept. 7 — $750,000 Tourist Mile, 3-year-olds & up, mile; $500,000 Gainesway Farm Juvenile, 2-year-olds, mile; $500,000 The Mint Juvenile Fillies, 2-year-old fillies, mile; $300,000 One Dreamer, fillies & mares 3 years old & up non-winners of a stakes in 2020, mile and 70 yards.

Wednesday Sept. 9 — $300,000 Tapit, 3-year-olds & up non-winners of a stakes in 2020, mile and 70 yards.

Thursday Sept. 10 — $750,000 Gun Runner Dueling Grounds Derby, 3-year-olds, 1 5/16 miles; $500,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1 5/16 miles.

Saturday Sept. 12 — $1 million Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup (G3), 3-year-olds & up, 1 1/2 miles; $700,000 RUNHAPPY Turf Sprint (G3) “Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Division,” 3-year-olds & up, 6 furlongs; $500,000 Three Chimneys Ladies Turf (G3), fillies & mares 3 years old & up, mile; $500,000 Spendthrift Farm Ladies Sprint (G3), fillies & mares 3 years old & up, 6 1/2 furlongs; $500,000 Fifth Third Insurance Juvenile Turf Sprint, 2-year-olds, 6 1/2 furlongs.

Sunday Sept. 13 — $500,000 Ramsey Farm, fillies & mares 3 years old & up, 1 5/16 miles; $400,000 Music City, 3-year-old fillies, 6 1/2 furlongs; $400,000 Untapable, 2-year-old fillies, 6 1/2 furlongs.

Wednesday Sept. 16 — $500,000 Nevada State Bank Franklin-Simpson (G3), 3-year-olds, 6 1/2 furlongs.

Free nomination for all stakes; nominations close Wednesday Aug. 26

About Kentucky Downs

Located near the Kentucky and Tennessee border, just off Interstate 65 and approximately 35 miles from Nashville, Tenn., Kentucky Downs features Historical Horse Racing gaming terminals and conducts live turf racing each September on America’s only “European-style” race course while offering among the highest purses in the world. Kentucky Downs is a pioneer in modern Historical Horse Racing, the electronic form of pari-mutuel betting on horses that has become one of the great financial success stories in the sport’s history. Racing has been conducted at the facility since 1990, when it was called Dueling Grounds.

Address: 5629 Nashville Road, P.O. Box 405, Franklin, KY 42135

Phone: 270.586.7778

2020 dates: Sept. 7, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 16

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