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Clydesdales, Dachshunds to Join Racehorses at Turfway Park on Saturday

Thoroughbred racehorses won't be the only four-legged animals running around Turfway Park this weekend.

A full eight-horse hitch of Budweiser Clydesdales and their famous wagon will parade along Turfway's Polytrack, while dachshunds and other dog breeds under 20 pounds will take to the track fo rthe annual Polytrack Puppy Party to benefit the Boone County Animal Shelter.

The special event is set for Saturday, March 31.

The dachshunds will compete in heats and a championship race while the small dog competition will feature just one race. Fans can make $2 bets on their favorites with the money going directly to the shelter.

Betters who pick the winning dog will be entered into prize drawings. Prize baskets and a limited edition Maker's Mark bottle signed by Cincinnati Reds broadcasters Marty Brennaman and the late Joe Nuxhall will be raffled.

Pet supplies will be available from vendors on the track apron, and the shelter will have dogs available for adoption.

Turfway will give away a 55” LG Smart Ultra 4K TV to one lucky fan, with entries taken on the third floor, and $2 burgers, hot dogs and draft beer will be available. Fan Appreciation Night will continue after racing ends, with local rockers DV8 taking the stage until about 1 a.m.

“Fan Appreciation Night is our way of saying thank you to our guests for their support,” said Turfway Park general manager Daniel “Chip” Bach. “We’re proud to hold down the winter dates for Kentucky’s year-round racing circuit and appreciate the fans who come out all winter to make it happen. We’re excited to welcome them closing night with music, specials, giveaways and of course live racing.”

The night’s featured race is the Animal Kingdom Stakes, a $50,000 sprint for 3-year-olds. Formerly the WEBN Stakes, the race was renamed for the winner of the 2011 Jeff Ruby Steaks (then Spiral Stakes) who went on to win the Kentucky Derby, that year’s Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old and the Dubai World Cup the following year.

March 31 is also this year’s Dubai World Cup day, so Turfway will open its race book at 9 a.m., two hours earlier than usual. Turfway will take wagers beginning with the fourth race, the UAE Derby, a qualifying race for the Kentucky Derby that goes off at 9:30 a.m.

Racing continues Thursday through Saturday this week and next, with first post at 6:15 p.m. Admission and parking are free at Turfway.

-Staff report