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Turfway Park to Celebrate Its Latonia Heritage

Turfway Park will celebrates its history this week with Latonia Days, Friday and Saturday.

The event features two days of storytelling, special guests, displays, films, and photos. It will support the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, which assists riders who sustain catastrophic on-track injuries.

“We’re proud of our history and our place in Kentucky’s racing heritage,” said Turfway Park general manager Daniel “Chip” Bach. “We’re looking forward to welcoming old friends and hearing their insider stories about the characters and horses that have come through this place over the last 60 years.”

Latonia Days festivities include dinner in the Racing Club Friday, Feb. 23, when guests will enjoy stories and Q & A from Triple Crown-winning jockey Steve Cauthen, national racing analyst and former Turfway track announcer Mike Battaglia, Smithsonian consultant, track historian, and Northern Kentucky University professor emeritus Jim Claypool, and Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Mike Manganello.

Friday’s feature race is the $75,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, the local prep race for the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks, an official prep for the Kentucky Derby, on March 17.

Also on Friday, Turfway will welcome current and former jockeys for an autograph session on the first floor from 6:45 to 8 p.m. A souvenir poster will be available for $10 for signing. A silent auction will run as well.

Friday’s entertainment includes the short film Old Latonia: America’s Most Beautiful Race Course on screens around the building and a free concert by ‘70s cover band Gee, Your Band Smells Terrific. The track’s usual Dollar Friday deals—one-dollar draft beer, Queen City Sausage hot dogs, sodas and bets—are in play as well.

Saturday’s entertainment is a screening of the 1931 classic film Sporting Blood starring Clark Gable. The movie will be shown in the Turfway Park Party Deck on the third floor toward the end of live racing. Admission and popcorn are free.

Both Friday and Saturday, the Party Deck also will be a museum, with displays of memories from the days of old Latonia to the present. There is no charge to view the display.

Live racing begins at 6:15 p.m. both days, ending about 10:40 p.m. Friday and 10:15 p.m. Saturday.

Admission to the track and parking are free both days. Valet parking is available.

-Staff report