Sun­day rac­ing sched­ule tweaked

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By By­ron King

Be­gin­ning Sun­day, Tur­fway Park in Florence, Ky. will al­ter its reg­u­lar Sun­day post time from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. East­ern, while re­duc­ing its Sun­day pro­grams from nine races to seven.

The change comes in re­sponse to slow busi­ness on Sun­days for the track, Tur­fway Park gen­eral man­ager Chip Bach said. TVG1 car­ries Tur­fway’s races on Fri­days and Satur­days, but not on Sun­days, giv­ing the track less na­tional ex­po­sure that day.

The track will make up the two elim­i­nated Sun­day races each week by adding a race on Fri­day and Satur­day, go­ing from nine to 10 races per evening. Thurs­day nights will con­tinue to have nine races. All night­time cards at Tur­fway be­gin at 6:15.

Tur­fway races at night be­cause there is less com­pe­ti­tion for off-track bet­ting dol­lars than dur­ing the day. On Sun­days, Tur­fway faces com­pe­ti­tion dur­ing the day from tracks of­fer­ing bet­ter-qual­ity rac­ing.

Bach said han­dle is down in 2016 rel­a­tive to 2015, though he noted the track was markedly up in busi­ness in 2015.

Tur­fway is av­er­ag­ing 9.26 starters per race this year, slightly above its pace from Jan. 1-28 of 2015, when it av­er­aged 9.15 starters a race. Low-level claimers and maiden claimers typ­i­cally make up the bulk of its cards. The av­er­age purse in 2016 is $10,455, com­pared to $12,326 over the same time pe­riod in 2015.

Higher-class races are com­ing in Fe­bru­ary, with the Feb. 13 Cincin­nati Tro­phy and Feb. 20 WEBN Stakes kick­ing off Tur­fway’s 3-year-old stakes se­ries. The track’s two graded stakes, the Grade 3 Bour­bonette and Grade 3 Spiral, both will be run on April 2. The Bour­bonette is for 3-year-old fil­lies, and the Spiral is for 3-year-olds. The Spiral is Tur­fway’s rich­est race at $500,000 and serves as a Ken­tucky Derby prep.

Tur­fway’s meet con­tin­ues un­til April 3 be­fore rac­ing in Ken­tucky makes its tra­di­tional shift to Keeneland, which opens on Fri­day, April 8.

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