US Racing Track Guide: Turfway Park

Betfair now offers Exchange markets on a whole host of tracks in the United States. In his latest in-depth guide, US racing handicapper Dean Keppler takes a look at Turfway Park...

Turfway Park

What kind of racecourse is it?

• The main synthetic Polytrack is one mile in circumference.

Tell me something I don't know about this track

• In 2005, Turfway Park became the first track in North America to install Polytrack, an all-weather product, as a racing surface. The visible component combines silica sand, wax, and various fibers; the hidden drainage component allows water to drain quickly through the surface, eliminating the freeze-and-thaw cycles that plagued the track during its winter meets. With the installation, Turfway's track condition is always officially listed as "fast," no matter the weather conditions. Turfway Park was mentioned as the setting for the 2005 movie Racing Stripes, although no actual filming occurred at the Florence, KY oval.

When do they race?

Mainly Wednesday through Sunday evenings November Through December - starting
at 11:00 p.m. GMT. Post Time 8:00 p.m. GMT on Sundays.

Best Ever Race - Spiral Stakes March 26, 2011

The Spiral Stakes is described by locals as Northern Kentucky's Biggest Springtime Party and where Derby dreams begin. The name has changed over the years, but the vision for Turfway Park's banner springtime race, the Spiral Stakes, has never wavered. The winner of the 2011 edition was Animal Kingdom. This colt went on to win the 137th Kentucky Derby. He was the first winner never to have raced on dirt before the Derby; the first since 1956 to win off a six-week layoff; the first since 1918 to win with only four previous starts. In addition, he was the first and only Derby winner for owner Team Valor International, trainer Graham Motion, and jockey John Velazquez.

Most Popular Jockeys

Jimenez, Albin
Mojica, Orlando
Hernandez, Jr., Brian Joseph

Most Popular Trainers

Maker, Michael
Colebrook, Ben
Ward, Wesley A.

How to find winners at Turfway Park...

In small seasonal circuits like Turfway, it's imperative to familiarize yourself with the local trainers and their tendencies. Follow trips and note horses that weren't given the chance to perform up to their best potential in surrounding circuits. Know the jockey colony and which riders are best riding synthetic surfaces. Understand the pedigrees and the bloodlines that are winning more often than not over the Polytrack surface. This is extremely important handicapping angle. Some top synthetic sires include: Old Forester, Philanthropist, Giant Gizmo, Where's The Ring and Milwaukee Brew.

Keep in mind that the horses for courses angle may be important than ever before, as certain runners show a strong fondness for a particular synthetic surface such as Turfway. Pay special attention to horses that ship in from Arlington Park. They've been known to run very well over the Polytrack surface.

Draw Positions

Unlike most North American tracks the outside post positions do very well at Turfway Park in races run at less than one mile. In fact, post one and two have the least amount of wins. In route races, it's completely the opposite. Post 1 through 6 win a high percentage of the races and the wins are evenly distributed with each slot winning about 11 to 12% on the average.

Running Styles

Early speed types as well as horses that are pressing the pace do very well at Turfway. In fact, over 50% of the races are won by horses that are never farther back than 2nd or 1 length off the lead. Speed is even more dangerous on warm, balmy nights. The colder evenings give closers a better opportunity.

When betting Turfway Park look out for...

Early speed-types shipping in from Arlington Park that are drawn outside in sprint races.