posted on 6/10/2013 3:05 pm
One of harness racing’s great traditions is the annual
fortnight of Grand Circuit racing at Lexington, Kentucky’s historic Red Mile
harness track. Unmatched in all the sport, the beauty of race horses floating
across the clay surface, set against a background of local foliage on a warm
autumn afternoon, makes the Red Mile experience unique.
in the heart of horse country, The Red
Mile first opened its doors in 1875, just a few months after the inaugural Kentucky Derby was raced just 70
miles to the west. The track itself gleamed with a reddish hue, reflecting the
tone of the rich local clay used in its construction. One mile in circumference
with the natural footing its composition provides, the racing surface allows
horses to perform at a level beyond their scope at other venues. It is chief among
attractions to those trainers who covet the opportunity to race their prospects
at The Red Mile.
The Red Mile has been the stage
for many of the sport’s most hallowed performances. All of harness racing’s
champions have passed through here on their course to greatness and proudly
list the Lexington conquests among their most significant achievements.
this fall, the best of the best will make the trek to horse country to match
their skills on the Lexington clay oval. The 121st Kentucky Futurity, final leg of the
Trotting Triple Crown, is set for closing Sunday. The $500,000 Tattersalls Pace promises
to be as great an affair as the 2012 edition where a dozen of the fastest
pacers in the sport squared off in a thriller.
The freshman crop really begins
to find their form just about the time the Fall Trots arrive. Each year, the
Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes help to identify the true prospects
for the balance of the racing season. First crop sires look to Lexington to
validate their progeny for the upcoming sales.
As vital as The Red Mile is to
harness racing, considering both the irreplaceable history and current
importance as both a racing and sales venue, it needs your help and patronage
to survive. There is no alternative gaming to fund the purses or the cost of
operations. The Red Mile is forbidden by law to accept wagers on thoroughbred
races, an integral revenue producer for all racetracks.
While it is surely easier and
perhaps more lucrative to stay and race at your home track, avoiding the
expense of travel while likely racing for as much or more than a Red Mile Late
Closer, preserving the future of an important cog in our industry is worth some
sacrifice. Please accept our invitation to join this celebration of harness
racing’s finest with a Lexington trip to race and attend the yearling sales
year’s Championship Meet begins on Thursday, September 26 with an evening post
time of 7:00. Night racing continues through Saturday, September 28 and is
followed by a matinee (1:00pm) card on Sunday, September 29. Week two features
all afternoon racing with a post time of 1:00pm on Thursday, October 3 through
Sunday, October 6. A full slate of Late Closers will be offered soon with a
close of nominations by September 15.
The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale,
where champions are sold, begins on Tuesday, October 1 and continues at 7pm
each evening through Saturday.
Visit The Red Mile website for
information on this season’s calendar and events or call (859) 255-0752.