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River Downs is a horse racetrack located in Anderson Township, Hamilton County, Ohio, just outside the southeast limits of Cincinnati. The track has two courses: the Main Dirt Track is a 1 mile oval; inside of this is the turf course, spanning 7 furlongs. The Main Track is 80 feet wide and has two chutes. The barns consist of 1,350 stables. River Downs has seating capacity of 9,350.
River Downs opened in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1925. It was opened 15 years after the closing of a previous track in Cincinnati, Old Oakley Race Course. The race track sits right along the banks of the Ohio River. The track was originally named Coney Island and is adjacent to Coney Island Amusement Park.
The famous Seabiscuit made two appearances at River Downs in 1936. His trainer "Silent Tom" Smith shipped the horse in from Detroit with jockey "Red" Pollard for two consecutive starts. On October 3, 1936, he ran third in the Western Hills Handicap and two weeks later he ran third in the Eastern Hills Handicap.
After surviving the flood of 1937, the track re-opened as River Downs. The 7 furlong turf course was created in 1956, making River Downs the 13th track in America with a grass racing strip.
On May 17, 1976 an apprentice jockey won the eighth race at River Downs aboard Red Pipe. It was the race that would launch the career of one of the world's most renowned riders, Steve Cauthen. "The Kid", as he was called, went on to be the leading apprentice and overall rider at River Downs that season. He later rode Affirmed to become the youngest rider to sweep the Triple Crown. He eventually became a champion rider in Europe and may forever be the only jockey ever to win the Irish Derby, French Derby, English Derby and Italian Derby in addition to capturing America's "Run for the Roses."
During the 1980s, the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes grew to become the richest race for 2-year-olds in the state of Ohio. The 1983 winner, Coax Me Chad, went on to a second-place finish behind Swale in the Kentucky Derby the following year. The 1984 "Cradle" winner did his predecessor one better - he won the Kentucky Derby. Spend A Buck not only won the Derby, but went on to win ten races and over $4.2 million, eventually being crowned Horse of the Year.
A new grandstand was constructed at the end of the 1988 racing season. Management elected to keep the style of the traditional open-air grandstand but with modern features. Wooden benches were replaced with well-spaced stadium seats, a game room was installed next to a new gift shop, and escalators ferry the bettors to an expanded mezzanine level.
In addition to the $16 million grandstand, the paddock was doubled in size, accentuating the River Downs' philosophy that fans like to be close to the action and the horses. On September 19, 1996, the track entered into a new era when state legislation finally allowed for Full Card simulcasting taking place in the state. In a matter of weeks after the live meet ended, the River Downs Clubhouse was transformed into the country's most modern simulcasting center - the River Downs RaceBook.
For over three-quarters of a century, race fans have enjoyed the pleasure of taking in the races at this beautiful track that has kept up with the times, while never losing its ambiance. Located only minutes from downtown Cincinnati along the scenic Ohio River, River Downs is warm, friendly, clean and it keeps you close to the live action while presenting year-round simulcast racing in a comfortable setting.
River Downs will not host live racing in 2013. Due to construction of a new facility, live meetings are being held at Beulah Park in Columbus.
April - September
Main Track: One mile, oval.
Distance from last turn to finish line: 1,117 feet.
Turf Course: Seven furlongs, oval.
1:30pm Sunday - Wednesday
$2 Daily Double on 1st, 2nd and last two races.
$2 Exacta on all races.
$2 Rolling Pick 3 beginning on 1st race.
$2 Trifecta on all races.
$2 Superfecta on all races.
Win, place, and show: 18%
All other exotic wagering: 22%
6301 Kellogg Road
Cincinnati, OH 45230
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