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River Downs

River Downs is a thoroughbred horse racing facility in Cincinnati, Ohio with two tracks.

Located only minutes from downtown Cincinnati along the scenic Ohio River, the track has a warm and friendly atmosphere that complements its state-of-the-art wagering facility.

River Downs' live racing season is held from early April through early September. As one of Ohio's premier horse racing tracks, River Downs hosts many of the state's biggest and most prestigious stakes events, among them are the MGD Cradle Stakes, Pepsi Bassinet Stakes, Buckeye Native Stakes, Miss Southern Ohio Stakes, Queen City Oaks, Hoover Stakes and the Vivacious Handicap.

River Downs Track Facts

• Track : One mile, oval with two chutes (¾ and 1¼ miles)
• Width of track : 80 feet, all around
• Distance from last turn to finish line : 1,117 feet
• Turf course : 7 furlongs
• Seating capacity (Grandstand) : about 8,500
• Seating capacity (clubhouse) : about 850
• Stable accommodations : 1,350

Track Records

DIST RECORD HORSE AGE WGT DATE
4 1/2 Furs. Sans Terre 2 119 :52.2 May 24, 1971
5 Furs. Banker's Forbes 5 117 :57.3 June 7, 1994
5 1/2 Furs. Tazaua 4 120 1:03 Aug. 1, 1964
6 Furs. Francine M. 5 124 1:08.3 July 4, 1969
1 Mile Alladin Rib 3 119 1:36.1 Aug. 8, 1988
1 M 70 Yds South Dakota 3 122 1:40 Aug. 4, 1945
1 1/16 Miles Irish Dude 5 126 1:41.4 July 5, 1969
1 1/8 Miles Brown Sugar 3 114 1:49 Sep. 2, 1925
1 1/4 Miles Crusader 3 126 2:02 July 24, 1926
1 1/2 Miles South Dakota 8 116 2:30.3 July 1, 1950
1 5/8 Miles Sada 8 115 2:45.3 Oct. 13, 1994
1 11/16 Miles Distribute 9 109 2:51.3 Sep. 7, 1940
1 3/4 Miles Brigler 6 109 2:59.3 Oct. 19, 1940
1 7/8 Miles Shot Bills 7 113 3:26.3 Aug. 19, 1979

Turf Course
DIST RECORD HORSE AGE WGT DATE
4 1/2 Furs. Adena 4 110 :50.4 May 26, 1977
5 Furs. Hobbs 4 122 :56.1 Sep. 1, 1991
7 1/2 Furs Stormy Deep 3 117 1:28.2 Aug 15, 1990
1 Mile Bad News Blues 3 119 1:34.1 July 23, 1994
1 1/16 Miles Franchise Player 5 112 1:40.3 June 12, 1994
1 3/8 Miles Amberbee 4 115 2:15.4 July 1, 1972
1 7/16 Miles Dina's Pl'ymate 11 120 2:25 Aug. 30, 1969
1 1/2 Miles Rebel Thunder 4 116 2:28 June 28, 1996
1 7/8 Miles Big Bettor 5 122 3:10.1 May 31, 1986
2 1/4 Miles Buteo 6 122 3:48.2 Sep. 3, 1990

History of River Downs

1925

  • On July 6, the Coney Island racetrack attracted a crowd of 10,000 who wagered $83,000 on the inaugural day seven race card.

1926

  • The Cincinnati Derby attracted Belmont Stakes winner Display and American Derby winner Boot to Boot.

1935

  • Three-year-old fillies Myrtlewood and Clang met on a so-called "grudge match" that saw Clang reversing Myrtlewood's win just three weeks earlier at Hawthorne Park.

1936

  • The legendary Seabiscuit made two appearances at the track.

1937

  • After the big flood, the track re-opened under the new name of "River Downs."

1956

  • The seven furlong turf course was created, making River Downs the 13th track in America with a grass racing strip.

1976

  • On May 17, the eighth race of the day launched the career of Steve Cauthen. Fondly called "The Kid", he went on to become the leading apprentice and rider at River Downs that season. Two years later, he teamed up with Affirmed and became the youngest rider to sweep the Triple Crown.

1989

  • The grandstand was reconstructed. Soon after that, the clubhouse was upgraded.

1996

  • Ohio legislation finally allowed for Full Card simulcasting. Horse racing from across the nation was broadcast over a new 500 set state-of-the-art television system.

2000

  • The 2000 edition of the Miller Genuine Draft had the deepest field ever to compete. The race produced three graded stakes winners and one of the best runners of this generation, Harlan's Holiday.

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