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Churchill Downs, Keeneland Break Ground on $150M Horse Racing Venue

Officials from Churchill Downs Inc. and Keeneland celebrated the start of work on Oak Grove Racing & Gaming. The development, named for the town in which it will be based, will offer standardbred harness racing when the track opens this fall. By June 2020, Oak Grove will feature a gaming venue featuring up to 1,500 historical racing machines.
 
Historical racing machines, also known as instant racing, use video gaming terminals that look like slot machines. However, they use a previously completed race to determine winners. Bettors can select horses at random or use racing charts to help select the top three finishers. Last fall, a Kentucky judge ruled the machines are legal as they fit within the definition of pari-mutuel betting.
 
Kentucky currently features four instant racing centers with more than 2,700 machines. Kentucky Downs in Franklin, located on the Tennessee border in south-central part of the state, and Henderson’s Ellis Park opened in 2011. Derby City Gaming, a Louisville venue owned by Churchill Downs, opened last September. Keeneland, located in Lexington, joined forces with local harness track the Red Mile to open theirs in 2015.
 
“We have seen the tremendous impact Derby City Gaming in Louisville has already had on both the racing industry and local community, and we expect the same degree of success here in Christian County,” Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery said.
 

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