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The Red Mile Harness Racing

The Red Mile race track is one of the oldest and most respected harness racing tracks in the United States. It is located in Lexington, Kentucky. Horse racing has been an important part of Lexington since the city's earliest days and remains one of the city's most beloved traditions.

The Red Mile race track takes its name from the clay soil of its track. It has a Spring Meet that usually starts from late April to June; a brief Fall Meet that is typically held in September; and a Grand Circuit Meet that is normally held in September and October.

The Red Mile race track's signature event is the Kentucky Futurity, a stakes race for three-year old trotters. It has been held annually at the track since 1893. It is the third jewel in US harness racing's trotting Triple Crown. The two other big races are the Hambletonian (held at Meadowlands) and the Yonkers Trot (held at Yonkers Raceway).

Due to the Red Mile race track's prominent stature in harness racing, it also regularly hosts important stakes events each year. Among these are:

  • The Nadia Lobell
  • The John Simpson Stakes
  • All Divisions of The Kentucky Sires Stakes
  • Kentucky Sired Summer Championships
  • Lexington Breeders Classics
  • Bluegrass Stakes
  • International Stallion
  • The Tattersalls Pace

The Red Mile Race Track Facts

• Track Opened : September 28, 1875
• Speed Rating : 1:58
• Length of Homestretch : 850'
• Width of Homestretch : 115'
• Starters Behind the Gate : 9
• Hubrail : No
• "Open" Stretch : No
• Grandstand Capacity : 6,000
• Clubhouse Capacity : 500
• Parking Capacity : 3,000

The Red Mile Record Business

• Handle : $1,347,472 (on September 27, 2002)
• Attendance : 24,082 (on May 30, 1988)

History of The Red Mile Race Track

1875   The track opened on September 28.
     
1893   The Kentucky Futurity, the Red Mile race track's signature event, was first held. The winner of this auspicious race was Oro Wilkes.
     
1927   The Hambletonian was held at The Red Mile race track since it was rained-out at the designated track in Syracuse, New York.


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1929   Another rain-out at Syracuse forced the Hambletonian to once again be held at the Red Mile race track.
     
1977   On September 22, Governor Skipper, driven by John Chapman, set the world record for pacing on a half-mile track (1:56.1) en route to winning the Little Brown Jug in straight heats at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio.
     
2000   The Tattersalls and Red Mile facilities in Lexington, Kentucky were sold to five standard bred breeders dedicated to the revitalization of the race track and sales pavilion. A major renovation, nicknamed "The Red Mile Renaissance" began and will be ongoing for the next few years.