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The Red Mile is a horse racing track located in Lexington, Kentucky. The track hosts harness racing on its one mile long, red clay race track, the Red Mile's namesake. It is one of harness racing's most famous tracks and is located in the heart of the Bluegrass region, an area of Kentucky famous for horse breeding and racing.
In addition to the track, The Red Mile features a two-story clubhouse, a round barn, and a park. The clubhouse is often used for weddings, parties, and other gatherings. The Tattersalls area can accommodate large groups and is often used for horse sales.
It was just 10 years since Abraham Lincoln had fallen to an assasin's bullet. General Ulysses S. Grant was president of the United States. J.P. McGrath's Aristides had won the first Kentucky Derby a few months earlier. Custer had yet to meet his demise at the Little Big Horn. And reconstruction of the south was all but complete following the Civil War.
The date was Tuesday, September 28, 1875, and it was the inaugural opening day of the Great Fall Trots at The Red Mile, sponsored by the newly reorganized Kentucky Trotting Horse Breeders Association.
Known for its red clay, one-mile track, The Red Mile is the second oldest harness track in the world. For over 130 years, harness racing's elite have converged on The Red Mile to stage some of the greatest equine battles in history.
The Red Mile'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).
On October 9, 1893, excitement was building among the crowd gathered at the Lexington's Red Mile. The occasion was the inaugural of the Kentucky Futurity, which today is one of the oldest and one of the richest horse races in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and ranks as the oldest classic race in the world of harness racing. That day the crowd watched a shiny black colt named Oro Wilkes score a grueling five-heat victory for driver J.A. Goldsmith. Oro Wilkes fastest Futurity heat was 2:14 ½ and the purse for the inaugural was only $11,880.
Many would assume that the Fillies branch of the Futurity was created so that the daintier gender didn't have to compete against the boys. One needs only to look through our history book to prove this was not the case. In fact, Fillies dominated many years of the Kentucky Futurity before their own race was created including the 2nd Kentucky Futurity, which was won for Ed Ayres' by the filly Beuzetta with Guss Macey at the reins.
A filly, Rose Croix won the 1896 edition as well for owner-driver Myron McHenry. Nelly Jay, a roan filly owned by George Woodlin of Boston won the 1902 edition of the Futurity in an astonishing FIVE heats and started a dominating streak of four straight Futurity victories for the supposedly weaker sex. Following her in order were the fillies Sadie Mac by Peter the Great in 1903, Grace Bond by The Bondsman in 1904 with a Futurity record of 2:00 ¼ and Miss Abdell by Abdell in 1905. Thus in the space of 13 years the famed Kentucky Futurity had been won eight times by fillies and this in a day when the race took anywhere from three to seven heats to decide.
Due to the Red Mile'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, and The Tattersalls Pace.
Famous for its red clay track and one-mile length, The Red Mile is located in Lexington, Kentucky. The track is located in the center of the Bluegrass region which is know for horse breeding and racing. It usually hosts harness racing and the most common horse breed on the track is the standardbred. However, it has also been known to host quarter horse flat races from time to time.
Established in 1875, the Red Mile is the second oldest harness racing track in America. After 130 years, the track has proved to be a most exciting venue - a place where many racing legends have converged to prove their worth. The track has also proved to have value for those not involved in the racing industry as it is often used for weddings, parties and other social gatherings. Besides the track, other facilities at the Red Mile include a two-story clubhouse, a round barn and a park. Tattersalls is quite large and is regularly used as a site for horse sales and sometimes even as a venue for the circus, while Paddock Park is often used for concerts. When the racetrack is not hosting races, the Red Mile simulcasts other horse races every single day of the year.
Looking for a flavor of Kentucky? The Historic Round Barn is just the place. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this venue offers a charm all its own. Guests looking to create a theme night have an open canvas in this space as they invite you to be as creative as you want to be. The Round Barn features men's and women's restrooms and can seat up to 200 guests. For non-seated events it will easily hold more.
Located between the Clubhouse and Round Barn is Paddock Park. Perfect for those looking to enjoy the outdoors with perhaps a picnic or BBQ-style event. The park sits next to the racetrack and features a built-in stage area, access to indoor restrooms, and can accommodate 50 - 5000 people.
The world-renowned horse sale pavilion/arena, Tattersalls, is home to multiple horse sales each year. This facility is fully equipped for horse sales, shows and a number of other different events.
The Clubhouse is a two-story brick building with white columns on the front. The downstairs features a built-in bar, coatroom, men's and women's restrooms with lounges as well as a large lounge/gathering area. Double-sided marble stairs lead to a large open room overlooking the historic racetrack with a scenic view of downtown Lexington. Upstairs features two built-in buffets, a built in dance floor, multiple flat screen TVs that can be used to show DVD and video presentations and room to comfortably seat 250-300 guests.
Ironically enough, though the Red Mile today has such a grand reputation in the harness racing industry, its introduction to the world was less than glamorous. The Kentucky Trotting Horse Breeders Association, the sponsors of the track at that stage, and the track's founders had neglected to advertise the opening properly and very few people actually arrived to watch the races. However, after a brief mention in the newspaper the following day, attendance started to pick up and it wasn't long before the Red Mile started to gain a reputation for exhilarating, fast-paced races - a reputation which it continues to hold today.
August - October
7:00pm Eastern: Sunday, Thursday, & Saturday
The Red Mile
1200 Red Mile Road
Lexington, KY 40504
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