Gov. Beshear calls the $55M investment “a game-changing milestone”
Joined by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, dozens of state and local officials and hundreds of supporters, Revolutionary Racing Kentucky broke ground Friday on what will be a world-class quarter horse track, equestrian center and entertainment complex.
The $55 million investment in eastern Kentucky is expected to create hundreds of union construction jobs over the next year and, when complete, more than 200 good-paying, full-time positions. The track is expected to open for the 2024 racing season.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to take this step and we are excited about what this means to the people of eastern Kentucky,” said Larry Lucas, Chairman of Revolutionary Racing Kentucky. “This investment will create jobs, bring in new tax revenues and make Boyd County a destination for horse owners and racing fans from around the country.”
State Sen. Robin Webb, as well as State Reps. Danny Bentley, Scott Sharp, Adam Koenig, Patrick Flannery and Bobby McCool were among those joining Gov. Beshear at the groundbreaking ceremony.
“Congratulations to Larry Lucas and the entire Revolutionary Racing team on this game-changing milestone,” Gov. Beshear said. “This $55 million investment will help build the future of horse racing in Kentucky, and it will create great jobs for our people in Ashland, adding even more economic momentum to what the commonwealth is seeing as a whole. Companies are betting their futures on Kentucky because of our world-class workforce.”
Also taking part in Friday’s ceremony were Revolutionary Racing Kentucky’s strategic partners Keeneland Association and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
“The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is grateful for the opportunity to be a strategic partner with the great state of Kentucky and the good people of Ashland to bring employment opportunities and economic development to the region,” said Richard Sneed, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
In July, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission awarded Revolutionary Racing Kentucky the Commonwealth’s ninth and final horse racing license. Set to be built on nearly 200 acres in Boyd County, near Ashland, it will serve as Kentucky’s only track dedicated to quarter horses. It will feature a 660-yard sprint track and daily purses of $500,000, placing it among the premier quarter horse racing tracks in the nation.
And while racing will serve as its centerpiece, plans call for year-round use for quarter horse shows and competitions, as well as an adjacent entertainment complex. Those investments will help generate nearly $1 million in new local tax revenues each year.
“We welcome this substantial investment in horse racing because of what it will mean to so many Kentucky families and small businesses,” said David Osborne, Kentucky Speaker of the House and a respected leader in the horse racing industry. “This investment is the direct result of the legislature’s work to cement Kentucky’s place as the horse capital of the world. Without a doubt it will translate into jobs and local economic growth, while providing Kentucky’s quarter horse enthusiasts with a world-class facility to race and show. Today we break ground, but this track will benefit the region for generations.”