Business Spotlight: Bluegrass Downs
Bluegrass Downs hosted notable performances from The Eagles, Restless Heart, The Judds and even a circus in past days. Today, Bluegrass Downs serves as a Standardbred racing and horse race betting facility.
In 1984, Bluegrass Downs opened to the public and hosted American Quarter Horse racing which evolved into Thoroughbred racing and led to the Standardbred racing that the track hosts every summer.
The unique track offers live racing in the early and simulcasting of races across the world where you can wager on more than 15 different racetracks each day. The stadium seats 1,500 people and the facility has 12-15 full-time employees. The track is placed next to the Greenway trail and inside the center of the track, a creek flows that leads to the Ohio River.
Jerry Bradley is the manager at Bluegrass Downs. During the early summer, people can watch live racing Friday through Sunday as Standardbreds race to win $1,300 to $5,000 purses. Harness horses from Kentucky and other states across the U.S., prominently Mississippi, race every summer.
One avid Standardbred racer from Greater Paducah is Randy Jerrell. Randy was born into the Standardbred racing industry and launched his career while helping his father train when he was about 10 years old.
“Harness racing has been more of a working man’s sport as compared to Thoroughbred racing,” says Randy Jerrell.
Randy has trained many prestigious Standardbreds such as Rite on Line and Camgrandest. Rite on Line raced as a 2-year-old with Randy and was sold to a gentleman in Norway who raced the horse to earn over a million dollars in Europe. Camgrandest has been off Randy’s most accomplished racer.
“Camgrandest has brought me some of the highlights of my career,” says Randy.
The racing industry has a lot of local involvement and anyone can participate in the training or racing. Over the years, there has been a large number of trainers, horses and spectators who visit Bluegrass Downs. During live racing season, Bluegrass Downs has about 100 people a day plus fans that enjoy horse racing. There are no obligations to bet and it’s a facility you can bring your kids to and enjoy the horses. When live racing isn’t going on, you can visit Bluegrass Downs and watch live broadcasting and place your bets.
“I’ve been here a long time and I enjoy working here. I try to do my job well and I love it,” says Jerry.
Bluegrass Downs is open Wednesday-Sunday from 11am-7pm and is located at 150 Downs Dr, Paducah, Ky.