Kentucky Downs, located on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee, is unique
among American tracks in that it is a European-style course - its surface is all turf
instead of dirt, and it is not oval in shape. Kentucky Downs features a very short meet
which is treated as a festival by track management and employees.
The track began life in 1990 as Dueling Grounds Race Course. The name came from the history of the Sandford Duncan farm, on whose property the track was located. The farm, which was located in a slight corner of what is otherwise a perfectly-straight Kentucky-Tennessee border, was the site of numerous duels in the 1800s, because dueling was illegal in Tennessee but not in Kentucky.
On September 1, 2011, Kentucky Downs introduced "Instant Racing," a hybrid between slot machines and pari mutuel wagering, where bettors play at a terminal using historical racing data and video.