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Keeneland, Kentucky Downs break ground on new horse racing, gaming facility

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Posted at 5:35 PM, Oct 19, 2021

WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Officials broke ground on a new horse racing facility expected to bring hundreds of jobs and revenue to southern Kentucky.

A $90 million joint business venture of the owners of Keeneland and Kentucky Downs is expected to bring nearly 300 jobs to the Corbin-Williamsburg area.

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"Similar to what we have in the Kentucky Downs facility. We're going to have about 300 well-paying jobs. A lot of them include gratuity and we have benefits packages that honestly they'll match any other industry in the region," said Ron Winchell, Co-owner of Kentucky Downs.

Governor Andy Beshear and Senate President Robert Stivers joined local officials in Williamsburg to unveil the first site, a historical racing machines facility.

The Cumberland Mint will sit right off I-75 and is projected to see 2,500 visitors a day.

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"We expect many out-of-state travelers to come visit and leave their dollars right here in Kentucky with us. The investment is a bet on our future and shows the incredible strength of the Kentucky Horse Racing and tourism industry," said Governor Andy Beshear.

The other facility, named Cumberland Run, will be a harness horse racing facility 15 miles away in Corbin. The groundbreaking there is expected to happen later in the year.

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The horse racing industry in Kentucky has an economic impact of $3.4 billion annually.

The owners hope Cumberland Run will help keep more Standardbred horses in Kentucky.