Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 5:24 pm |
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Updated: November 13, 2018 at 5:28 pm

Kentucky Racing Acquisition, LLC, a new company co-founded by Ron Winchell and Marc Falcone, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase all the assets of Kentucky Downs from parent company Kentucky Downs Partners, LLC, the investment group that has owned the racetrack since 2007.

The co-founders of KRA are well-known within the horse racing and casino gaming industries. Ron Winchell oversees his family’s Winchell Thoroughbreds, a prominent racing and breeding operation located in Lexington, Ky. that currently owns more than 120 horses and recently campaigned 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}). He also operates more than 20 gaming locations across Nevada. Marc Falcone previously served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Red Rock Resorts, Inc. and Station Casinos from 2011 to 2017.

“Some of my fondest early memories are of visiting race tracks with my father and Thoroughbred racing has been a passion of mine ever since,” Winchell said. “As such, I am personally thrilled to be carrying our family name into this exciting opportunity to take the reins of Kentucky Downs, one of American racing’s great success stories of the past decade. This represents the first step in KRA’s plan to further advance racing and HHR in the Commonwealth.”

Located near the Kentucky and Tennessee border, just off Interstate 65 and approximately 45 miles from Nashville, Tenn., Kentucky Downs conducts live turf racing each September and houses over 750 Historical Horse Racing machines, which have helped the facility’s overall handle grow from $20 million in 2010 to nearly $800 million thus far in 2018.

“We purchased Kentucky Downs in 2007 with the goal of reversing the business fortunes of Kentucky racing, and I believe we have done that,” said Ray Reid, President of Kentucky Downs Management, Inc. and Kentucky Downs Partners, LLC. “Kentucky Downs Partners is confident that Ron and Marc are the right people to continue to expand on this momentum, so much so that many of our current owners intend to be part of and support the new investment group moving forward.”

Marc Falcone commented, “Our agreement to acquire Kentucky Downs represents a terrific opportunity that is consistent with our business plan to grow through strategic investments in racing facilities and apply our operational and management expertise to support future growth. Our commitment to horse racing extends beyond this announced plan to acquire Kentucky Downs as Ron and I believe there are other opportunities where our combined expertise and experience can help foster consistent growth for the sport. KRA also is focused on the potential opportunity to develop a new facility in Oak Grove, Ky. if awarded that license by KHRC. With Kentucky Downs’ familiarity and understanding of the Nashville market, KRA would be strategically positioned to maximize that market for Kentucky.”

The KRA transaction is expected to close early in Q1 2019, subject to regulatory approvals from Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) and other customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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