Swing! Trace Adkins to sign KY Downs’ guitar trophies

Trace Adkins. Photo by Kristin Barlowe

FRANKLIN, Ky. (Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022) — Multi-platinum entertainer Trace Adkins is the Official Music Ambassador for the 2022 FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs, with the award-winning, Grand Ole Opry member autographing the guitars that serve as trophies for the track’s graded stakes and the Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey Music City Stakes.

“Having guitars for trophies — I love it,” Adkins said. “Pretty cool for Kentucky Downs to pay tribute to this region’s heritage and the track’s close proximity to the capital of country music this way. I’m honored to be a part of it by signing these guitars given to the winners of Kentucky Downs’ top races, including, of course, the Music City Stakes.”

In the three years since Kentucky Downs first awarded a George Strait-signed guitar as the Music City trophy, they have become one of the most coveted trophies in horse racing, given their uniqueness. Last year the track expanded the guitar trophies to include all their graded stakes.

“Kentucky Downs is unique in America, and we wanted trophies that reflect that one-of-a-kind experience,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ Vice President for Racing. “Our ownership challenged us to come with prizes that would embody the region and be different than what is usually given. And it’s not just a guitar. The winner is getting a guitar signed by an iconic country music artist. We can’t thank Trace enough and appreciate his enthusiasm for what quickly has become our signature tradition.”

Following Adkins’ 2021 release of The Way I Wanna Go (Verge Records), a 25-song album met with critical acclaim from the likes of Billboard, American Songwriter and Rolling Stone, he will next star in the FOX country music drama MONARCH, alongside Susan Sarandon and Anna Friel. The multi-generational series about America’s fictional first family of country music premieres on Sunday, Sept. 11. Adkins then will appear on the Academy of Country Music Honors broadcast on Tuesday, Sept. 13, on FOX (7 p.m. Central), performing his cover of “A Country Boy Can Survive” from MONARCH.

In addition to having Adkins’ signature, a plaque with the winning horse’s name and ownership will be mounted on the guitar.

Owners of Kentucky Downs’ other major races also receive distinctive trophies that celebrate the track’s heritage on both sides of the border that it practically straddles.

The winners of non-graded stakes are awarded a Kentucky Downs-themed whiskey decanter personalized with their silks. The trophies for allowance races are a bourbon-barrel head customized with the winning owners’ colors. Maiden winners receive a high-tech Fenwick Equestrian horse sheet promoting Kentucky Downs and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund that allows the tracks to have some of the richest purses in the world. All stakes-winners also receive the Fenwick horse blanket.

The owners of select races will receive a commemorative bottle of the bourbon or Tennessee whiskey of the day, personalized as being a winner at Kentucky Downs.