May 17, 1976 will be long remembered by fans at River Downs as Steve Cauthen won the eighth race aboard Red Pipe. Cauthen went on to be the leading rider at River Downs that season and two years later he teamed up with Affirmed to become the youngest rider to sweep the Triple Crown.
In 1988 the track elected to construct an entirely new grandstand and construction began immediately at the end of the 1988 racing season. In addition to the $16 million grandstand, the paddock was doubled in size. Following the 1989 reconstruction of the grandstand, several million dollars were invested in upgrading the Clubhouse. Only months after the renovation of the River Downs RaceBook, the track was a victim to the "Flood of '97. The entire lower level of the Clubhouse was flooded, as was the entire first level of the grandstand, office area and barn area (which was unoccupied at the time). The track lost only 18 days of operation before the upper level of the RaceBook was back in operation.