Friday, August 22, 2003 12:00 AM
Series is proving ground for Breeders’ Cup and Triple Crown hopefuls
FLORENCE, KY . . . August 22, 2003 . . . The influential Kentucky Cup Day of Champions once again headlines Turfway Park’s fall meet, scheduled September 3–October 2. With five stakes races, four of them graded, Kentucky Cup Day has established itself as a proving ground for the Breeders’ Cup and the Triple Crown. This year’s edition, the 10th annual running, is set for Saturday, September 13.
The series features the Classic (GII), Juvenile (GIII), Juvenile Fillies, Turfway Park Breeders’ Cup for fillies and mares (GIII), and Sprint (GIII).
“The Kentucky Cup is always a great day, and it points up the quality of racing that fans will see here this fall,” said Robert Elliston, Turfway’s president and CEO. “We’re expecting entries from some of the top trainers out there—Frank Brothers, Wayne Lukas, Kenny McPeek, Ronnie Werner, Bernie Flint, Greg Foley, Dallas Stewart—and big fields throughout the meet.”
Vindication, 2002 Kentucky Cup Juvenile winner, went on to take the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile six weeks later. The Bob Baffert-trained colt capped his debut season with the Eclipse Award as two-year-old champion. In 2001, Repent won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile and finished second in the Breeders’ Cup. Spain, racing’s richest female, won the Turfway Park Breeders’ Cup in 2000 and next posted an upset victory in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Kentucky Cup Classic winners include 1994 Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes victor Tabasco Cat and 1995 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Thunder Gulch.
Finishing second in 1997’s Kentucky Cup Classic was Distorted Humor, sire of 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Funny Cide.
TVG will cover the entire day, and Fox SportsNet will televise the Kentucky Cup Classic and Juvenile beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern.
Admission and general parking are free throughout the fall meet, including the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions, billed as “a day for the fans.” First post is 7:00 p.m. on weekdays and 1:10 p.m. on weekends; gates open 90 minutes earlier.
Besides the Kentucky Cup Day stakes, Turfway runs the Weekend Delight Stakes on September 6, the Marfa Stakes on September 20, and the Turfway Park Fall Championship (GIII) on September 27. Also on the fall docket is the Kentucky Cup Turf Festival, simulcast September 20 from Kentucky Downs. Turfway Park will simulcast all seven days of the Franklin track’s live meet beginning Saturday, September 13.
Returning this fall is “Turfway Track Talk,” heard 10 to 11 a.m. each Saturday on Cincinnati’s WCKY. Hosted by Turfway Park’s relationship marketing manager and local talk show personality Richard Skinner, the radio show will air during live and simulcast seasons through the 2004 Kentucky Derby.