Wednesday, September 5, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 5, 2007 . . . If the winner of the 2007 Kentucky Cup Classic brings a recent Grade I or Group I win to the starting gate, the winning owners will take home a $150,000 bonus, Turfway Park officials announced today. The bonus for winning the Grade II Kentucky Cup Classic, a prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic, is available only to horses that won a Grade I or Group I race in 2006 or 2007.
The Kentucky Cup Classic, a 1-1/8 mile race for horses three years old and up, headlines Turfway's Kentucky Cup Day of Champions, set for September 29 at the Northern Kentucky track.
"The Kentucky Cup races are ideally timed for preparation for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, as previous winners have demonstrated," said Turfway Park president and CEO Robert N. Elliston. "This bonus is intended to draw attention to the prestige these races have earned.
"The Classic is important enough that it ought to carry at least a $500,000 purse, but without funds generated by alternative gaming we're limited in what we can offer," Elliston continued. "Additionally, we want to ensure that we do not adversely affect our overnight purse structure for the loyal horsemen who race with us year round."
For horses bred in Kentucky, the Classic carries a $350,000 purse, part of which is funded by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF). A Kentucky-bred meeting the bonus condition therefore would run for the winner's 62 percent of the base purse of $200,000, plus 65 percent of the KTDF incentive, plus the $150,000 bonus, a total of $371,500. Grade/Group I winners bred outside the state are not eligible for the KTDF incentive and would run for 62 percent of $200,000 plus the bonus, or $274,000.
In addition to the Classic, the Kentucky Cup series includes the Grade III Juvenile (1-1/16 miles for two-year-olds), the Grade III Sprint (six furlongs for three-year-olds), the Grade III Distaff (formerly the Turfway Breeders' Cup, 1-1/16 miles for fillies and mares three years old and up), and the Juvenile Fillies (listed; one mile for two year-old fillies).
Since the series began in 1994, six Kentucky Cup runners have gone on to win Breeders' Cup and year-end honors. In 1996, Boston Harbor won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile, Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), and the Eclipse Award as champion two-year-old male. In 1998, Reraise won the Kentucky Cup Sprint, the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), and year-end honors as champion sprinter. Cat Thief, third in the 1999 Kentucky Cup Classic, won that year's Breeders' Cup Classic (G1). In 2000, Spain won the Turfway Breeders' Cup and the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1). Vindication prepped for his win in the 2002 Breeders' Cup Juvenile by winning the Kentucky Cup Juvenile. Cajun Beat won both Sprint races in 2003.
Other outstanding Kentucky Cup runners have finished in the money at the Breeders' Cup. Among them, with Breeders' Cup finish noted, are Editor's Note, third behind Unbridled’s Song in the 1995 Juvenile; Silver Charm, second in the 1998 Classic; Point Given, second in the 2000 Juvenile; Captain Steve, third in the 2000 Classic; Repent, second in the 2001 Juvenile; Roses in May, second to Ghostzapper in the 2004 Classic; and Premium Tap, third in the 2006 Classic behind Invasor.
First post for the 12-race card on September 29 is 1:10 pm ET. General admission and parking are free; reserved seating is available, including trackside seating in the VIP Paddock Pavilion.