Thursday, August 4, 2011 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., August 4, 2011 – The Kentucky Cup Day of Champions will return to the Turfway Park fall schedule this year and for the first time will run under sponsorship. WinStar Farm has assumed presenting sponsorship for the day, to be known as the WinStar Kentucky Cup Day of Champions. The races are scheduled for September 24. Post time that Saturday will be 1:10 p.m.
"We deeply appreciate WinStar's willingness to sponsor this outstanding day of racing," said Turfway Park president Robert N. Elliston. "This isn't the first time WinStar has stepped up to support our racing, but it is critical at this juncture. We likewise appreciate the horsemen's willingness to work with us to return this day to our calendar in the face of continuing economic challenges that are unique in this region to Kentucky racing."
"When we read that the Kentucky Cup had to be cancelled due to the economic conditions in our state last year, we were deeply saddened," said Elliott Walden, president/CEO and racing manager of WinStar Farm. "The Kentucky Cup has been an integral part of Kentucky's racing calendar for the last 15 years. We are committed to helping this industry that gives Kentuckians so much and felt like we wanted to get involved with this spectacular day. We also have some creative ideas that you will hear about in the coming weeks, and we are very excited to help promote our industry through the WinStar Kentucky Cup Day of Champions."
The Kentucky Cup Day of Champions was inaugurated in 1994.
All five Kentucky Cup races will be resurrected: the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies, last run in 2008, and the Classic (G2), Distaff (G3), and Sprint (G3), last run in 2009. The purses, some bolstered by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund, are:
• Kentucky Cup Classic (G2), 9 furlongs, $200,000 (includes $50,000 KTDF)
• Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3), 8.5 furlongs, $100,000
• Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3), 6 furlongs, $100,000
• Kentucky Cup Juvenile 8.5 furlongs, $100,000 (includes $25,000 KTDF)
• Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies, 8 furlongs, $100,000 (includes $25,000 KTDF)
The Juvenile Fillies was a listed race at its last running. The Juvenile was run as a Grade 3 in its last renewal but had been rated a listed stake for 2009.
The Kentucky Cup Day of Champions has prepped the winners of seven Breeders' Cup races: Boston Harbor (1996 Breeders' Cup Juvenile); Reraise (1998 Breeders' Cup Sprint); Cat Thief (1999 Breeders' Cup Classic); Spain (2000 Breeders' Cup Distaff); Vindication (2002 Breeders' Cup Juvenile); Cajun Beat (2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint); and Furthest Land (2009 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile).
The races have attracted other major talent throughout their history, including Preakness and Belmont winners Point Given, winner of the 2000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile, and Tabasco Cat, winner of the 1994 Kentucky Cup Classic; Kentucky Derby winners Thunder Gulch, winner of the 1995 Kentucky Cup Classic, Winning Colors, winner of the 1989 Turfway Breeders' Cup (now the Kentucky Cup Distaff), and Street Sense, second to Hard Spun in the 2007 Kentucky Cup Classic; Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm, dead-heat winner in the 1998 Kentucky Cup Classic; 1996 Belmont Stakes winner Editor's Note, winner of the 1995 Kentucky Cup Juvenile; Sovereign Award winners Pennyhill Park, Bear Now, and Fatal Bullet, respectively winners of the 1994 Turfway Breeders' Cup, 2008 Kentucky Cup Distaff, and 2008 Kentucky Cup Sprint; and 2005 Dubai World Cup winner Roses in May, winner of the 2004 Kentucky Cup Classic.
Among those groups and including Kentucky Cup winners or contenders Golden Attraction and Serena's Song are 10 Eclipse Award champions.
To help facilitate the WinStar Kentucky Cup Day of Champions, the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship (G3) will be dropped from this year's fall meet schedule. First run at the original Latonia racecourse in 1919 and a Breeders' Cup Challenge race from 2008 through 2010, the Fall Championship last year prepped the winner of the Breeders' Cup Marathon (G3).
The Turfway Park fall meet runs September 8 through October 2, with live racing presented Thursday through Sunday.