Thursday, September 8, 2011 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky, Sept. 8, 2011 – Each of the first three finishers in the Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3) on the WinStar Kentucky Cup Day of Champions Sept. 24 at Turfway Park will be awarded a complimentary season to a WinStar Farm stallion in addition to purse earnings, it was announced Thursday.
The stallions with a 2012 season to be given away are 2010 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Super Saver, multiple Grade 1 winner Colonel John and multiple graded stakes winner Hold Me Back, who won the Spiral Stakes (G2) at Turfway as a 3-year-old.
The Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3), a mile and one-sixteenth race for fillies and mares three and up, carries a $100,000 guaranteed purse. Nominations close Thursday, Sept. 15.
"This concept is a throwback to the old days when Atlantic City used to run the Matchmaker," said Elliott Walden, president and CEO of WinStar. "With these three exciting young stallions, we see this as an opportunity for an owner to get their mare off on the right foot."
Super Saver, who stood his first season in 2011, earned nearly $1.9 million at the track. He rose to prominence as a 2-year-old, winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) in stakes-record time. After finishing second by a short neck in the Arkansas Derby (G1), Super Saver won the aforementioned Kentucky Derby (G1) at three over a field that included 11 Grade 1 winners.
Colonel John, the leading earner at stud by champion sire Tiznow, made nearly $1.8 million while performing at the highest level. He emerged at two by setting a stakes record in the Real Quiet Stakes before going on to win the Travers Stakes (G1) and Santa Anita Derby (G1) at three. Colonel John's first foals arrived in 2011.
Hold Me Back earned $872,610 in three years of racing, including winning Turfway's biggest 3-year-old race in 2009. He was also second in both the Travers Stakes (G1) and Blue Grass Stakes (G1) before entering the winner's circle again in the Dominion Day Handicap (G3) at four. Like Super Saver, Hold Me Back also entered stud this year.
Among winners of the Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3) since the race was incorporated into the WinStar Kentucky Cup Day of Champions in 1994 are 1994 Sovereign Award winner Pennyhill Park; 1995 Eclipse Award winner Golden Attraction; multiple Grade 1 winner Spain; multiple graded stakes winner Trip, who won back-to-back renewals in 2001 and 2002; and 2008 Sovereign Award and multiple graded stakes winner Bear Now.
The winning owner of the Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3) will select first from the three free seasons. The owner of the second-place finisher will select next, and the owner of the third-place finisher will receive the remaining season.