Northern Kentucky's Biggest Springtime Party . . . Where Derby Dreams Begin
The name has changed over the years, but the vision for Turfway Park's banner springtime race,
the Spiral Stakes, has never wavered. Since 1972, when Turfway itself had a different name,
the nine-furlong contest has been a testing ground for Kentucky Derby dreams.
Azar (12) battled fierce wind on the lead almost to the wire but couldn't hold off Oscar Nominated (5), who surged past to win the 2016 Spiral Stakes by a neck. Surgical Strike (2) was third after a sweeping late run.
Owner: Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey
Trainer: Michael J. Maker
Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
Breeder: Mrs. Jerry Amerman
The win was the third in the race for both owner and trainer and their second together (2010, Dean's Kitten). The win was the first in the Spiral for jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.
Photo: Coady Photography
Milestones in Spiral Stakes History
April 2, 2016
On a day that saw winds rise to nearly 60mph, trainer Mike Maker and leading Kentucky owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey teamed up to win with Oscar Nominated. The win was the third in the race for both trainer and owner and their second together. For jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., the victory was his first in the Spiral Stakes.
March 21, 2015
Three Chimneys Farm and Besilu Stables' Dubai Sky is an easy victor in his first start on an all-weather surface, giving trainer Bill Mott his second Spiral win. A fracture sustained in training would later force Dubai Sky off the Derby trail.
March 22, 2014
We Miss Artie wins the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes by a nose, giving trainer Todd Pletcher his third win in the race.
March 23, 2013
Black Onyx gives trainer Kelly Breen and owner Sterling Racing their first win in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes. The race is run for the first time as a designated points race for the Kentucky Derby under the Derby's new qualification system.
February 15, 2013
Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati signs on as title sponsor of the Spiral Stakes. The purse increases to $550,000.
March 24, 2012
Went the Day Well gives trainer Graham Motion and owner Team Valor International (this year with co-owner Mark Ford) their second consecutive Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes trophy.
January 16, 2012
Animal Kingdom is named 2011's champion 3-year-old male at the 41st annual Eclipse Award ceremonies.
May 7, 2011
Animal Kingdom wins the 137th Kentucky Derby. He is the first winner never to have raced on dirt before the Derby, the first since 1956 to win off a six-week layoff, the first since 1918 to win with only four previous starts, and the first Derby winner for owner Team Valor International, trainer Graham Motion, and jockey John Velazquez.
March 26, 2011
Vinery Racing assumes sponsorship of the Spiral Stakes. Animal Kingdom wins the race, again designated Grade III. The win is the first in the race for owner Team Valor International and jockey Alan Garcia.
March 27, 2010
Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey earn their first Lane's End win with Dean's Kitten, a homebred son of their turf champion Kitten's Joy.
March 21, 2009
Hold Me Back gives trainer Bill Mott his first Lane's End victory.
March 22, 2008
Adriano, a son of Lane's End Farm stallion A.P. Indy, wins the 37th Lane's End Stakes.
March 24, 2007
Hard Spun wins the Lane's End and then becomes one of only two horses to try all three Triple Crown races, finishing second in the Derby behind Street Sense, third in the Preakness behind Curlin, and fourth in the Belmont behind filly phenom Rags to Riches.
March 25, 2006
With a City, son of Lane's End stallion City Zip, wins the first Lane's End Stakes on Polytrack. He pays $99.60 for the win, the most in Lane's End history. Illness claims the colt's life before he can run in the Derby. Seaside Retreat, owned by William S. Farish of Lane's End Farm, is second in the Lane's End and 10th in the Derby.
March 26, 2005
A record 22,747 fans turn out to see Flower Alley post a half-length win in the 34th running of the Lane's End. Flower Alley later wins the Jim Dandy (G2) and Travers (G1) and is second to Saint Liam in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).
June 5, 2004
Fifth in the Lane's End and eighth in the Kentucky Derby, Birdstone wins the Belmont by a single length, ending Smarty Jones' Triple Crown bid and prompting apologies from winning owner Marylou Whitney.
March 20, 2004
Sinister G leads a track record $106,848.20 superfecta with his 16-1 win in the Lane's End Stakes. In honor of the race, Maker's Mark issues its first limited edition bottle commemorating a Northern Kentucky event. All 1,200 bottles sell out in two hours.
March 22, 2003
The race becomes the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (G2), named solely for its sponsor. New York Hero wins the 32nd running. Premium bourbon distiller Maker's Mark signs on as sponsor of the VIP Tent.
March 23, 2002
Lane's End Farm assumes sponsorship of the race, called the $500,000 Lane's End Spiral Stakes (G2). Perfect Drift rallies in the stretch to win by a neck and next finishes third in the Kentucky Derby.
March 24, 2001
Balto Star wins the Turfway Spiral Stakes by 12-3/4 lengths, a record for the 1 1/8 mile distance. He takes the Arkansas Derby (G2) in his next start.
March 25, 2000
Globalize, son of Jim Beam winner Summer Squall, wins the $600,000 Turfway Spiral Stakes (G2), the name a return to the race's roots in the absence of a sponsor. Attendance of 22,480 sets a new record.
March 27, 1999
Stephen Got Even wins the first and only Galleryfurniture.com Stakes by 2 1/2-lengths. The purse, $750,000, and the attendance, 21,028, are both records.
March 29, 1998
After damaging winds force a one-day delay, Event of the Year wins the Jim Beam by five lengths. Injury forces the colt off the Kentucky Derby trail. Jim Beam sponsorship ends after 17 years.
March 29, 1997
Concerto becomes the first John A. Battaglia Memorial Stakes winner to score in the Jim Beam Stakes. Attendance for the Beam hits a record 20,737.
March 30, 1996
Roar wins the Jim Beam Stakes for Claiborne Farm and trainer Claude R. "Shug" McGaughey III.
April 1, 1995
Serena's Song becomes the only filly to win the Jim Beam Stakes. She subsequently finishes 16th in the Derby after leading the first mile, gets four Grade I wins for the year including the Haskell against males, and earns the 1995 Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly. A win in the Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap in November 1996 pushes her earnings to $3,283,388, then a record for females.
April 2, 1994
Leading from start to finish, Polar Expedition wins the Jim Beam Stakes. He will retire in 2000 as the second leading Illinois-bred earner.
May 15, 1993
Second in the Kentucky Derby, Prairie Bayou wins the Preakness, becoming the Jim Beam's fourth consecutive classic winner. Fatally injured in the Belmont Stakes, Prairie Bayou is voted the year's top 3-year-old, the Beam's second Eclipse Award winner.
March 27, 1993
The Jim Beam Stakes purse is increased to $600,000, richest among Derby preps. Prairie Bayou wins under Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron.
May 2, 1992
Lil E. Tee is the first Jim Beam winner to also win the Kentucky Derby.
March 28, 1992
A win by Lil E. Tee gives owner W. Cal Partee and trainer Lynn Whiting a perfect three-for-three record in the Jim Beam and brings jockey Pat Day's total to five Beam wins.
June 8, 1991
Hansel holds off Strike the Gold to win the Belmont Stakes by a head and at year's end becomes the first Jim Beam winner to earn an Eclipse Award.
May 18, 1991
After finishing an inexplicable 10th in the Kentucky Derby, Hansel wins the Preakness.
March 30, 1991
Hansel wins the Jim Beam Stakes in a track record 1:46 3/5.
May 19, 1990
Summer Squall evens the score with a two-length victory over Unbridled in the Preakness Stakes, becoming the Jim Beam's first classic winner.
March 31, 1990
Riding Summer Squall, Pat Day takes his fourth Jim Beam Stakes. The two go on to win the Blue Grass Stakes but settle for second behind Unbri
April 1, 1989
Pat Day wins his third Jim Beam Stakes aboard Western Playboy. Two weeks later Western Playboy becomes the first Jim Beam winner to "spiral up" to victory in the Blue Grass Stakes.
April 2, 1988
The Jim Beam Stakes is upgraded to Grade II status and the distance is increased to 1 1/8 miles. The winner, Kingpost, goes on to finish second in the Belmont Stakes.
March 29, 1987
The Jim Beam Stakes is run under the Turfway Park banner for the first time, following the 1986 sale of the track to a partnership led by Jerry Carroll. The purse rises to $500,000, equaling the highest for any Kentucky Derby prep. J. T.'s Pet gives jockey Pat Day, trainer Lynn Whiting, and owner W. Cal Partee their second Jim Beam win.
March 22, 1986
Broad Brush wins the Jim Beam by two lengths and goes on to finish third in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.
May 4, 1984
Lucky Lucky Lucky, fourth in the 1984 Jim Beam, becomes the race's first competitor to win the Kentucky Oaks.
April 1, 1984
The race achieves Grade III status and drops the Spiral name to become the Jim Beam Stakes. The purse increases to $300,000. Pat Day scores the first of five Jim Beam titles with a one-length win aboard At the Threshold for trainer Lynn Whiting and owner W. Cal Partee.
March 26, 1983
Marfa wins the second Jim Beam Spiral Stakes and later becomes the first winner from the Beam era to compete in the Kentucky Derby, finishing fifth.
March 27, 1982
Bourbon maker Jim Beam sponsors the race, called the Jim Beam Spiral Stakes, for the first time. Good N' Dusty wins for trainer Jasper Adams, a son of William E. "Smiley" Adams. The purse jumps from $50,000 to $150,000 and the distance is increased to 1 1/16 miles.
September 12, 1981
Spruce Needles, winner of the Spiral Stakes' second division in 1980, becomes the race's first Grade I winner with his victory in the Arlington Handicap.
Trainer William E. "Smiley" Adams wins the Spiral Stakes four years in a row, including both divisions in 1977, 1978, and 1980, for various members of the Lehmann family and the family's Golden Chance Farm.
May 1, 1976
Inca Roca becomes the first Spiral Stakes winner to start in the Kentucky Derby, finishing seventh of nine.
April 1, 1972
Latonia Race Course General Manager John Battaglia launches the Spiral Stakes for 3-year-olds "spiraling up" to the Kentucky Derby. Big Dot completes the one-mile course in 1:38 4/5 for the winner's share of the $10,000 purse. The crowd numbers 7,730.