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Turfway trims fall stakes schedule

Monday, August 10, 2009 12:00 AM
  • General
  • Kentucky Cup
FLORENCE, KY . . . August 10, 2009 . . . Turfway Park's 2009 fall meet stakes schedule will comprise four graded events, three to be run as the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions on September 26 and the remaining stake, the Turfway Park Fall Championship, to be run September 12.

The Kentucky Cup Classic (G2), the Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3), and the Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3) remain on the schedule, defining the 16th running of the Kentucky Cup series.

The Kentucky Cup Distaff and Kentucky Cup Sprint retain their $100,000 purses. The Kentucky Cup Classic drops from $350,000 to $200,000, with Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund supplementation reduced from $150,000 to $50,000.

The Fall Championship (G3) is again a "Win and You're In" qualifying race for the Breeders' Cup Marathon at the World Championships at Santa Anita Park in November. The Fall Championship retains its $100,000 purse.

Dropped from Kentucky Cup Day this year are the Kentucky Cup Juvenile (listed), which lost its Grade III ranking after last year's running, and the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies (listed). Both offered $100,000 purses.

The track also has not scheduled the Weekend Delight Stakes, first run in 1989, or the Marfa Stakes, first run in 1986. Both carried $75,000 purses, each augmented by $15,000 from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

"The cuts allow us to redirect funds to daily purses," said Turfway Park president Robert N. Elliston. "We considered different configurations; this option lets us retain our graded races and keep Kentucky Cup Day relatively intact. It is difficult to set aside decades of tradition, but the cuts were inevitable given our inability to match the purses offered by surrounding states that support their racing industries with gaming revenue. If the Kentucky legislature allows us to level the playing field, we hope to return these races to our schedule."

The oldest race on the schedule, the Juvenile Fillies was formerly the Clipsetta Stakes, which ran at the original Latonia Race Course in what is now Covington, Kentucky, from that track's opening day in 1883 until 1937. The Clipsetta was revived on August 27, 1959, opening day at Turfway Park, then also named Latonia. It was added to the regular Latonia/Turfway schedule in 1964 and has been run without interruption since then until this year.

The Kentucky Cup Juvenile, formerly the In Memoriam Stakes and then the Alysheba Stakes, was first run in 1986, the year the track was renamed Turfway Park.

Both the Juvenile and the Juvenile Fillies were renamed and included in Kentucky Cup Day when that series was inaugurated in 1994.

Turfway's fall meet begins September 9, 2009, and marks the track’s 50th anniversary.

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