September Meet Starts at Churchill
Category : News
Wed 04/09/2013 - 21:32 EDT
For the first time in its 139 years, Churchill Downs will hold three race meetings during the year, when the 12-day Homecoming Meet kicks off on Friday, September 6, 2013 and runs to Sunday, September 29, 2013. The September meet was added to the Churchill calendar this year at the request of the Kentucky horseracing and breeding community as a way to help strengthen the state’s racing circuit after a few years during which Turfway Park in northern Kentucky has struggled financially.
Churchill and Kentucky Downs team up
The September meet at Churchill will be held in conjunction with the five days of live racing being offered at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Kentucky. As Kentucky Downs is strictly a turf-racing facility, there will be no turf racing held at Churchill during the September meet. There will, however, be special promotions between the two tracks on days when live racing is being held in both places. Live racing at Churchill will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the month.
Road to the Derby and Oaks begins this weekend
Four stakes races will be held on the evening of September 7, 2013 during a special ‘Downs After Dark’ racing card. Two of those stakes will be for two year olds racing 1 1/16 miles, for $150,000, including the Grade III Iroquois, which will kick-off the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, while the Grade II Pocahontas launches the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks.” Also, both races are Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge events. Additionally, top milers will compete in the Grade III Ack Ack Handicap, and fillies and mares will contest the Locust Grove over 1 1/16 miles.
One of the most historic - and controversial - editions of the Kentucky Derby is in the books and the next leg of the US Triple Crown moves to Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course for the running of the Preakness Stakes. The 1 3/16 test over the Pimlico dirt track is drawing a wide-open field of three-year-old thoroughbreds gunning for the $1.5 million purse.
Led to the gate by pre-race morning line favorite Omaha Beach, a full field of 20 are set to line up for the 145th Kentucky Derby on late Saturday afternoon. They're running for a total purse of $3 million on the 1 1/4 mile Churchill dirt course and making their bid to follow 2018 winner Justify as Triple Crown champions.
The $100,000 Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes July 2 at Churchill Downs features a field of nine up-and-coming two year olds in a race that may be as confusing as it is competitive.
With the Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen Foster the centerpiece of a stellar Downs After Dark racing card June 18 at Churchill Downs, the expected field of seven older runners presents an interesting handicapping puzzle.