In order to protect overnight purses, Turfway Park has reduced the purse for the grade II Lane's End Spiral Stakes to $500,000. In recent years, the Spiral, a 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail, has gone for $600,000.
The Spiral, to be sponsored by Lane's End for the first time this year, will be held March 23, three weeks before the grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, and six weeks before the grade I Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
"While we do not like having to reduce the purse for our marquee race, we do not believe it will affect the quality of the race," Turfway president Bob Elliston said. "Right now, we have to protect our daily purses and reward the horsemen that have remained loyal to Turfway Park during these tough times.
Last year, some purses for stakes on Kentucky Cup Day at Turfway were lowered at the request of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which believed the money would be better spent on overnight purses for the meet that spans September and early October. Purses in general have declined at Turfway since the mid-1990s because of competition from riverboat casinos in Indiana and full-card simulcasting at nearby tracks in Ohio.