If the winner of the Sept. 29 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park brings a recent grade- or group-I victory to the starting gate, the triumphant owners will take home a $150,000 bonus, track officials announced Sept. 5.
The bonus for winning the Kentucky Cup, a prep race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), is available only to horses that won a grade- or group-I race in 2006 or 2007.
The Kentucky Cup Classic, a 1-1/8 mile race for horses 3 years old and up, headlines Turfway’s Kentucky Cup Day of Champions at the Northern Kentucky track.
“The Kentucky Cup races are ideally timed for preparation for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, as previous winners have demonstrated,” said Turfway Park president and CEO Robert Elliston. “This bonus is intended to draw attention to the prestige these races have earned.
“The Classic is important enough that it ought to carry at least a $500,000 purse, but without funds generated by alternative gaming, we’re limited in what we can offer. Additionally, we want to ensure that we do not adversely affect our overnight purse structure for the loyal horsemen who race with us year round.”
For horses bred in Kentucky, the Classic carries a $350,000 purse, part of which is funded by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.
A Kentucky-bred meeting the bonus condition would therefore run for the winner’s 62% of the base purse of $200,000, 65% of the KTDF incentive, and the $150,000 bonus, for a total of $371,500. Grade/group I winners bred outside the state are not eligible for the KTDF incentive and would run for 62% of $200,000, plus the bonus, for a total of $274,000.
In addition to the Classic, the Kentucky Cup series includes the Juvenile, Sprint, and Distaff (all gr. III), plus the Juvenile Fillies.
Since the series began in 1994, six Kentucky Cup runners have gone on to win Breeders’ Cup and year-end honors, and several other Kentucky Cup runners have finished in the money in Breeders' Cup races.
First post for the 12-race card is 1:10 pm ET Sept. 29. General admission and parking are free; reserved seating is available, including trackside seating in the VIP Paddock Pavilion.