The popular “Stars of Tomorrow I,” the first of two days of racing devoted to 2-year-old Thoroughbreds, will kick off a stretch of 21 days of spectacular racing and special events as Churchill Downs launches its 118th Fall Meet Oct. 28.
Post time for daily racing during the Fall Meet will be 12:40 p.m., with the exception of the three-day Thanksgiving weekend Nov. 22-24, which will have first-race post times of 11:30 a.m.
Eleven races devoted exclusively to racing’s rising stars are scheduled on the opening day “Stars of Tomorrow I” program, and those events will be highlighted by a pair of one-mile stakes races for horses that will be in the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks age group in 2008: the $150,000-added Iroquois (gr. III) and the $150,000-added Pocahontas (gr. III), which is restricted to 2-year-old fillies. Those races launch an impressive stakes schedule that consists of 15 events with record total purses of $2.95 million.
The stakes schedule winds up with the traditional Thanksgiving weekend celebration that features five major stakes races, highlighted by the 133rd running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) Nov. 23, and “Stars of Tomorrow II” Nov. 24, the meet’s closing day.
Great racing during the Fall Meet is accompanied by a schedule of special events that is headed by two new events: the “Halfway to Derby Party” Nov. 3, and the two-day “Derby Collector’s Weekend” Nov. 10 -11.
The “Halfway to Derby Party” event launches the six-month countdown to the 134th running of the 2008 Kentucky Derby, which will take place May 3.
The racing schedule for the three-day Thanksgiving weekend that wraps up the meet now features five major events: the $300,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. II) on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22; the Clark Handicap and the $200,000-added River City Handicap (gr. III), Nov. 23; and the meet’s major races for 2-year-olds – the $250,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) and $250,000-added Golden Rod (gr. II) for fillies – on the closing day “Stars of Tomorrow II” program Nov. 24.