Eight Stakes Set for Churchill in September

Eight Stakes Set for Churchill in September
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

The second September meet in the 140-year history of Churchill Downs will offer eight stakes races with total purses of $925,000 during a 12-day run.

The schedule is topped by a pair of stakes events for 2-year-olds that could have an impact on the Breeders' Cup World Championships and racing's spring classics. The meet also marks the return of the $125,000 Homecoming Classic, a race for 3-year-olds and up designed as a prep for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). 

The opening Saturday of the Sept. 5-28 meet will feature four of those stakes in a program highlighted by the $200,000 Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies and the $100,000 Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) for colts. The 1 1/16-mile tests are the opening races of both the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" and "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" points system for 2015, and part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" program for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

The second running of the Homecoming Classic, a 1 1/8-mile race that's also a prep for November's $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I) at Churchill, will share the stage Sept. 27 with the $100,000 Jefferson Cup (gr. III), a one-mile race for 3-year-olds on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

Along with an automatic berth in the starting gate for their respective Breeders' Cup races, the Breeders' Cup-nominated horse that wins the Pocahontas or Iroquois also will have their pre-entry and entry fees paid and receive a $10,000 travel stipend (if based outside of California). The person who nominated either the foal or the horse will receive an award of $10,000.

Racing during the September Meet will be conducted on a Friday-through-Sunday schedule during each of its four weeks. "Downs After Dark" night racing celebrations are scheduled for Sept. 5 (opening night), and Sept. 19.

The Pocahontas and Iroquois will be joined on that first Saturday program by the $100,000 Ack Ack (gr. III), a one-mile race for 3-year-olds and up; and the $100,000 Locust Grove, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares.

The $100,000 Open Mind, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares, will be the featured event Sept. 13, while the $100,000 Dogwood (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs is scheduled for Sept. 20.

Churchill had conducted racing during the month of September during parts of various summer and fall racing meets during its long history that began in 1875. But last year was the first in which the track had offered both a third racing meet in a calendar year and a racing session conducted exclusively during September.

Seating for the Sept. 5 and Sept. 19 "Downs After Dark" cards and other racing programs scheduled during the first Homecoming Meet at Churchill Downs is available for purchase online at ChurchillDowns.com

 

CHURCHILL DOWNS SEPTEMBER MEET STAKES SCHEDULE
Sept. 5-Sept. 28

DATE

RACE

GRADE

GENDER

AGE

DISTANCE

SURFACE

TOTAL PURSE

Sat., Sept. 6

Iroquois

III

Open

2YO

1  1/16 M

Dirt

$100,000

Pocahontas

II

Fillies

2YO

1  1/16 M

Dirt

$200,000

Locust Grove

 

F & M

3 & Up

1  1/16 M

Dirt

$100,000

Ack Ack
Handicap

III

Open

3 & Up

1 M

Dirt

$100,000

Sat., Sept. 13

Open Mind

 

F & M

3 & Up

6 F

Dirt

$100,000

Sat., Sept. 20

Dogwood

III

Fillies

3YO

7 F

Dirt

$100,000

Sat., Sept. 27

Homecoming Classic

 

Open

3 & Up

1 1/8 M

Dirt

$125,000

Jefferson Cup

III

Open

3YO

1 M

Turf

$100,000

 

TOTAL PURSES

$925,000

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