The 2014 Kentucky Downs September meet will feature record purses in excess of $1 million per card for each of its five days.
The Franklin, Ky., track will open Saturday, Sept. 6, and also will conduct full cards on Wednesday, Sept. 10, Saturday, Sept. 13, Wednesday, Sept. 17, and Wednesday, Sept. 24.
"More than $1 million in daily purse structure will make 2014 a breakout year for Kentucky Downs," said Kentucky Downs president Corey Johnsen. "I believe that record purse money combined with a world-class turf course will attract many of North America's (top) horses, jockeys, and trainers. We have also slightly modified our stakes schedule to mirror many of the distances in this year's Breeders' Cup."
The signature event of the track's 23rd meet is the $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup (gr. IIIT), up from $400,000 in 2013. The 1 1/2-mile stakes anchors an exceptional Kentucky Downs Million Day on Sept. 13. The four stakes on Million Day have been modified to parallel key events at the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The opening day card will feature three stakes, including the inaugural running of the $250,000 Dueling Grounds Derby for 3-year-olds at a distance of 1 5/16 miles. The stakes is named in honor of the racetrack's original moniker.
The meet will wrap up on Sept. 24. The outstanding closing day program will include the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Dash and the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon.
All races and stakes have received significant increases from matching funds support from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF). The $150,000 stakes races run in 2013 are now $200,000; each allowance race will offer $100,000 and purses of $90,000 will be offered for 2-year-old maiden special weight events. This is the second year that Kentucky Downs has boosted purses, due in large part, from pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse races.
"Kentucky Downs has enjoyed the support of top horsemen for many years," said Picklesimer. "Not only are the purses exceptional, but our turf course is in great shape. Horses come out of their races in top condition as evidenced by the large number who won at the 2013 Keeneland meeting."
Kentucky Downs 2014 Stakes Schedule
Saturday, September 6
• 3rd running of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) - 2yo, 7 furlongs
• 3rd running of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) -2yo fillies, 7 furlongs
• Inaugural running of the $250,000 Dueling Grounds Derby (Includes $125,000 from KTDF) - 3yo, 1 5/16 miles
Saturday, September 13
• 2rd running of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) - 2yo, 61/2 furlongs
• 21st running of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) - fillies and mares, 3yo and up, 1 mile
• 17th running of the $200,000 Franklin-Simpson Mile (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) - 3yo and up, 1 mile
• 23rd running of the Grade 3, $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup - (Includes $300,000 from KTDF -3yo and up, 1 1/2 miles
Wednesday, September 24
• 16th running of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Dash (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) - 3yo and up, 61/2 furlongs
• 3rd running of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon (Includes $100,000 from KTDF) - fillies and mares, 3yo and up, 1 5/16 miles