The winner of the Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes at Kempton Park racecourse will be eligible for the 2009 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

The winner of the Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes at Kempton Park racecourse will be eligible for the 2009 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Anne M. Eberhardt

British Track Sets Derby Challenge Race

A track in England plans to offer a Kentucky Derby Challenge race in March 2009.

by Colin Mackenzie

Kempton Park racecourse, 15 miles west of London, England, is to stage the Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes March 18, 2009, for the first time. The winner of the nine-furlong, $150,000 conditions race, run on fibresand under floodlights, will be eligible for the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 2.

Amy Starkey, managing director of Kempton Park, said: "The establishment of the Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes represents a fantastic opportunity to increase the international profile of Kempton, as well as promoting the Kentucky Derby to European-based owners and trainers."

Churchill Downs has scheduled a press conference for later Sept. 16 to "announce plans to encourage international participation in the Kentucky Derby."