Kentucky Downs

Kentucky Downs

Ron Mitchell

Kentucky Downs Announces Stakes Schedule

The meet is highlighted the Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT)

(Edited Press Release)

Highlighted by the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) and the return of Steeplechase racing to Kentucky Downs, the 2008 stakes schedule was released today for Kentucky Downs' upcoming live meeting, which runs from Sept. 13-23.

The Kentucky Cup Turf, scheduled for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/2 miles over the track's European style grass course, is the featured event of the $500,000 Kentucky Cup Turf Festival Sept. 13, the opening day of the meeting. Kentucky Downs will present six days of live turf racing on Sept. 13, 15, 16, 20, 22 and 23.

“The foundation of any successful race meeting begins with the racing surface. We have spent a considerable amount of time and money in the off season making improvements to our trademark turf course,” commented Corey Johnsen, President of Kentucky Downs. “These changes are significant and will no doubt elevate the caliber of racing we are presenting at Kentucky Downs.”

Extensive top dressing, aerating, overseeding and expanding the major infield lake to improve drainage have all been completed. Johnsen said the horsemen should be pleased with the turf course reconditioning as well as improvements to the stable area, paddock and winner’s circle.

Johnsen said upgrades will also be seen in the overall ambiance at Kentucky Downs when the track holds its annual Kentucky Cup Turf Festival on September 13. Fans and horsemen will enjoy a festival atmosphere. This will include a party plaza with live music and other entertainment. A portable Jumbrotron will also be brought to the infield.

A $50,000 Steeplechase race, The Grabel Stakes, will be a part of the Kentucky Cup Turf Festival. It will bring a nostalgic flair to the big race day.

"In 1990, history was made at Kentucky Downs (then called Dueling Grounds) when the richest American Steeplechase of all time was run -- the $750,000 Dueling Grounds International, which was won by the imported Irish mare Grabel. This year's inaugural running of the $50,000 Grabel Stakes will honor that moment and mark the return of steeplechasing in Kentucky," noted Bill Gallo, National Steeplechase Association's Vice President of Racing.

The complete 2008 Kentucky Downs Stakes schedule is as follows:


• The Kentucky Cup Turf - Grade III Stakes Race, $200,000 guaranteed.
For three year olds and upward. One and one half miles, turf.
• The Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf - $100,000 guaranteed.
For fillies and mares, three-year-olds and upward. One mile, turf.
• The Kentucky Cup Turf Dash - $100,000 guaranteed.
For three-year-olds and upward. Six furlongs, turf.
• The Grabel Stakes - $50,000 guaranteed.
Hurdle / Steeplechase Stakes for four-year-olds and upward. Two miles and one quarter.

• The Franklin-Simpson Stakes - $50,000 guaranteed.
For three-year-olds and upward. One mile, turf.

• The Pleasant Temper Stakes - $50,000 guaranteed.
For fillies and mares, three-year-olds and upward. One mile, turf.