Churchill Downs stakes schedule for 2002 includes the 128th renewals of the $1 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby and the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks - plus a record five grade I events and record total stakes purses of more than $8 million. The schedule also includes a pair of new stakes, including one named in honor of legendary track president Col. Matt Winn that will be run during the centennial anniversary of his arrival at the Louisville track.
The 2002 Churchill Downs stakes schedule is made up of 40 races in the track's Spring and Fall race meets and includes record total purses of $8.275 million - which marks the first time that total stakes purses have topped $8 million. The schedule includes 34 graded stakes events, the $100,000-added Hard Scuffle Steeplechase (a National Steeplechase Association grade I race), and two new $100,000-added races. Purses for three other stakes - including the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I), Humana Distaff (gr. I), and the Louisville Breeders' Cup (gr. II) have been increased.
The 2001 stakes schedule at Churchill Downs included 38 races with total purses of $7.875 million, which matched the track's previous high for stakes purses in a year.
The $100,000-added Matt Winn, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds, is one of two new stakes races on the 2002 schedule. The other is the $100,000-added Northern Dancer, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds. The Matt Winn, will be held on May 11. The Northern Dancer will be contested June 15.