Fresh off a successful inaugural running of the Oct . 30 Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion Stakes, Spendthrift Farm and Churchill Downs have announced an expansion of the event, which will now be run as two divisional races starting in 2017: one for 2-year-old males and one for 2-year-old fillies.
"The Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion Stakes was an overwhelming success last year, and we're delighted to once again collaborate with Churchill Downs to build on that success," said Spendthrift general manager Ned Toffey. "The addition of a fillies division is something that many of our breeders asked for, and this year we are happy to be able to provide it. It's another way for us to help our breeders and the industry as a whole."
Spendthrift has committed to funding an additional $100,000 annually to the original $300,000 commitment in purse money, and the $400,000 will be allocated to a pair of $200,000 stakes races on the opening-day card during the fall meet at Churchill, which in 2017 is slated for Oct. 29.
The fillies race will be named the Spendthrift Juvenile Filly Stallion Stakes, while the colts and geldings division will continue to run as the Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion Stakes. Both will be contested at seven furlongs on dirt.
"The creation of the Spendthrift Stallion Stakes for 2-year-olds is a unique concept that proved to be extremely popular with owners, breeders, and fans alike in 2016," said Churchill Downs racetrack president Kevin Flanery. "We're delighted to present these races on opening day of our fall meet, and Churchill Downs looks forward to cultivating this event with Spendthrift Farm in 2017."
The inaugural running of the Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion Stakes drew a full field of 14 horses before scratching down to 12 on race day. Warrior's Club captured the seven-furlong stakes race en route to placing in Churchill's biggest race for 2-year-olds in his next start: the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2). Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion Stakes runner-up Cool Arrow came back to decisively win the $300,000 Remington Springboard Mile Stakes Dec. 11 in his subsequent start.