The Breeders' Cup announced Feb. 5 the promotion of the undercard Juvenile Turf Sprint to the Breeders' Cup World Championships program. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint will be a part of this year's World Championships, Nov. 2-3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and will carry a $1 million purse. The race will be run at about 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf and will be open to all 2-year-olds.
The purse of the TwinSpires Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) also will be increased to $2 million, a $500,000 increase from last year's purse. With the addition of the Juvenile Turf Sprint, there will now be 14 races in this year's World Championships plus an additional $1 million in undercard purses. Total purses and awards for the 2018 event will exceed $30 million.
Five juvenile races will be contested at this year's World Championships, and three of them will be on the turf. The one-mile $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1T) was established in 2007, and the one-mile $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1T) was added in 2008. The $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) and 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), both run at 1 1/16 miles on dirt, have been a part of the World Championships program since the event's inception in 1984.
"The upgrade of the Juvenile Turf Sprint is in response to the increasing popularity of turf racing in North America and will fill a need for international turf sprint sires," said Dora Delgado, Breeders' Cup senior vice president of racing and nominations. "Each year, the Juvenile Turf and the Juvenile Fillies Turf are oversubscribed at the Championships. We feel that the Juvenile Turf Sprint will also be a popular draw among horsemen from North America and overseas stables and will generate interest among North American racetracks to card races in this division."