The Juvenile Turf Sprint, previously run on the undercard of the Breeders’ Cup championships, has been promoted and will be run as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs this coming November, the organization announced Monday. Carrying 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 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.”
The addition of the Juvenile Turf Sprint brings the total number of championship races to 14, five of which are juvenile races. Three of the juvenile races will be run on the turf. The GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf was added in 2007 and the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf was added in 2008.
The Qatar Juvenile Turf Sprint, run on the undercard of last year’s Breeders’ Cup races at Del Mar, was won by Declarationofpeace (War Front), a day after his Coolmore stablemate Mendelssohn (Scat Daddy) won the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
In addition, the purse of the GI Twinspires Breeders’ Cup Sprint has been increased to $2 million, up from $1.5 million in 2017. This year’s championships will also include an additional $1 million in undercard purses. Total purses and awards for the 2018 event will now exceed $30 million.