The Kentucky Cup Classic will return to the Turfway Park stakes schedule for the first time since 2011 when the Florence track opens for its 59th season Nov. 29. The race, which was last run as a Grade II event, has been won by Classic winners Tabasco Cat, Silver Charm and Thunder Gulch, as well as G1 Dubai World Cup winner Roses in May and Grade I winners Perfect Drift and Hard Spun. It will be run as part of Turfway's GIII Spiral S. card Mar. 17 and will be worth $100,000 for 4-year-olds and up going nine furlongs.
Turfway has also renamed the Wintergreen S. Now named the Latonia S., the race for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles will also be run on the Mar. 17 card and will be worth $75,000. The new name honors the original Latonia Race Track, which operated from 1883 to 1939 about 10 miles north of present-day Turfway Park, and is Turfway's original name.
“Reviving the Kentucky Cup Classic and celebrating our history with the Latonia S. will make Spiral S. day more exciting for fans,” said Turfway General Manager Daniel “Chip” Bach. “Adding stakes for older horses rounds out the card and gives trainers wider opportunities and greater incentive to ship. Three-year-olds looking to enhance their chances at making the GI Kentucky Derby or Oaks field will have that opportunity in the Spiral or Bourbonette. Focusing on higher-caliber races across the entire card will make the day more attractive to bettors as well.”
The Spiral, which offers 34 points towards a Kentucky Derby berth, will be worth $200,000 in 2018. The GIII Bourbonette Oaks, which offers 34 points towards a Kentucky Oaks berth, will be worth $100,000.
Turfway has also moved five stakes races from traditional Saturday runnings to Friday evenings: the Dec. 1 Holiday Inaugural; Dec. 29 Prairie Bayou; Jan. 19 Forego; Feb. 9 Cincinnati Trophy; and the Feb. 23 Battaglia Memorial.
Turfway will race Wednesday through Saturday from opening day Nov. 29 through Dec. 31 and Thursday through Saturday from Jan. 1 through the close of the season on Mar. 31.