Ellis Park Stakes Worth Record $3.7M

The 25-day meeting at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky, will feature 18 added-money events worth record prize money of $3.7 million, officials from the track announced Thursday. The lone graded and richest event on the calendar is the GIII Pucker Up S., a nine-furlong contest on the turf for 3-year-old fillies for a purse of $400,000 (including $150,000 from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund). The Pucker Up is one of seven stakes across the $1.95-million Kentucky Downs Preview weekend Aug. 3 and 4. A pair of valuable races are programmed...

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For Third Straight Spring, MSW Purses at Keeneland and Churchill Projected to Remain Level

Purses for maiden special weight (MSW) races are projected to remain unchanged for the third straight spring at both Keeneland Race Course and Churchill Downs. Track executives disclosed the pre-condition book figures during the Feb. 1 Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory board meeting. Keeneland expects to write $100,000 MSW races for 3-year-olds and older horses, with 2-year-olds competing for $80,000, according to Gatewood Bell, Keeneland's vice president of racing. Continuing a condition that Keeneland tried last fall, Bell added that there will also be four maiden-auction races written for...

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Turfway MSW Purses Projected to Hold Steady at $70,000

Turfway Park purses for maiden special weight (MSW) races are projected to stay level at $70,000, the same as last season. The dovetailed 2023-24 meets that run through March will open Nov. 29. Chip Bach, Turfway's general manager, reported that projection during the Oct. 3 Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory board meeting. The overall purse structure, Bach said, will also be "similar" to the previous meet "even though we're adding days and races." Bach said Turfway plans on running Wednesdays through Saturdays with a 5:55 p.m. Eastern first post,...

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Churchill To Host 12 Stakes Worth $3.7 Million During September Meet

A dozen stakes cumulatively worth a record $3,775,000 will be offered during the 14-day September Meet at Churchill Downs, which runs Sept. 14-Oct. 1 (pending Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund final approval). The meet will offer horsemen plenty of opportunities to prep for the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita, led by the GII Lukas Classic for 3-year-olds and the GIII Ack Ack--a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race for the Dirt Mile--Saturday, Sept. 30. Additionally, the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks series will kick-off Saturday,...

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Fall MSW Purses At Churchill ($120k), Keeneland ($100k) To Be Level With '22 Money

Both Churchill Downs ($120,000) and Keeneland Race Course ($100,000) are projecting maiden special weight (MSW) purses this autumn to be level with the money paid out at the same meets in 2022. Those figures were revealed by representatives of the two tracks Thursday during a meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory committee. The Churchill MSW purses for this year's two fall meets (Sep. 14-Oct. 1 and Oct. 29-Nov. 26) have been unchanged since 2020. In 2020, Churchill offered split MSW purse values in September-$97,000 during the pandemic-rescheduled...

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MSW Projections: Ellis $70,000, Kentucky Downs $150,000

Purse levels for maiden special weight (MSW) races on the Kentucky circuit have been projected for the summer meets at Ellis Park ($70,000 through 24 dates in July and August) and Kentucky Downs ($150,000 for seven days in September). Those figures were disclosed by representatives of those tracks Wednesday during a meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory committee. The projected Ellis MSW purses will be a boost from the $60,000 offered in 2022. Kentucky Downs will remain year-over-year level at $150,000 after last bumping up MSW purses...

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Kentucky Downs Will Raise Three Stakes Purses If Those Fields Have Grade I Winner

The seven-day FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs could have up to six races worth $1 million for registered Kentucky-breds with purse incentives added to the $750,000 GIII Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf, $600,000 GII Franklin-Simpson and $600,000 GIII Mint Ladies Sprint. Kentucky Downs will bump any of those purses to $1 million, including money from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF), if a Grade or Group 1 winner starts in that stakes race. The increase will match the purse structure for Kentucky Downs' three existing $1 million races, with $550,000 in...

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KTDF Advisory Committee Meets Tuesday

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) Advisory Committee meets at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2 at the offices of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (4079 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511). The public can attend or watch the meeting through the agency's YouTube channel. Some notables, but not all, on agenda include the election of a Chair and Vice-Chair, Kentucky Downs' Amendment request for KTDF Stakes & Claiming Races, Churchill Downs' 2022 September Meet KTDF Allotment request, and Pari-Mutual Tax: Waqas Ahmed, director, Pari-Mutual Wagering & Compliance.

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MSW Purses Set for CD, Ellis & Ky Downs

Purse levels for maiden special weight (MSW) races on the Kentucky circuit have been established for the upcoming meets at Churchill Downs ($120,000 in the first condition book), Ellis Park ($50,000 through July and August) and Kentucky Downs ($150,000 for seven days in September). Those figures were revealed by representatives of those tracks Tuesday during a video meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory committee. Ben Huffman, the vice president of racing and racing secretary at Churchill Downs, also confirmed that the newly installed turf course in Louisville...

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Pari-Mutuel Bill Approved by Kentucky House Committee

Kentucky House Bill 607, which contains a provision to greatly benefit horseplayers by effectively eliminating breakage, was overwhelmingly approved Wednesday morning by a Kentucky House of Representatives committee. HB 607 also standardizes the tax rate on all pari-mutuel wagers placed in Kentucky and also makes claiming races eligible for Kentucky-bred purse subsidies. The bill must still be approved by the full House before being sent to the Senate. Representative Adam Koenig, whose district in Northern Kentucky is near Turfway Park, is a primary sponsor of the bill, which also has...

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Significant Purse Increases for '21 Keeneland Spring Stakes

Keeneland has announced a revamped stakes schedule for its 15-day 2022 Spring Meet, which will be held from Apr. 8-29. A total of 19 stakes will be run, and all have received purse increases for a total of $7.7 million in total stakes purses. Among notable changes are that the Apr. 9 GII Toyota Blue Grass S., Keeneland's main GI Kentucky Derby prep, will once again offer a $1-million purse (it was $800,000 last year); and the $600,000 GI Central Bank Ashland ($400,000 in 2021) will be contested on opening...

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Lawmakers Discuss Adding KTDF Money to Claiming Races

In a meeting in Frankfort Friday, the Pari Mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force, led by State Senator and majority floor leader Damon Thayer, outlined the advantages of allowing Kentucky-breds in claiming races to receive purse supplements. Claiming races currently are not eligible to have Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) supplements added to their purses. "You need claiming horses in order to provide the opportunities for allowance and stakes horses," said Rick Hiles, president of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association (KHBPA). "It's time to acknowledge their important role and...

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