Led by the $3 million GI Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve Sat. May 6, a record 50 stakes races that total $20.525 million will be staged at Churchill Downs Racetrack during the 44-day Spring Meet which spans April 29-July 3.
The lineup features 28 stakes races that received significant boosts–including the GI Stephen Foster which is now worth $1 million–and one new event, the $175,000 Chorleywood Overnight S.
Derby Week kicks off the Spring Meet with 22 stakes that total a record $13.125 million over the six-day stretch that culminates with the highlight of the annual racing calendar–the 149th running of the GI Kentucky Derby. Nine of the 14 races on Kentucky Derby day are stakes that total $7.65 million. In addition to the Derby, the first Saturday in May will showcase the $1 million GI Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic; $750,000 GI Churchill Downs presented by Ford; $750,000 GI Derby City Distaff presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery; $500,000 GII Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile; $500,000 GII Pat Day Mile; $500,000 GII American Turf; $500,000 GII Twin Spires Turf Sprint; and $175,000 Knicks Go Overnight S.
One day earlier, Churchill Downs will host the $1.25 million GI Longines Kentucky Oaks. The seven stakes that day total $4.2 million: the Oaks; $750,000 GI La Troienne; $600,000 GII Alysheba presented by Sentient Jet; $500,000 GII Eight Belles; $500,000 GII Edgewood presented by Forcht Bank; $300,000 GIII Modesty; and $300,000 Unbridled Sidney S. presented by Sysco.
Stephen Foster Preview Day is Saturday, June 3 with six stakes that total $1.35 million: the $225,000 GIII Blame; $225,000 GIII Shawnee; $225,000 GIII Arlington; $225,000 GIII Regret; $225,000 Aristides S.; and $225,000 Audubon S.
The $1 million Stephen Foster, which has been elevated to Grade I status, is the centerpiece of closing weekend. The race anchors a six-race stakes card that totals $2.475 million on Saturday, July 1, and includes the $400,000 GII Fleur de Lis; $400,000 GII Wise Dan; $225,000 American Derby; $225,000 Tepin S.; and $225,000 Kelly’s Landing S.
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