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Iroquois, Pocahontas Open Schedule of Eight Stakes Races Set for Churchill Downs' September Homecoming Meet

| Churchill Downs Communications | 06/27/2013 #

The first September racing meet in the 139-year history of Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) – 12 days of racing dubbed the Homecoming Meet – will feature eight stakes races with total purses of nearly $1 million. The inaugural schedule is headed by a pair of important events for 2-year-olds – the $150,000-added Pocahontas (Grade II) and the $150,000-added Iroquois (GIII) – and a new stakes race for older horses designed as a prep for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) and the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI), which will be run beneath the track’s Twin Spires in late November.

The first Homecoming Meet at Churchill Downs will open on Friday, Sept. 6 and continue through Sunday, Sept. 29. Racing will be conducted on a Friday-through-Sunday schedule during each of its four weeks, with “Downs After Dark” night racing celebrations scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 28.

The $175,000-added Homecoming Classic, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up on the main track, is the only new event on the Homecoming Meet’s inaugural schedule of eight stakes races with total purses of $975,000. It is one of two stakes contests set for the meet’s second “Downs After Dark” program on Sept. 28. The seven remaining events on the September meet’s stakes schedule have previously been run during either its Spring or Fall Meets.

“Our Churchill Downs team is looking forward to the new Homecoming Meet and the opportunity to offer new racing and entertainment opportunities to fans, families, businesses and horsemen during a time of year in which the weather is usually the best our region offers,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “Racing Secretary Ben Huffman has worked to fashion a schedule of compelling stakes events and an attractive roster of daily racing opportunities that provide owners and trainers with a wide range of competitive options for their horses.”

The Homecoming Meet’s opening weekend “Downs After Dark” celebration on Saturday, Sept. 7 will feature four stakes events topped by the 44th running of the Pocahontas, a Grade II race for 2-year-old fillies, and the Iroquois, a Grade III event for 2-year-olds set for its 32nd running. Both races are Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge events and the winners of the Pocahontas and Iroquois will earn starting spots in the respective fields for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) and the $2 million Juvenile (GI) in early November at Santa Anita.

Both the Pocahontas and the Iroquois were transferred from the positions in the Churchill Downs Fall Meet to the new Homecoming session. The distance of each race has been increased from one mile to 1 1/16 miles and the purse of the Iroquois was increased by $50,000.

Other stakes events on the Sept. 7 evening program are the 21st running of the $100,000-added Ack Ack Handicap (GIII) for 3-year-olds and up at one mile and the $100,000-added Locust Grove for fillies and mares ages 3-and-up at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. The Ack Ack, like the Pocahontas and Iroquois, was moved from its spot on the Fall Meet stakes schedule to the new meeting. The Locust Grove, which was previously run during the Spring Meet and most recently at a mile on turf, returns from a two-year absence and has been refashioned as a race on the main track.

The six-furlong, $100,000-added Open Mind for fillies and mares ages 3 & up, a race previously run during the Spring Meet, is scheduled to be run on Saturday, Sept. 14. The Open Mind was most recently run in 2007 and originated as a five-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies on turf.

The $100,000-added Dogwood, a one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, will be run for the 38th time on Saturday, Sept. 21.  Previously run during the Spring Meet, the Dogwood returns to the Churchill Downs schedule after a one-year break.

Joining the inaugural Homecoming Classic on the night racing program on Sept. 28 will be the 37th running of the $100,000-added Jefferson Cup, a Grade III race for 3-year-olds at one mile on turf. The Jefferson Cup, run most recently in 2011 at a distance of 1 1/16 miles on grass, was a Spring Meet attraction in its earlier renewals.

Seating for the Sept. 7 and Sept. 28 “Downs After Dark” celebrations and other racing programs scheduled during the first Homecoming Meet at Churchill Downs is available for purchase online at www.ChurchillDowns.com.

CHURCHILL DOWNS HOMECOMING MEET STAKES SCHEDULE

Sept. 6-Sept. 29

DATE

RACE

GRADE

GENDER

AGE

DIST

SURFACE

TOTAL PURSE

Sat., Sept. 7

Iroquois

III

Open

2 YO's

1  1/16

Dirt

$150,000

Pocahontas

II

Fillies

2 YO's

1  1/16

Dirt

$150,000

Locust Grove


F & M

3 & Up

1  1/16

Dirt

$100,000

Ack Ack Handicap

III

Open

3 & Up

Mile

Dirt

$100,000

Sat., Sept. 14

Open Mind


F & M

3 & Up

6 furlongs

Dirt

$100,000

Sat., Sept. 21

Dogwood


Fillies

3 YO'S

7 furlongs

Dirt

$100,000

Sat., Sept. 28

Homecoming Classic


Open

3 & Up

1 1/8

Dirt

$175,000

Jefferson Cup

III

Open

3 YO'S

Mile

Turf

$100,000

 

TOTAL PURSES

$975,000

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2014 and its 2013 Spring Meet is scheduled continues through Sunday, June 30. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.ChurchillDowns.com.

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