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Grade I Clark 'Cap, Pair of 'Stars of Tomorrow' Programs Top 2011 Fall Meet Stakes Schedule

| Churchill Downs Communications | 07/15/2011 #
  • Giant Oak (outside), winner via disqualification, dueled with Successful Dan in the 2010 Clark Handicap. (Reed Palmer, CD)l

  • Dundalk Dust splashed to an upset victory on Thanksgiving Day in the 2010 Falls City Handicap (Reed Palmer, CD)

  • Santiva (#2) surged clear of Astrology (left) and Major Gain (inside) to take the 2010 Kentucky Jockey Club. (Reed Palmer, CD)

The 137th running of the Grade I, $500,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare, a race that shares its long history with the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI), and a pair of “Stars of Tomorrow” programs devoted exclusively to races for 2-year-olds head a schedule of 14 stakes events with total purses of more than $2.1 million that will be featured in the 21-day Fall Meet at Churchill Downs.

The Oct. 30-Nov. 27 fall racing session includes the record eighth visit by the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to the home of the Kentucky Derby on Nov. 4-5.  The return of the Breeders’ Cup will mark the first time that the event has been held at Churchill Downs in back-to-back years and will be its second stop as at the Louisville track in its two-day format.  Last year’s Breeders’ Cup attracted record two-day total attendance of 114,353 and record total wagering.  The 2010 renewal was highlighted by a narrow victory by Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s homebred Blame, the winner of Churchill Downs’ 2009 Clark Handicap, over Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Moss’ previously unbeaten Horse of the Year Zenyatta in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI).

The Clark, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up, will return in its traditional day-after-Thanksgiving spot on Friday, Nov. 25.  Last year’s renewal featured a stirring stretch battle between the Virginia H. Tarra Trust’s Giant Oak over Morton Fink’s Successful Dan, who appeared to score a narrow victory but was disqualified and placed third after stewards ruled he had interfered with another rival.  Like the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, the Clark Handicap, named to honor Churchill Downs founder Meriwether Lewis Clark, has been run annually without interruption since the first meet of the historic track, originally known as the Louisville Jockey Club, in May of 1875.

Churchill Downs’ 2011 Fall Meet schedule is nearly identical to the last year’s version in terms of races and purses.  Aside from the shuffling of positions on the schedule for some events, the only significant change in the schedule from 2010 is a $25,000 increase in the purse for the Falls City Handicap (GII), a 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares ages 3 and up that will carry a value of $175,000-added for its 96th renewal on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24.  The boost to the Falls City purse will lift total purses for the meet’s 14 stakes races to $2.12 million.

The Fall Meet will open on Sunday, Oct. 30 with the first of its pair of “Stars of Tomorrow” racing programs made up exclusively of races for 2-year-olds.  “Stars of Tomorrow I” will be highlighted by the 43rd running of the $150,000 Pocahontas Stakes (GII) for fillies and the 30th running of $100,000 Iroquois (GIII), both of which will be run at a mile on the main track. 

The juveniles-only “Stars of Tomorrow II” card is set for Saturday, Nov. 26, the next-to-last day of the meet, and the day will be topped again by the $150,000-added Golden Rod (GII) for fillies, the $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII).  The 1 1/16-mile races are early preps for the 2012 renewals of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, which will be run, respectively, on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5.  Along with earning the first-place purse, the winner of the 85th running of the Kentucky Jockey Club will automatically be nominated to the 2012 Kentucky Derby and the $200,000-added The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII).  The winner of the 68th Golden Rod will earn automatic nominations to the 2012 renewals of the Kentucky Oaks and the $100,000-added Eight Belles (GIII), a seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies that will be run on Kentucky Oaks Day.

Each of the Breeders’ Cup programs on Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5 will include a pair of additional stakes races.  On the Friday Breeders’ Cup schedule are the $100,000-added Ack Ack Handicap (GIII) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles and the $85,000-added Jimmy V overnight stakes for 3-year-olds at six furlongs.  The Saturday Breeders’ Cup program will include the $150,000-added Chilukki (GII) for fillies and mares ages 3 and up at a mile and the $85,000 Dream Supreme, an overnight stakes race for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs.

CHURCHILL DOWNS 2011 FALL MEET STAKES SCHEDULE (Oct. 30-Nov. 27)

Date

Race

Division

Distance (surface)

Sun., Oct. 30

Stars of Tomorrow I

 

$150,000-added Pocahontas (GII)

2 YO Fillies

1 M

 

$100,000-added Iroquois (GIII)

2 YO

1 M

Thurs., Nov. 3

$100,000-added Commonwealth Turf (GIII)

3 YO

1 1/16 M (Turf)

Fri., Nov. 4

Breeders’ Cup World Championships

 

 

 

$85,000-added Jimmy V

3 YO

6 F

 

$100,000-added Ack Ack Handicap (GIII)

3 YO & Up

1 1/16 M

Sat., Nov. 5

Breeders’ Cup World Championships

 

 

 

$150,000-added Chilukki (GII)

3 & up F & M

1 M

 

$85,000-added Dream Supreme

3 YO F

6 F

Sun., Nov. 6

$100,000-added Cardinal Handicap (GIII)

3 & up F & M

1 1/8 M (Turf)

Sat., Nov. 12

$175,000-added Mrs. Revere (GII)

3 YO F

1 1/16 M (Turf)

Sat., Nov. 19

$100,000-added River City Handicap (GIII)

3 YO & up

1 1/8 M (Turf)

Thurs., Nov. 24

$175,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII)

3 YO & up F & M

1 1/8 M

Fri. Nov. 25

$500,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by

           Norton Healthcare (GI)

3 YO & up

1 1/8 M

Sat. Nov. 26

Stars of Tomorrow II

 

 

 

$150,000-added Golden Rod (GII)

2 YO F

1 1/16 M

 

$150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII)

2 YO

1 1/16 M

F – Fillies … F & M – Fillies and Mares … M – Miles … F - Furlongs