- Two stakes – the $100,000-added Open Mind, which had been run in the Spring Meet, and the $100,000-added Very Subtle, a fall meet feature, will go on hiatus and will not be run in 2008;
- Purse increases for the Grade III Alysheba, which will see its value increase from $100,000-added to $150,000-added, and the Grade II Mrs. Revere, which will see its value boosted by $50,000 to $200,000-added;
- Reduced purses for the $200,000-added Firecracker Breeders’ Cup (GII), a $250,000-added race in 2007; $100,000-added Aegon Turf Sprint (GIII), formerly a $150,000-added event; the Aristides Breeders’ Cup (GIII), which will see its purse drop by $25,000 to $125,000-added; and the $175,000-added Northern Dancer Breeders’ Cup (GIII), which is $25,000 lower than last year; and
- The distance of the $150,000-added Locust Grove Handicap (GIII), for fillies and mares ages 3 & up on turf, has been reduced from 1 1/8 miles to one mile.
The Churchill Downs Fall Meet will again feature a pair of “Stars of Tomorrow” racing programs devoted exclusively to races for 2-year-olds and each will feature a pair of stakes events. “Stars of Tomorrow I” on Saturday, Nov. 1, will be highlighted by the $150,000-added Pocahontas (GIII) for fillies and the $150,000-added Iroquois (GIII), both of which will be run at one mile. “Stars of Tomorrow II” will close out the meet on Saturday, Nov. 29, and its $250,000-added co-features are the Golden Rod (GII) for fillies and the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII). The distance of both races is 1 1/16 miles.
“Churchill Downs is proud to present a stakes schedule for 2008 that again offers wonderful opportunities to compete against top-notch horses in every age group and division,” said Ben Huffman, racing secretary at Churchill Downs. “We appreciate the efforts of our Churchill Downs-based horsemen and owners and trainers from across North America to support our stakes programs in recent years and we look forward to working with them again as they bring their talented horses to race in stakes competition at the home of the Kentucky Derby.”
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 Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2008. The track’s 2008 Spring Meet begins on April 26. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record six times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.