Spendthrift Farm has partnered with Churchill Downs to create the Spendthrift Stallion Stakes – a new $300,000-guaranteed stakes race to be run this fall for 2-year-olds that are sired exclusively by Spendthrift Farm stallions, and a race designed to be run annually to benefit both racehorse owners and breeders.
“We couldn’t be happier to be teaming with Churchill Downs to showcase the great product that our breeders are putting out. You don’t have to look any further than last weekend for Grade I 2-year-olds like Practical Joke and Straight Fire as prime examples of that,” said Ned Toffey, Spendthrift general manager. “We’re hopeful the timing of the Spendthrift Stallion Stakes will make it an important springboard to such Kentucky Derby preps as the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (GII), as well as the Derby itself the following spring at Churchill. It’s another way we can give back to our patrons and help promote our great industry for years to come.”
The inaugural running of the Spendthrift Stallion Stakes is scheduled as part of Churchill Downs’ 12th annual “Stars of Tomorrow” program entirely devoted to 2-year-old racing on Oct. 30, and the lucrative new stakes race will be contested at seven furlongs on dirt. The purse has been structured with a unique approach to award $150,000 to the owners of the placed horses, with the other $150,000 allocated to award the breeders of the first-thru-fourth-place finishers. Specifically, the winning breeder will earn $60,000, with $40,000 going to the breeder of the runner-up, $30,000 for third, and $20,000 for fourth.
“We’re so grateful that B. Wayne Hughes approached Churchill Downs with this unique idea and pleased to team with Spendthrift Farm to present this exciting new racing opportunity for owners and breeders on opening day of our Fall Meet,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack.
Two-year-olds eligible for the Spendthrift Stallion Stakes will be those sired by any active or non-active Spendthrift stallion, including all Spendthrift-owned stallions standing regionally in North America. With thousands of foals by Spendthrift stallions born annually, the size of the pool of horses eligible for the Spendthrift Stallion Stakes figures to be more than any state or regional program except Kentucky.
Nominations to the Spendthrift Stallion Stakes are free and due to the Churchill Downs racing office by Saturday, Oct. 15. There will be no late nominations or supplementary entries. It will cost owners $500 to enter the race on Tuesday, Oct. 25 and another $500 to start. The race will be limited to 14 starters with preference given to stakes winners, allowance race winners, maiden allowance winners and then horses that have not started for less than $50,000. Colts and geldings will carry 123 pounds, while fillies will carry 120. Non-stakes winners be given a three-pound weight break, while maidens will be granted a five-pound allowance.
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) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 6, 2017. The track will conduct two more live racing meets in 2016: the September Meet (Sept. 16-Oct. 2 and the Fall Meet (Oct. 30-Nov. 27). Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships eight times and the event will return to the track in 2018. Information is available at www.ChurchillDowns.com.