Horse racing on the prosperous Kentucky circuit shifts from Keeneland in Lexington to Churchill Downs in Louisville on Sunday as the historic home of the Kentucky Derby readies to open its 130th Fall Meet with an 11-race program – all for promising 2-year-old Thoroughbreds – at 1 p.m. (all times Eastern).

The popular 26-day stand covers a five-week stretch every Wednesday-Sunday through Dec. 1 – the latest Fall Meet closing date since the seven-date Nov. 24-Dec. 1 meeting in 1928.

It kicks off in style Sunday with the 15th annual “Stars of Tomorrow I” program, which is entirely devoted to hopeful 2-year-old stars that have aspirations of trail-blazing their way to next year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) and Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI).

Sunday’s 11-race opening day card is headlined by the seventh runnings of two one-mile, $120,000-added overnight stakes – the open-company Street Sense and Rags to Riches for fillies. Those races serve as local steppingstones to the two Grade II, $300,000, 1 1/16-mile counterparts on the Saturday, Nov. 30 “Stars of Tomorrow II” program – the open Kentucky Jockey Club and Golden Rod for fillies that are part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks series which award points to the Top 4 finishers (10-4-2-1).

Trick-or-Treat at the Track, Family Adventure Day on Sunday

Sunday’s opener features Family Adventure Day presented by Kroger with more than 20 activities for children 12 and under to enjoy including bounce houses, pony rides and games. With Halloween four days away, kids 12 and under are encouraged to wear costumes and trick-or-treat at more than 15 “Boo Station” booths throughout the first floor of the racetrack. Churchill Downs and community partners will hand out more than a ton of candy between 12-4 p.m. Adults may wear costumes but masks on adults are prohibited for safety reasons.

Also, families are invited to take home a free pumpkin for their Halloween jack-o-lantern. Additional activities include stick horse races, face painting, a video game truck, visits by Disney princesses and meet-and-greets with Spider Man and Tinkerbell.

Tickets are $10 in advance and can be purchased at www.churchilldowns.com or $12 on Sunday at the gate.

Stars of Tomorrow Produces

Inaugurated in 2005, Churchill Downs’ “Stars of Tomorrow” programs have helped launched the careers of numerous graded stakes winners, including more than 50 future Grade I winners led by Horse of the Year champions Gun Runner (2017) and Rachel Alexandra (2009), Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver (2010), Kentucky Oaks winners Rachel Alexandra (2009), Believe You Can (2012) and Monomoy Girl (2018), Preakness winners Shackleford (2011) and War of Will (2019), Belmont winner Creator (2016) as well as 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic and 2013 Stephen Foster Handicap hero Fort Larned and 2013 champion 3-year-old Will Take Charge.

Big Money, Big Fields

Over the course of the meet, horsemen will have ample opportunities to uncork promising juveniles or seek year-end graded-stakes glory. All told, 13 stakes races cumulatively worth $3.005 million – which includes nine graded stakes events – will be run during the fall stand. Meanwhile, bettors are certain to be challenged by the competitive Fall Meet racing that typically pits the fastest and battle-tested horses against the recently freshened year-end bloomers.

With a compact 26-day schedule and not as many competing race meets at year’s end, the Fall Meet often offers larger fields. Last fall, the average field size was 8.9 horses per race but this year’s Spring and September meets featured average fields of 8.5 horses and a strong 9.3 horses, respectively.

The reason? Purses at Churchill Downs have skyrocketed, thanks to robust business from state-of-the-art historical racing machines that debuted last year at nearby Derby City Gaming. This year’s Fall Meet will feature a record $20,197,000 in prize money offered (all purses include prize money from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund), which averages to a hefty $776,808 per day. There will be a total of 272 races and the average purse offered is $74,254 per race. Maiden special weight races are worth $95,000 and allowance races range from $97,000 to $105,000.

The anchor of the lucrative stakes program comes on “Black Friday,” Nov. 29 with the 145th running of the $600,000 Clark Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI). The 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-olds and up annually lures some of the top older horses in North America and is one of six stakes events cumulatively worth $1.97 million to be contested over Thanksgiving weekend. Also contested on this day is the $300,000 Mrs. Revere (GII), a prominent 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

Racing Every Wednesday-Sunday; First Race 1 p.m. Most Days

After Sunday’s opener, live racing will be conducted on a Wednesday-Sunday schedule with dark days on Mondays and Tuesdays. Most race days feature 10 live races. There will be 11 on Sunday’s opener plus a trio of Saturdays: Nov. 9, 16 and 23. Twelve-race cards are scheduled over the final four days, Nov. 28-Dec. 1.

Post time will be 1 p.m. (all times Eastern) on most racing days with admission gates open at 11:30 a.m. Churchill Downs will have special post times on Friday, Nov. 1 (2 p.m.) and Saturday, Nov. 2 (2:15 p.m.) so the races coincide but don’t overlap with a simulcast of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships from Santa Anita. Admission gates will open at 12:30 p.m. both days.

There will be an early 11:30 a.m. start (gates 10 a.m.) on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 28) – a Louisville tradition at Churchill Downs since 1969 where more than 7,000 turkey dinners are served with all the trimmings, making it the largest number anywhere in the region. The featured races that day are a pair of graded stakes at 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares: the $300,000 Falls City (GII) on dirt and $175,000 Cardinal (GIII) on turf.

Watch and Wager on the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, 2020 Churchill Downs Wall Calendar Giveaway

Churchill Downs will simulcast the Breeders’ Cup World Championships from Southern California’s Santa Anita on Friday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2. Churchill Downs will run 10 races those days beginning at 2 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., respectively. The first 5,000 fans in attendance on Saturday, Nov. 2 for a simulcast of the Breeders’ Cup will receive a free 2020 Churchill Downs Wall Calendar, presented by Humana. The colorful calendar features major event listings and vivid and memorable images from the Kentucky Derby and around the historic racetrack.

A simulcast of the 10-race “Future Stars Friday” card from Santa Anita will begin at 1:45 p.m. and the Breeders’ Cup will cover Races 5-9 (4:12-7:03 p.m.). Championship Saturday’s 12-race program at Santa Anita will commence at 1:07 p.m. with the Breeders’ Cup on Races 4-12 (Breeders’ Cup starts at 2:55 p.m.). It will culminate with the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at 8:44 p.m. In addition to the simulcasts interspersed between live races, Churchill Downs will present two stakes races on Saturday, Nov. 2: the $200,000 Chilukki (GIII) for fillies and mares at one mile and $120,000-added Bet On Sunshine Overnight Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs.

When live racing concludes on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7:17 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 2 at 8:10 p.m., simulcast wagering on the Breeders’ Cup will continue in the ITW area on the second floor of the Clubhouse, as well as reserved dining spaces and the Horsemen’s Services Center. Customers who attend Churchill Downs on Friday will be able to advance wager on the entire Championship Saturday program from Santa Anita. There is no advance wagering on-track Thursday for the Championship Friday program.

Special Fall Meet Events Include Military Appreciation Day, First Responders Day

Other special events during the Fall Meet include Military Appreciation Day with free admission or a discounted $29 ticket to Millionaires Row for active and retired members of the U.S. armed services on Sunday, Nov. 10; First Responders Day with free admission or a discounted $29 ticket to Millionaires Row for active first responders on Sunday, Nov. 17; Senior Days with a discounted $24 ticket to Millionaires Row for seniors age 60 and up on Thursday, Oct. 31 and Wednesday, Nov. 13; and a “Stakes and Eggs” brunch special ($48 for adults and $25 for children) in the Stakes Room every Sunday.

Betting Menu Features 20-Cent Single 6 Jackpot

The betting menu will be the same as recent meets and includes the 20-cent minimum “Single 6 Jackpot,” which is offered on the last six races each day with a low 15-percent takeout. The Single 6 Jackpot will be paid out only if there is a single winning wager with six winners placed at the required minimum bet value. If there are multiple winning wagers with six winners in the six-race sequence, 90 percent of the net money wagering into the pool will be paid out, and the remaining 10 percent will carry to the Single 6 Jackpot. If there are no tickets will all six winners, 100 percent of the pool will carry to the Single 6 Jackpot. There will be a mandatory payout on closing day.

Kentucky Derby Future Wagers Return on Closing Weekend

The first pools of the 2020 Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be offered Nov. 28-Dec. 1. The traditional pool with 23 individual wagering interests and an “all others” option will return, and so will the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, which debuted in 2015 and requires bettors to wager on the winning sire for next year’s Kentucky Derby winner. The other Future Wager dates will be Feb. 7-9 (Pool 2), March 6-8 (Pool 3) and April 3-5 (Pool 4). The lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will coincide with Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager on March 6-8.

General Admission, Reserved Seating Options

General admission to Churchill Downs is $5 ($7 on Nov. 1-2 and Nov. 29-30). Reserved box seats are $12; indoor dining options are $39 ($51 on Nov. 1-2 and Nov. 29-30; $57 on Thanksgiving Day). Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Free seating is available over a first-come, first-serve basis in Sections 115-117. There are more than 3,600 free parking spaces in the Yellow Lot.

Odds and Ends

Travis Stone will describe the racing action throughout the Fall Meet. Veteran odds maker Mike Battaglia has morning line odds duty for the 45th consecutive year.

‘Churchill Downs Today’ Airs One-Hour Before First Race

Joe Kristufek is Churchill Downs’ on-track and simulcast host with additional race-by-race analysis to be provided by Ed DeRosa, James Scully, Scott Shapiro and Brandon Stauble.

“Churchill Downs Today,” the track’s daily racing preview program, will air one hour before the first race of the day and can be seen on-track and www.TwinSprires.com. Also, Churchill Downs Today will be streamed live on Twitter via @twinspires and Facebook via www.facebook.com/twinspires.

Past performances and other handicapping information for Churchill Downs’ races available online at Brisnet via http://www.brisnet.com/churchill.

For more information, call (502) 636-4400 or visit www.churchilldowns.com.

2019 CHURCHILL DOWNS FALL MEET STAKES SCHEDULE

Date

Running

Grade

Purse

Race

Conditions

Distance

Surface

Sunday, Oct. 27

7th


$120,000

Street Sense Overnight Stakes

2yo

1 M

Dirt

Sunday, Oct. 27

7th


$120,000

Rags to Riches Overnight Stakes

2yo f

1 M

Dirt

Friday, Nov. 1

15th


$120,000

Dream Supreme Overnight Stakes

3&up, f&m

6 F

Dirt

Saturday, Nov. 2

34th

III

$200,000

Chilukki

3&up, f&m

1 M

Dirt

Saturday, Nov. 2

12th


$120,000

Bet On Sunshine Overnight Stakes

3&up

6 F

Dirt

Saturday, Nov. 9

16th

III

$175,000

Commonwealth Turf

3yo

1 1/16 M

Turf

Saturday, Nov. 16

42nd

III

$175,000

River City

3yo & up

1 1/8 M

Turf

Thursday, Nov. 28

104th

II

$300,000

Falls City

3&up, f&m

1 1/8 M

Dirt

Thursday, Nov. 28

46th

III

$175,000

Cardinal

3&up, f&m

1 1/8 M

Turf

Friday, Nov. 29

145th

I

$600,000

Clark Presented by Norton Healthcare

3yo & up

1 1/8 M

Dirt

Friday, Nov. 29

29th

II

$300,000

Mrs. Revere

3yo f

1 1/16 M

Turf

Saturday, Nov. 30

93rd

II

$300,000

Kentucky Jockey Club

2yo

1 1/16 M

Dirt

Saturday, Nov. 30

76th

II

$300,000

Golden Rod

2yo f

1 1/16 M

Dirt

CD
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