A total of 143 horses have been nominated to the three opening day stakes races at Kentucky Downs’ 2012 live race meet on Saturday, Sept. 8.
Each of the stakes races carries a purse of $75,000, including $25,000 from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF).
The sixteenth running of the Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf, a one-mile race for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up, attracted nominations of 55 horses from the barns of virtually all of the top Kentucky-based trainers and from other leading trainers based throughout the eastern U.S.
Forty-seven horses were nominated to the second running of the Franklin-Simpson Mile for 3-year-olds and up and another 41 were nominated to the fifteenth running of the Kentucky Cup Turf Dash going six furlongs for 3-year-olds and up.
“We are thrilled by the interest that trainers and owners have shown in our opening day stakes races,” said Tia Murphy, Kentucky Downs racing secretary. “While we have been confident that our record purses would attract an increase in nominations, the number of horses nominated and quality of the nominees have exceeded our expectations.”
Entries for the three opening day stakes races close Tuesday. Nominations remain open for the four stakes races to be run on Saturday, Sept. 15 – including the $200,000 Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup – through Thursday, Sept. 6.
With a record total purse structure of nearly $2.5 million up for grabs, Kentucky Downs’ 20th live race meet will feature six days of racing over its one-of-a-kind, 1 5/16-mile European-style turf course on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays from September 8-19. First race post time each day will be 1:35 p.m. CDT.
Located in Franklin, Kentucky, Kentucky Downs has been transformed into a year-round entertainment center that offers live racing, simulcasting seven days a week, Instant Racing, charitable gaming and other events.
--Edited Kentucky Downs release