Brad Kelley's Calumet Farm has signed on to be title sponsor of Kentucky Downs’ premier stakes event for 2-year-old males. Kelley, who grew up in Simpson County where Kentucky Downs is located, formerly owned the track.
The $300,000 Calumet Farm Juvenile, formerly the Kentucky Downs Juvenile, will be contested on opening day of the 2015 meet this Saturday, Sept. 5. The seven-furlong contest was won last year by Croninthebarbarian, owned by Rick Pitino and company, trained by Gary Simms and ridden by Leandro Goncalves. Luck of the Kitten was second. Top juvenile turf runners are expected for the event again this year. Nominations for the Calumet Farm Juvenile closed on Aug. 25.
“It is an honor to have Calumet involved in our live season with its sponsorship of this important stakes,” Corey Johnsen, President of Kentucky Downs, said. “Calumet has historically placed importance on turf racing both here in North America and on an international level as well. This just seemed like a natural fit.”
Calumet Farm is the home of two Triple Crown winners -- Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948) -- and eight Kentucky Derby winners. It has grown its stallion roster since Kelley formed a trust and purchased the farm in 2013. They include several standout turf performers, including English Channel, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf and sire of recent Arlington Million winner The Pizza Man. English Channel currently ranks among leading stallions for 2015 in several categories. Another standout turf performer among the Calumet stallions is Red Rocks (IRE), who also captured the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Recent additions to Calumet's stallion roster include Real Solution, who won the Arlington Million in 2013, and multiple Grade I winner Big Blue Kitten, who will take up stud duty at the end of his racing career. Real Solution and Big Blue Kitten both are sons of champion turf sire Kitten’s Joy.
Kentucky Downs’ 2015 meeting includes five racing dates (Sept, 5, 10, 12, 16, 19) with record purses totaling $7.5 million. The Calumet Farm Juvenile is among 12 stakes races that include the $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup on Sept. 12.
--Edited Kentucky Downs release with additional content by Dick Downey