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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Churchill Downs Press Staff  – Churchill Downs Racetrack released its first condition book of races for the 2020 Spring Meet late Sunday, and horsemen will be able to compete for an average of $559,000 each day.

          Opening day of the 2020 Spring Meet will be Saturday, May 16. After opening weekend (May 16-17), racing at the historic Louisville racetrack will be staged Thursdays through Sundays with a special holiday Monday card on Memorial Day, May 25. Post time for the first race each day will be 1 p.m. (all times Eastern). Closing day of the shortened 26-day Spring Meet is Saturday, June 27. All racing for Spring Meet will be conducted spectator-free until government officials issue approval of fans otherwise at Churchill Downs.

A total of 125 races cumulatively worth $7,265,000 are offered in the first condition book, which covers May 16-June 5. Maiden special weight races offer a purse of $79,000 and allowance races range between $81,000 and $88,000. All purses include prize money from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

The stakes schedule throughout the meet features 16 stakes totaling $2,250,000:

·      Saturday, May 23: Grade III, $150,000 Matt Winn (3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles); $100,000 Blame (4-year-olds and up at one mile); $100,000 Shawnee (fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles); $100,000 War Chant (3-year-olds at one mile on turf); and $100,000 Tepin (3-year-old fillies at one mile on turf).

·      Saturday, May 30: Grade III, $100,000 Old Forester Mint Julep (fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf) and Grade III, $100,000 Winning Colors (fillies and mares at six furlongs).

·      Saturday, June 6: $100,000 Aristides (Listed) (4-year-olds and up at six furlongs) and Grade III, $100,000 Dogwood (3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs).

·      Saturday, June 13: Grade III, $100,000 Louisville (4-year-olds and up at 1 ½ miles on turf).

·      Saturday, June 20: Grade II, $200,000 Wise Dan (4-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on turf) and $100,000 Audubon (3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on turf).

·      Saturday, June 27: Grade II, $500,000 Stephen Foster (4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles); Grade II, $200,000 Fleur de Lis (fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles); Grade III, $100,000 Regret (3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf); and Grade III, $100,000 Bashford Manor (2-year-olds at six furlongs).

The Matt Winn for 3-year-olds has been added to an extension of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” and offer Top 4 points on a scale of 10-4-2-1 for the series of qualifying races to the rescheduled Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) on Saturday, Sept. 5. Additional races will be added to the series schedule in the coming weeks when more information from other racetracks becomes available.

The Stephen Foster and Fleur de Lis are part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Series, and the winners will receive automatic berths and a travel stipend to the Longines Classic and Longines Distaff, respectively, on Nov. 7 at Keeneland.

The first condition book:

The second condition book for racing between June 6-27 is expected to be published by May 29.

On April 29, Churchill Downs received approval from state officials to reopen its stable areas at both Churchill Downs Racetrack and the auxiliary training center Trackside on Monday, May 11 under strict guidelines to effectively mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

The stable areas will reopen under a phased, systematic approach. The following is a listing of racetracks and when horses based there may return to Churchill Downs between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.:

·      Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La. (May 11-13);

·      Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., Tampa Bay Downs in Tampa, Fla. and horses based at Florida training centers (May 14-16);

·      Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. (May 17-19);

·      All other locales (May 20)

Only authorized racetrack employees and KHRC license holders who are providing support for a horse stabled at the facility will be permitted on property. This specifically includes only trainers with horses stabled or racing on the facility grounds and those who are responsible for the care of the horses (veterinarians, grooms, exercise riders and farriers).

Churchill Downs 2020 Spring Meet Stakes Schedule

Stephen Foster Preview DayFive stakes races cumulatively worth $550,000
Saturday, May 2323rd III$150,000Matt Winn3yo1 1/16 MDirt
Saturday, May 231st $100,000Blame4&up1 MDirt
Saturday, May 231st $100,000Shawnee4&up f/m1 1/16 MDirt
Saturday, May 231st $100,000War Chant3yo1 MTurf
Saturday, May 231st $100,000Tepin3yo f1 MTurf
Saturday, May 3044thIII$100,000Old Forester Mint Julep4&up f/m1 1/16 MTurf
Saturday, May 3017thIII$100,000Winning Colors4&up f/m6 FDirt
Saturday, June 632nd Listed$100,000Aristides4&up6 FDirt
Saturday, June 645thIII$100,000Dogwood3yo f7 FDirt
Saturday, June 1383rd III$100,000Louisville4&up1 ½ MTurf
Saturday, June 2031stII$200,000Wise Dan4&up1 1/16 MTurf
Saturday, June 201st $100,000Audubon3yo1 1/8 MTurf
Stephen Foster Day / Closing DayFour stakes races cumulatively worth $900,000
Saturday, June 2739thII$500,000Stephen Foster4&up1 1/8 MDirt
Saturday, June 2745thII$200,000Fleur de Lis4&up f/m1 1/8 MDirt
Saturday, June 2751st III$100,000Regret3yo f1 1/8 MTurf
Saturday, June 27119thIII$100,000Bashford Manor2yo6 FDirt
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