Rich Strike (inside) battles Epicenter for the victory in the 148th Kentucky Derby. (Coady Photography)
• Churchill Downs To Offer Record 50 Stakes Worth $20.525 Million During 149th Spring Meet
• 28 Stakes Races Receive Significant Boosts; Grade I Stephen Foster Now Worth $1 Million
Darren Rogers/Churchill Downs
LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Led by the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) on Saturday, May 6, a record 50 stakes races that total $20.525 million will be staged at Churchill Downs Racetrack during the 44-day Spring Meet which spans April 29-July 3 (pending Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund final approval).
The record-breaking lineup features 28 stakes races that received significant boosts – including the Grade I Stephen Foster for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles which is now worth $1 million – and one new event, the $175,000 Chorleywood Overnight Stakes for 4-year-olds and up at 1 3/8 miles on turf on June 17.
Derby Week (April 29-May 6) kicks off the nine-week 149th Spring Meet with 22 stakes that total a record $13.125 million over the six-day stretch that culminates with the highlight of the annual racing calendar – the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby (GI) for 3-year-olds at 1 ¼ miles.
Nine of the 14 races on Kentucky Derby Day are stakes that total $7.65 million. In addition to the Derby, the first Saturday in May will showcase the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (GI); $750,000 Churchill Downs presented by Ford (GI); $750,000 Derby City Distaff presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (GI); $500,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII); $500,000 Pat Day Mile (GII); $500,000 American Turf (GII); $500,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (GII); and $175,000 Knicks Go Overnight Stakes.
The Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic, which precedes the Derby, is the most lucrative of 22 stakes races scheduled to be run over the Matt Winn Turf Course.
One day earlier, Churchill Downs will host the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) at 1 1/8 miles – the nation’s most lucrative race for 3-year-old fillies. The seven stakes that day total $4.2 million: the Oaks; $750,000 La Troienne (GI); $600,000 Alysheba presented by Sentient Jet (GII); $500,000 Eight Belles (GII); $500,000 Edgewood presented by Forcht Bank (GII); $300,000 Modesty (GIII); and $300,000 Unbridled Sidney presented by Sysco (Listed).
Derby Week stakes action that precedes Oaks and Derby days includes the $175,000 Roxelana Overnight Stakes on Opening Night, Saturday, April 29; $225,000 Mamzelle (Listed) and $175,000 Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight Stakes on Champions Day, Wednesday, May 3; $300,000 Opening Verse (Listed); $200,000 Kentucky Juvenile and $175,000 St. Matthews Overnight Stakes on Thurby, May 4.
Stephen Foster Preview Day is Saturday, June 3 with six stakes that total $1.35 million: the $225,000 Blame (GIII); $225,000 Shawnee (GIII); $225,000 Arlington (GIII); $225,000 Regret (GIII); $225,000 Aristides (Listed); and $225,000 Audubon (Listed).
The $1 million Stephen Foster, which has been elevated to Grade I status as it annually attracts some of the nation’s top older horses, is the centerpiece of an action-packed closing weekend. The 1 1/8-mile race anchors a six-race stakes bonanza that totals $2.475 million on Saturday, July 1, and includes the $400,000 Fleur de Lis (GII); $400,000 Wise Dan (GII); $225,000 American Derby (Listed); $225,000 Tepin; and$225,000 Kelly’s Landing (Listed).
The first condition book of scheduled races features $120,000 maiden races while allowance races range from $127,000 to $148,000. There also will be a $300 bonus awarded to trainers whose starters finish fourth through last in all non-stakes races.
Spring Meet stall applications are due Friday, March 3. Following its annual closure for wintertime renovations, the Churchill Downs stable area will reopen Tuesday, March 21. The first day of training on the main dirt track will be Friday, March 24.
2023 CHURCHILL DOWNS SPRING MEET STAKES SCHEDULE
|Saturday, April 29||13th||$175,000||Roxelana Overnight Stakes||4&up, f&m||6 F||Dirt|
|Wednesday, May 3||4th||Listed||$225,000||Mamzelle||3yo f||5 ½ F||Turf|
|Wednesday, May 3||5th||$175,000||Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight Stakes||4&up||1 ½ M||Dirt|
|Thursday, May 4||18th||Listed||$300,000||Opening Verse||4&up||1 M||Turf|
|Thursday, May 4||29th||$200,000||Kentucky Juvenile||2yo||5 F||Dirt|
|Thursday, May 4||2nd||$175,000||St. Matthews Overnight Stakes||4&up||6 F||Dirt|
|Friday, May 5||149th||I||$1,250,000||Longines Kentucky Oaks||3yo f||1 1/8 M||Dirt|
|Friday, May 5||38th||I||$750,000||La Troienne||4&up, f&m||1 1/16 M||Dirt|
|Friday, May 5||20th||II||$600,000||Alysheba presented by Sentient Jet||4&up||1 1/16 M||Dirt|
|Friday, May 5||68th||II||$500,000||Eight Belles||3yo f||7 F||Dirt|
|Friday, May 5||39th||II||$500,000||Edgewood presented by Forcht Bank||3yo f||1 1/16 M||Turf|
|Friday, May 5||66th||III||$300,000||Modesty||4&up, f&m||1 1/8 M||Turf|
|Friday, May 5||13th||Listed||$300,000||Unbridled Sidney presented by Sysco||3&up, f&m||5 ½ F||Turf|
|Saturday, May 6||149th||I||$3,000,000||Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve||3yo||1 ¼ M||Dirt|
|Saturday, May 6||37th||I||$1,000,000||Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic||4&up||1 1/8 M||Turf|
|Saturday, May 6||88th||I||$750,000||Churchill Downs presented by Ford||4&up||7 F||Dirt|
|Saturday, May 6||37th||I||$750,000||Derby City Distaff presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery||4&up, f&m||7 F||Dirt|
|Saturday, May 6||38th||II||$500,000||Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile||4&up, f&m||1 M||Turf|
|Saturday, May 6||99th||II||$500,000||Pat Day Mile||3yo||1 M||Dirt|
|Saturday, May 6||32nd||II||$500,000||American Turf||3yo||1 1/16 M||Turf|
|Saturday, May 6||29th||II||$500,000||Twin Spires Turf Sprint||3&up||5 ½ F||Turf|
|Saturday, May 6||2nd||$175,000||Knicks Go Overnight Stakes||4&up||1 M||Dirt|
|Saturday, May 13||8th||Listed||$225,000||William Walker||3yo||5 ½ F||Turf|
|Saturday, May 20||86th||III||$225,000||Louisville||4&up||1 ½ M||Turf|
|Saturday, May 27||10th||Listed||$225,000||Keertana||4&up, f&m||1 ½ M||Turf|
|Monday, May 29||20th||III||$225,000||Winning Colors||4&up, f&m||6 F||Dirt|
|Saturday, June 3||4th||III||$225,000||Blame||4&up||1 1/8 M||Dirt|
|Saturday, June 3||4th||III||$225,000||Shawnee||4&up, f&m||1 1/16 M||Dirt|
|Saturday, June 3||87th||III||$225,000||Arlington||4&up||1 1/16 M||Turf|
|Saturday, June 3||54th||III||$225,000||Regret||3yo f||1 1/8 M||Turf|
|Saturday, June 3||35th||Listed||$225,000||Aristides||4&up||6 F||Dirt|
|Saturday, June 3||4th||Listed||$225,000||Audubon||3yo||1 1/8 M||Turf|
|Sunday, June 4||47th||III||$225,000||Old Forester Mint Julep||4&up, f&m||1 1/16 M||Turf|
|Saturday, June 10||7th||Listed||$225,000||Mighty Beau||3&up||5 F||Turf|
|Sunday, June 11||26th||III||$400,000||Matt Winn||3yo||1 1/16 M||Dirt|
|Sunday, June 11||2nd||$175,000||Leslie’s Lady Overnight Stakes||3yo f||7 F||Dirt|
|Saturday, June 17||2nd||$175,000||Monomoy Girl Overnight Stakes||3yo f||1 1/16 M||Dirt|
|Saturday, June 17||1st||$175,000||Chorleywood Overnight Stakes||4&up||1 3/8 M||Turf|
|Saturday, June 24||33rd||III||$225,000||Chicago||4&up, f&m||7 F||Dirt|
|Saturday, July 1||42nd||I||$1,000,000||Stephen Foster||4&up||1 1/8 M||Dirt|
|Saturday, July 1||48th||II||$400,000||Fleur de Lis||4&up, f&m||1 1/8 M||Dirt|
|Saturday, July 1||34th||II||$400,000||Wise Dan||4&up||1 1/16 M||Turf|
|Saturday, July 1||108th||Listed||$225,000||American Derby||3yo||1 1/16 M||Turf|
|Saturday, July 1||4th||$225,000||Tepin||3yo f||1 M||Turf|
|Saturday, July 1||13th||Listed||$225,000||Kelly’s Landing||3&up||6 ½ F||Dirt|
|Sunday, July 2||2nd||$175,000||Anchorage Overnight Stakes||4&up, f&m||1 M||Turf|
|Sunday, July 2||2nd||$175,000||Maxfield Overnight Stakes||3yo||7 F||Dirt|
|Monday, July 3||68th||Listed||$275,000||Hanshin presented by JRA||4&up||1 M||Dirt|
|Monday, July 3||122nd||Listed||$225,000||Bashford Manor||2yo||6 F||Dirt|
|Monday, July 3||122nd||Listed||$225,000||Debutante||2yo f||6 F||Dirt|