Wanted: Grade 1 Winners

August 3, 2022

If a G1 winner runs, Kentucky Downs will put $1 million purse on Ladies Turf, Franklin-Simpson, The Mint Ladies Sprint

FRANKLIN, Ky. — The seven-day FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs could have up to six races worth $1 million for registered Kentucky-breds with purse incentives added to the $750,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (Grade 3), $600,000 Franklin-Simpson (G2) and $600,000 Mint Ladies Sprint (G3).

Kentucky Downs will bump any of those purses to $1 million, including money from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF), if a Grade or Group 1 winner starts in that stakes race. The increase will match the purse structure for Kentucky Downs’ three existing $1 million races, with $550,000 in association money that every horse runs for regardless of where it was born and an additional $450,000 in KTDF supplements. To be KTDF eligible, a horse must be foaled in the commonwealth, sired by a Kentucky stallion, and registered through the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders.

Will these races be worth $1 million in 2022?
(They will if a Grade 1 winner is in the field!) 

Kentucky Downs runs Sept. 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11 and 14. The Ladies Turf and Ladies Sprint for fillies and mares and the Franklin-Simpson for 3-year-olds will be run Saturday, Sept. 10. That racing extravaganza also includes the $1 million Kentucky Turf Cup (G2) and $1 million FanDuel Turf Sprint (G2). The $1 million WinStar Mint Million (G3) runs on the meet’s second day, Saturday Sept. 3.

Buy your 2022 Kentucky Downs reserved seating tickets here

“This is just another step as Kentucky Downs works to improve its racing program and to reward horse owners who make this great industry possible,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ Vice President for Racing. “We’ve been fortunate to receive graded designation for a number stakes in recent years, and now the objective is to get them upgraded. The ultimate goal is to get a Grade 1 designation.

$600K Ladies Sprint (G3) won in 2021 by In Good Spirits. Coady Photography

“In that regard, money talks — or certainly helps. The KTDF makes it possible for us to have $1 million races for Kentucky-breds, which dominate racing. But we also want to make the base purse attractive to horsemen who have quality horses that weren’t born in the commonwealth.”

$750K Ladies Turf (G3) won in 2021 by Princess Grace. Coady Photography

The current purse breakdown is $300,000 association and $450,000 KTDF for the mile Ladies Turf and $300,000 association and $300,000 KTDF for both the Franklin-Simpson and Ladies Sprint, both races at 6 1/2 furlongs.

$600K Franklin-Simpson (G2) won in 2021 by The Lir Jet. Coady Photography

“I always take a hard look at Kentucky Downs stakes. Raising those stakes to $1 million sure makes me take an even harder look,” said trainer Wesley Ward, whose 42 career wins at Kentucky Downs ranks second all-time. “The thing is, even if a horse isn’t a Kentucky-bred, it still would run for $550,000. There aren’t many stakes anywhere worth more than that.”

The potential stakes purse increases were created in agreements with the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s KTDF advisory committee.

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Kentucky Downs’ 2022 stakes schedule
(All stakes on grass and include KTDF* enhancements)

Thursday, Sept. 1 — $400,000 TVG Tapit Stakes, 3-year-olds & up who have not won a stakes in 2022, one mile & 70 yards.

Saturday, Sept. 3 — $1 million WinStar Mint Million (G3), 3-year-olds & up, mile; $500,000 Aristocrat Gaming Juvenile Fillies, 2-year-old fillies, mile; $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile, 2-year-olds, mile.

Sunday, Sept. 4 — $750,000 Big Ass Fans Dueling Grounds Derby (G3), 3-year-olds, 1 5/16 miles; $500,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1 5/16 miles.

Thursday, Sept. 8 — $500,000 Global Tote Juvenile Sprint, 2-year-olds, 6 1/2 furlongs. 

Saturday, Sept. 10 — $1 million Kentucky Turf Cup (G2) “Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Turf,” 3-year-olds & up, 1 1/2 miles; $1 million FanDuel Turf Sprint (G2) “Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Division,” 3-year-olds & up, 6 furlongs; **$750,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (G3), fillies & mares 3 years old & up, mile; **$600,000 Franklin-Simpson (G2), 3-year-olds, 6 1/2 furlongs; **$600,000 The Mint Ladies Sprint (G3), fillies & mares 3 years old & up, 6 1/2 furlongs.

Sunday, Sept. 11 — $500,000 Ainsworth Untapable Stakes, 2-year-old fillies, 6 1/2 furlongs; $500,000 Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey Music City Stakes, 3-year-old fillies, 6 1/2 furlongs; $550,000 AGS Ladies Marathon (G3), fillies & mares 3 years old & up, 1 5/16 miles.

Wednesday, Sept. 14 — $400,000 Gun Runner, 3-year-olds, mile; $400,000 One Dreamer, fillies & mares 3 years old & up who have not won a stakes in 2022, mile and 70 yards; $180,000 Tight Spot Overnight Handicap, 3-year-olds & up, mile.

*Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund money, which is restricted to registered Kentucky-breds.
**Will increase to $1 million ($550,000 base and $450,000 KTDF) if a Grade or Group 1 winner starts in the race.

Check out our new The Mint Bowling Green!
Located near the Kentucky and Tennessee border, just off Interstate 65 and approximately 35 miles from Nashville, Tenn., Kentucky Downs features Historical Horse Racing gaming terminals and conducts live turf racing each September on America’s only “European-style” race course while offering among the highest purses in the world. Kentucky Downs is a pioneer in modern Historical Horse Racing, the electronic form of pari-mutuel betting on horses that has become one of the great financial success stories in the sport’s history. Racing has been conducted at the facility since 1990, when it was called Dueling Grounds.

Address: 5629 Nashville Road, P.O. Box 405, Franklin, KY 42135
Website: www.TheMintGaming.com
Phone: 270.586.7778
2022 racing dates: Sept. 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11 & 14

Kentucky Downs Press Release

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