Kentucky Downs lands 13 horses in the Breeders’ Cup – “proof of the quality of the race”

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By Jennie Rees
Kentucky Downs

Thirteen horses that competed in the FanDuell meeting in Kentucky Downs will be entered for the 14 Breeders’ Cup World Championship races this Friday and Saturday at Del Mar Circuit near San Diego.

This includes the Gear Jockey from Calumet Farm, winner of the $ 1 million FanDuel Turf Sprint from Kentucky Downs and a favorite for Saturday’s $ 1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).

Gear Jockey’s trainer Rusty Arnold isn’t surprised by the numbers, saying it is an indication that Kentucky Downs is a major player nationwide.

“They have gone from being a ‘bizarre’ to a ‘one-of-a-kind’ course,” said Arnold of the all-grass meeting on America’s only European-style golf course, one of the most lucrative purses in the world. “I mean, the people there will lead a good horse now. Horses come from everywhere – from Maryland, New York, Kentucky, California to run. “

Arnold not only supports participation in the Breeders’ Cup, but also the recently concluded Keeneland autumn meeting.

Horses that have ridden the Kentucky Downs won six of Keeneland’s twelve turf appearances. Three of them are in the Breeders ‘Cup and receive a paid seat for winning a race in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In”:

In Love (Saturday’s $ 2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile) won a division of the TVG Stakes from Kentucky Downs and won Keenelands Grade 1 Keeneland Turf Mile. Tiz the Bomb (Friday’s $ 1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf) conquered the $ 500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile and Keenelands Grade 2 Castle & Key Bourbon. California Angel (Friday’s $ 1 Million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf) won a maiden race at Kentucky Downs and Keenelands Grade 2 Jessamine.

The other 10 Breeders’ Cup horses that ran at Kentucky Downs in September include Class 1 winners Got Stormy and Casa Creed (both in the mile on turf) and Snapper Sinclair (Dirt Mile), the first horse to won three stakes in Kentucky Downs when he took over the other division of TVG stakes. Ainsworth Stakes winner Koala Princess and Aristocrat Juvenile Fillies heroine Turnerloose must both be respected at Juvenile Fillies Turf, while the Grade 2 Fast Boat winner (fourth in the FanDuel Turf Sprint) poses a serious threat in the relevant Breeders’ Cup race.

Gear Jockey, at the helm under Jose Lezcano, won the $ 1 million FanDuel Turf Sprint, securing a paid spot at the $ 1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Spring Saturday in Del Mar. (Coady Photography)

“It’s testament to the quality of the races at Kentucky Downs,” said Marty McGee, veteran Daily Racing Form writer and handicapper, who has been racing Kentucky for more than 40 years. “Kentucky Downs has become a melting pot for New Yorkers and Kentucky horses and everything else. Your success doesn’t surprise me at all. “

When Kentucky lawmakers passed a Historic Horse Racing (HHR) Bill on the Commonwealth’s racetracks, they made their motive clear: to strengthen the entire racetrack, create jobs, and increase the agribusiness and tourism that characterize the characteristic Industries of the state were created.

Climbing the Kentucky Downs was a vital cog. Since Kentucky Downs became the state’s first racetrack to install innovative HHR Parimutuel Gaming technology in 2011, Kentucky Downs has not only seen its own dramatic upward trend, but started millions of dollars in cash working with its equestrian rep, Kentucky HBPA to the other whole bloodlines of the state.

A steady migration of stables has been curbed and reversed. Now Kentucky Downs, Churchill Downs and Keeneland are all officially coming together. Turfway Park, which has been life sustaining for nearly 20 years, is set to have record cash this winter. Ellis Park, who also offered record purses, has become a viable alternative to New York for Saratoga’s summer get-together.

Damon Thayeer

“Kentucky Downs was the linchpin in turning the year-round Kentucky circuit,” said Damon Thayer, Kentucky Senate majority chairman. “From re-rated stakes races to automatic qualifiers for the Breeders’ Cup, Kentucky continues its rise to be the best year-round circuit in the country. It has ushered in a new era of collaboration between all of Kentucky circuits, and has even shared some of its generosity with other circuits in the form of more money.

“It’s exactly what the General Assembly envisioned when the historic horse race was passed in Senate Bill 120 earlier this year. The Kentucky circuit just keeps getting stronger. More jobs, agricultural and tourism opportunities will follow and strengthen Kentucky’s economy. “

Kentucky Downs expects to take another step forward in 2022 if it runs seven days, up from six this year and five in 2019. Next year’s dates are 1st, 3rd, 4th, 8th. , September 10th, 11th and 14th.

Arnold sees that Kentucky Downs only have more tiered stakes (there are now six) and upgrades. Kentucky Downs got their first bets that year with a grade of 2 in the Calumet Turf Cup with $ 1 million and Franklin-Simpson with $ 600,000 for 3-year-old sprinters.

The FanDuel Turf Sprint is officially a Grade 3, but Arnold said his field was as strong as many Grade 1s this year. “The rating has to go up, I think, and some of the others do the same,” he said.

Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs ‘Vice President for Racing: “After only driving six days this year and of course everything on grass, we are thrilled to have 13 horses in the Breeders’ Cup. We’re just sad that our Calumet Turf Cup winner Imperator has to miss the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Brad Cox trained Turnerloose won the $ 500,000 Aristocrat Juvenile Fillies of the Kentucky Downs under Florent Geroux. (Coady Photography)

“Our goal is to achieve a status where it is not a question of our horses winning breeder’s cups, but of how many there will be per year.”

McGee said the millions of dollars generated in Kentucky Downs and transferred to the purses of other state railways that are separate owners are unprecedented in America and perhaps worldwide.

“Kentucky has always been one of the top three or four circuits in the country,” he said. “But now it is working on absolute supremacy. Even Turfway – the longstanding weakest link – gets the money that many people will keep at home over the winter. “

In fact, the promise of $ 62,000 maiden races for Kentucky breeding breeds motivated reigning Eclipse award winner Brad Cox to have a sizable division on the turfway throughout the winter, along with the first-time barn setup at Keeneland’s-owned The Thoroughbred Center Lexington’s Parisian Pike.

“It’s huge for the people in Kentucky who want to be here all year round,” said Cox of the money made at Kentucky Downs that went to other routes. “It does so much for the economy here in Kentucky and for so many people.”

Despite being dirt horses and not running the Kentucky Downs, the track has keen interest in undefeated Breeders ‘Cup Juvenile Fillies favorites Echo Zulu and Big Ass fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile second choice Silver State. Both horses are co-owned by Ron Winchell, who, along with Marc Falcone, is also a co-owner and managing partner in Kentucky Downs.

Tiz the Bomb won the $ 500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile with Brian Hernandez and won Keenelands Grade 2 Castle & Key Bourbon. (Photo by Grace Clark / Kentucky Downs)

Kentucky Downs-raced Breeders’ Cup
With (trainer) Kentucky Downs race and last race (if different)

Youth grass sprint
Kaufymaker (Wesley Ward) 3rd Global Dead Juvenile Turf Sprint; 2. Indian Summer

Juvenile Fillies Turf
California Angel (George Leonard): $ 5,500 2 year purchase won KD Virgin, 1st Keeneland’s G2 Jessamine
Koala Princess (Arnaud Delacour) 1st Ky Downs’ Ainsworth Stakes.
Turnerloose (Brad Cox) 1st KD’s Aristocrat Juvenile Fillies; 3. G2 Jessamine.

Youth lawn
Stolen Base (Mike Maker) 2. Customer Service Allowance; 2. Keenelands G2 Bourbon
Tiz the Bomb (Kenny McPeek) 1st KD Juvenile Mile; 1. G2 bourbon

Lawn sprint
Bombard (Richard Mandella) 3rd Ky Downs’ G3 FanDuel Turf Sprint
Fast Boat (Joe Sharp) 4th G3 FanDuell Turf Sprint
Gear Jockey (Rusty Arnold) 1st G3 FanDuel Turf Sprint

ran in the Kentucky Downs in 2020
Kimari (Wesley Ward) 3rd place in last year’s Music City); has not raced since winning Keenelands G1 Madison in April

Fan duel mile on grass
Casa Creed (Bill Mott) 5th G3 FanDuel Turf Sprint
Got Stormy (Mark Casse) 6th G3 FanDuel Turf Sprint
In Love (Paulo Lobo), 1st division of TVG, 1st G1 Keeneland Turf Mile

ran in the Kentucky Downs in 2020
Ivar (Paulo Lobo), 3rd in KD’s Tourist Mile (now WinStar Mint Million), before winning the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile; 4. G1 Keeneland Turf Mile in the final race after a five-month break.

Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile
Snapper Sinclair (Steve Asmussen), 1st 2nd Div. from TVG; 2. Santa Anitas G2 Eddie D.

Longines Classic – ran in the Kentucky Downs in 2019
Art Collector (Bill Mott), first won KyDowns when coached by Joe Sharp; 1. Belmonts G1 Woodward


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