Turfway plans to cut Wednesdays from Fall Meet, slash stakes

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Turfway plans to cut Wednesdays from Fall Meet, slash stakes

The Courier-Journal • July 7, 2010

Turfway Park plans to cut four Wednesday cards and all but one stakes race from its 2010 Fall Meet scheduled to start in September.

Track president Robert N. Elliston made the announcement Wednesday, but the request would have to be considered by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission at its next meeting, set for July 20.

If approved, Turfway’s live meet will run Thursdays through Sundays from Sept. 9-Oct. 3, with 16 days of racing instead of 20.

The $100,000 Grade III Turfway Park Fall Championship, a contracted Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, would be the only stakes race remaining.

Eliminated would be the three Kentucky Cup Day of Champions races held last year, the Grade II Classic, the Grade III Distaff and the Grade III Sprint.

The three together represent $400,000 in purses at their 2009 levels.

“We were forced to make deep cuts to at least stay even with last fall’s daily purse averages and support our local horsemen as best we can,” Elliston said in a release. “We have to do whatever we can to maximize our field size, which means fewer race dates. And we are not alone.”

Established in 1994, the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions has produced seven Breeders’ Cup winners: Boston Harbor (1996 Juvenile); Reraise (1998 Sprint); Cat Thief (1999 Classic); Spain (2000 Distaff); Vindication (2002 Juvenile); Cajun Beat (2003 Sprint); and Furthest Land (2009 Dirt Mile).

Additionally, Turfway has asked permission to move its Fall Meet post time on Thursday and Friday to 5:30 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.

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