Churchill Downs Releases All-Dirt Stakes Schedule For September, Fall Meets

Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., will present 22 stakes events that total $7.01 million during the second half of the year.

The 12-date September meet (Sept. 16-Oct. 3) will showcase 11 stakes races cumulatively worth $3.26 million, and the 21-date fall meet (Oct. 31-Nov. 28) will have 11 stakes events that total $3.75 million.

Racing at Churchill Downs during the 2021 September and fall meets will be exclusively run on the main dirt track. In July, Churchill Downs closed its stable area to install a new $10-million turf course that will be ready for turf racing to resume at the start of the 2022 spring meet.

Horsemen can return to Churchill Downs for stabling on Wednesday, Sept. 8, and the main track will be open for training the following day.

The stakes schedule for the ninth annual September meet will begin in primetime under the lights on Saturday, Sept. 18 with a quintet of races, including two important 1 1/16-mile fixtures for juveniles that could produce starters in next spring’s Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade 1) and the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1). The $300,000 Iroquois (G3) kicks off the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series (Top 4 Points: 10-4-2-1), while the $300,000 Pocahontas (G2) starts the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” (Top 4 Points: 10-4-2-1). Also, both races are Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge events, which means the winners will receive automatic berths in the starting gate for their respective Breeders’ Cup races on Nov. 5 at Del Mar with full entry fees and travel expenses paid.

Distaff and Filly & Mare Sprint prospects may surface in a pair of Sept. 18 stakes for fillies and mares, the $400,000 Locust Grove (G3) over 1 1/16 miles and the $300,000 Open Mind (Listed) at six furlongs.

The $275,000 Louisville Thoroughbred Society, an open sprint for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs, wraps the Sept. 18 “Downs After Dark” stakes-laden program. It is one of six newly-created races. The others are the $275,000 Bourbon Trail (3-year-olds at 1 3/16 miles) on Sept. 25; $275,000 Harrods Creek (3-year-olds at seven furlongs) on Sept. 25; $160,000 Seneca Overnight Stakes (3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles) on Oct. 1; $200,000 Lively Shively (2-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs) on Nov. 27; and $200,000 Fern Creek (2-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs) on Nov. 27.

Other marque events during the September meet include the $275,000 Dogwood (G3) for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs on Sept. 25. The eventual champion demale sprinter Covfefe used the race in 2019 as a springboard to a successful run in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita.

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Closing weekend for the September Meet is anchored by the $400,000 Lukas Classic (G3) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles and honors Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, the iconic four-time winner of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks and conditioner of 26 Eclipse Award-winning champions who has been based at Churchill Downs’ Barn 44 since 1989.

Also run on Saturday, Oct. 2, is the $300,000 Ack Ack (G3) for Dirt Mile prospects.

Churchill Downs’ 132nd fall meet, which follows Keeneland’s fall meet in Lexington, is once again anchored by the $750,000 Clark presented by Norton Healthcare (G1). The 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-olds and up on “Black Friday,” Nov. 26 annually lures some of the top horses in North America and is one of six stakes events to be contested over Thanksgiving weekend.

2021 CHURCHILL DOWNS SEPTEMBER MEET STAKES SCHEDULE

Date Running Grade Purse Race Conditions Distance Surface
Saturday, Sept. 18 53rd II $300,000 Pocahontas 2yo f 1 1/16 M Dirt
Saturday, Sept. 18 37th III $400,000 Locust Grove 3&up, f&m 1 1/16 M Dirt
Saturday, Sept. 18 40th III $300,000 Iroquois 2yo 1 1/16 M Dirt
Saturday, Sept. 18 12th Listed $300,000 Open Mind 3&up, f&m 6 F Dirt
Saturday, Sept. 18 1st $275,000 Louisville Thoroughbred Society 3&up 6 F Dirt
Saturday, Sept. 25 46th Listed $275,000 Dogwood 3yo f 7 F Dirt
Saturday, Sept. 25 1st $275,000 Bourbon Trail 3yo 1 3/16 M Dirt
Saturday, Sept. 25 1st $275,000 Harrods Creek 3yo 7 F Dirt
Friday, Oct. 1 1st $160,000 Seneca Overnight Stakes 3yo f 1 1/16 M Dirt
Saturday, Oct. 2 8th III $400,000 Lukas Classic 3&up 1 1/8 M Dirt
Saturday, Oct. 2 29th III $300,000 Ack Ack 3&up 1 M Dirt

* All purses include prize money from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund 

2021 CHURCHILL DOWNS FALL MEET STAKES SCHEDULE 

Date Running Grade Purse Race Conditions Distance Surface
Sunday, Oct. 31 9th $200,000 Street Sense 2yo 1 1/16 M Dirt
Sunday, Oct. 31 9th $200,000 Rags to Riches 2yo f 1 1/16 M Dirt
Saturday, Nov. 6 13th $300,000 Bet On Sunshine 3&up 6 F Dirt
Saturday, Nov. 13 16th $300,000 Dream Supreme 3&up, f&m 6 F Dirt
Saturday, Nov. 20 36th III $300,000 Chilukki 3&up, f&m 1 M Dirt
Thursday, Nov. 25 106th II $500,000 Falls City 3&up, f&m 1 1/8 M Dirt
Friday, Nov. 26 147th I $750,000 Clark presented by Norton Healthcare 3&up 1 1/8 M Dirt
Saturday, Nov. 27 95th II $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club 2yo 1 1/16 M Dirt
Saturday, Nov. 27 78th II $400,000 Golden Rod 2yo f 1 1/16 M Dirt
Saturday, Nov. 27 1st $200,000 Lively Shively 2yo 6 ½ F Dirt
Saturday, Nov. 27 1st $200,000 Fern Creek 2yo f 6 ½ F Dirt

 

* All purses include prize money from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund

The post Churchill Downs Releases All-Dirt Stakes Schedule For September, Fall Meets appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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