LOUISVILLE, KY – A total of 18 stakes events, topped by the 146th runnings of the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) and $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), are on tap for the 2020 September Meet at Churchill Downs.
The September Meet stakes schedule is led by the revised Kentucky Derby Week, which was moved from April 25-May 2 to September 1-5 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The spectacular week of racing will feature 14 graded stakes, including five Grade 1 races that will be headlined by the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, September 5, and Kentucky Oaks on Friday, September 4.
Kentucky Derby Day will showcase seven graded stakes races, including the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course for older horses and the $500,000 Derby City Distaff (G1) (formerly known as the Humana Distaff) for fillies and mares at 7 furlongs.
A new addition to the revised Kentucky Derby Day stakes schedule is the $200,000 Iroquois presented by Ford (G3), the launch of the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Derby (Top 4 points: 10-4-2-1) and a “Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Division” race for 2-year-olds that will be run at one-mile. The winner will receive an automatic berth to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) held on November 6 at Keeneland.
Other stakes on Kentucky Derby Day are the $500,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) for fillies and mares at 1 mile on turf; the $500,000 American Turf (G2) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf; and the $500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG&E and KU (G2) for 3-year-olds at 1 mile.
Kentucky Oaks Day will feature six graded stakes events, which includes the $500,000 La Troienne (G1) for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles. Other stakes on the program are the $400,000 Alysheba (G2) for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles; the $300,000 Eight Belles presented by Smithfield Foods (G2) for 3-year-old fillies at 7 furlongs; the $300,000 Edgewood presented by Forcht Bank (G2) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 mile on turf (shortened from its previous 1 1/16 miles on turf); and the $250,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint presented by Sysco (G2) for 3-year-olds and up at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf.
While the Iroquois is set for Kentucky Derby Day, its filly counterpart, the $200,000 Pocahontas (G3), will be run two days prior on “Thurby.” The 1-mile event for 2-year-old fillies kicks off the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Oaks (Top 4 points: 10-4-2-1) and is a “Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Division” contest, with the winner receiving an automatic berth to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) on November 6 at Keeneland.
The Churchill Downs Stakes (G1), which was previously run on Kentucky Derby Day, is tentatively scheduled to be run during the Fall Meet.
After the September 1-5 Kentucky Derby Week, Churchill Downs will stage its annual nine-day September Meet from September 17-27. The lone stakes event will be the $100,000 Ack Ack for 3-year-olds and up at 1 mile on September 26.