Horse Racing

Churchill’s September Encounter begins with vast fields

Horse racing on the Kentucky track switches to Churchill Downs September 15 with the first of three Twilight shows Thursday at 5 p.m. ET as the famous Louisville racetrack opens its 10th annual meeting in September for 14 days running through the day October 2.

Thursday’s opening eight races drew 87 participants (plus six runners also qualified) with an average of 10.9 horses per race. The September 15 card drew 93 regular entries, and five cards could also appear in 10 races. The vast fields came despite Churchill Downs not racing on grass during the September Encounter on its fledgling turf.

The field was started last year and there was a problem during the spring game that forced the grass race to be halted. The track has run a reduced schedule of grass bets of two grass races this summer on Arlington Million Day, August 13.

A field of 10 older horses was entered for the outstanding Saturday race, a $141,000 second level optional claim event with seven horses. Familiar items include the Gun It well supported Hidden scroll and the 2020 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) participants Main Fed .

The opening day program also features an optional $134,000 second-level claimant for the filler and mares at one mile (Race 2); the first level allowance claimant for a 2-year-old fills out seven places (Race 6); and a $120,000 special maiden weight for 2-year-olds at one mile (Race 5) trained by Todd Pletcher Summonyourcourage runner-up after the impressive maiden winner Echo again month ago Racecourse Saratoga.

Registration for

Riders will compete for a record $13,791 million (all wallets include prize money from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund) provided in the vice president’s September Encounter condition book. race Ben Huffman, including a schedule of 11 races totaling $3.36 million.

The average daily wallet is $985,071. The women’s special weight class races have a purse of $120,000 while the allowance races range from $127,000 to $141,000. The wallet in Kentucky is underpinned by the revenue generated from the historic horse racing game like the slot game.

Both barn areas – Churchill Downs (1,325 stalls) and Trackside Louisville (490 stalls) – are operating at full capacity, according to Huffman. New additions to the Trackside Louisville barn area include trainers Ricky Courville, Kelsey Danner, Carlos Santamaria and Carlo Vaccarezza.

Five stake races, including two key minors tournaments that could make a head start in this year’s Breeders’ Cup and next spring’s Kentucky Derby and Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), will be presented. premieres on September 17.

The $300,000 Iroquois Stakes (G3) opened the Road to Kentucky Derby series, while the $300,000 Pocahontas Stakes (G3) started the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. Damon’s Mound and Echo again Iroquois headline.

Meanwhile, Breeders’ Cup prospects could appear in a Saturday bet pair for roosters and mares, $400,000 Locust Grove Stakes (G3) over 1 1/16 miles and $300,000 Open Mind Stakes in six wings.

The $275,000 Louisville Thoroughbred Society Stakes, an open sprint for kids ages 3 and up, ends with a full-stakes program.

Entries for Saturday’s 11 race card were drawn on Wednesday.

Other brand events during the September Encounters include a quartet of stakes in the prime time slot in light for the year’s final Downs After Dark September 24: Dogwood Stakes (G3) worth $275,000 for 3-year-old fillings in seven furs; $275,000 Bourbon Trail Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 3/16 miles; $275,000 Harrods Creek Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven fur stores; and $160,000 Seneca Overnight Shares for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles away.

This press release has been edited for content and style by the BloodHorse Staff.

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