Nominations, purses up at The Red Mile
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The Red Mile announced Thursday that the outlook is bright for its 2020 race meet, which begins on Sunday, Aug. 2 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 11.
As of this writing, the Kentucky Sires Stakes Championship Series and Commonwealth Series hosted by the Lexington, Ky. track will have purses as advertised. Also of note, nominations for the track’s major open stakes races are up from last year.
The KYSS Championship Series is scheduled to have three $40,000 legs and $250,000 finals for 2 and 3 year olds, while the new Commonwealth Series will have two $20,000 legs and a final worth $50,000.
The sires stakes program kicks off Aug. 16 and concludes with the rich finals on Sept. 20 (Championship Series) and Sept. 21 (Commonwealth Series).
The Red Mile’s major stakes portion of the meet starts Friday, Oct. 2 and closes with the traditional Kentucky Futurity Day card on Sunday, Oct. 11. Races will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during those two weeks with an afternoon post time of 1 p.m.
With nominations for the open stakes races up from last year, purses for the majority of those 20 marquee events are expected to be on par—or likely higher—than those offered in 2019.
One change for this year that should be noted by horsemen is rather than hosting late closers during the final two weeks of the meet, the track will instead have overnights with conditions—and anticipated purses—similar to the late closers of the past.
"We want to encourage owners and trainers participating in stakes to bring their young horses along, as always," said Red Mile shareholder George Segal. He said the race office will review the horse population and tailor conditions specific to the horses that will be on the grounds or planning to ship-in race day.
With the industry just now coming back from its COVID-19 shutdown, Segal said that the payments and starting fees associated with the late closing program is one less thing horsemen will have to deal with.
"We'll basically provide them with unique opportunities to showcase their young horses, and of course there's no better racing surface to do that on than at the Red Mile," he added.
The two-weeks of major stakes events—coupled with the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale—creates what's come to be known in the industry as "The Lexington Experience." The sale will be held at the crosstown Fasig-Tipton Pavilion the evenings of Tuesday, Oct. 6 through Saturday, Oct. 10. (Red Mile)