Updated on 06/15/2011 11:35AM

Breeders' Cup adds new 2-year-old dirt sprint

Email

2011 Breeders' Cup logo

Horsemen with top-class 2-year-olds will now have a fifth option to win a Breeders’ Cup race, a six-furlong sprint on the dirt that Breeders’ Cup announced on Tuesday will be added to the current 14-race lineup at Churchill Downs in Louisville on Nov. 4-5 this year.

The Juvenile Sprint, scheduled for the Friday card of the two-day event, will have a $500,000 purse, Breeders’ Cup said, but that money will come from the first purse reduction ever in a Breeders’ Cup race. The Breeders’ Cup Sprint will now have a purse of $1.5 million, down from $2 million, Breeders’ Cup said.

Total purses for the 15 races will remain at $26 million.

The addition of the race is the first expansion of the card since 2008, when three new races were added one year after the event was expanded to two days.

Horsemen with stakes-class 2-year-olds already had four options on the Breeders’ Cup roster of races: the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies at 1 1/16-miles on the dirt, both with $2 million purses; and the Juvenile Turf and Juvenile Fillies Turf at one mile on the grass, both with $1 million purses.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE By early November, when the Breeders’ Cup is traditionally held, most stakes-class 2-year-olds have stretched out beyond six furlongs, and many have tested distances up to 1 1/16 miles.

The new race will allow those trainers whose horses may have distance limitations to turn back to the sprint distance.

 

In a statement, Clem Murphy, the chairman of the Breeders’ Cup’s Racing and Nominations Committee, said that the organization had asked constituents for recommendations on the addition of a race, and the consensus settled on a sprint-type juvenile race. The organization’s Wagering Committee also consulted on the addition, the Breeders’ Cup said.

“There are a number of talented 2-year-old sprinters around the world who are not suited or may not be ready to run the two turns at 1 1/16 miles of the Juvenile or Juvenile Fillies in early November,” Murphy said. “The Juvenile Sprint provides horsemen with an alternative.”

The Friday card for the Breeders’ Cup will now have seven races – including the five Breeders’ Cup races restricted to fillies and mares – along with at least three undercard races. The Saturday card will feature eight Breeders’ Cup races.