07/15/2011 12:14PM

Churchill: Fall meet to include $2.12 million stakes schedule in addition to Breeders' Cup World Championships


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Churchill Downs officials announced Friday a $2.12 million stakes schedule for its fall meet, which runs 21 days from Oct. 30–Nov. 27 and is highlighted by a record eighth hosting of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

Aside from the shuffling of the dates of a few stakes, the 2011 fall schedule largely replicates last year’s schedule, when Churchill Downs also hosted the Breeders’ Cup. There was only one purse adjustment: a $25,000 addition to the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap on Nov. 24. The Falls City will now carry a value of $175,000-addded.

Continuing a popular theme from past fall meets, Churchill will again host two Stars of Tomorrow cards – programs composed entirely of races for 2-year-olds. The first will be opening day, Sunday, Oct. 30, headlined by the running on the Grade 2 Pocahontas and Grade 3 Iroquois for juvenile females and males, respectively.

The second will come on Saturday, Nov. 26, the penultimate day of the meet, again topped by two stakes for 2-year-olds: the Grade 2 Golden Rod for females and the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club for males.

The $2.12 million schedule does not count purses from the Breeders’ Cup, which will be run Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5 – but does include supporting stakes on the two cards. Those stakes include the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap and $85,000 Jimmy V overnight Stakes on Nov. 4, and the Grade 2 Chilukki and $85,000 Dream Supreme overnight Stakes on Nov. 5.

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, bolstered by the appearance of the eventual Horse of the Year Zenyatta in the Classic on Breeders’ Cup Saturday, attracted record two-day combined attendance of 114,353 and record total wagering.

Blame narrowly won the $5 million Classic, just outlasting Zenyatta, and providing the mare the only defeat of her career.