12/19/2013 1:31PM

Kentucky bill would allow upper claiming horses to earn KTDF awards


High-end claiming horses on the Kentucky racing circuit would be eligible for additional purse money from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund under proposed legislation that will be filed next month when the Kentucky General Assembly goes into session.

Kentucky State Sen. John Schickel announced Thursday morning at a media briefing at Turfway Park in northern Kentucky that he plans to file a bill that would make horses competing for claiming prices of $25,000 and upward eligible for the KTDF, the lucrative supplements available to Kentucky-breds at all state tracks. Since creation of the incentive program in 1978, KTDF bonuses have been paid only to eligible horses in designated maiden-special, allowance, and stakes races.

The change has been sought by Kentucky horsemen and their representatives, who believe the rule has unfairly precluded horses competing in hybrid allowance/optional-claiming races from also benefitting from the KTDF. One main goal in allowing the claiming horses to be eligible for the KTDF is to improve field size in those upper-level races. The KTDF exists to encourage horse owners to buy from Kentucky markets.