03/26/2009 12:00AM

Lane's End drops Breeders' Futurity sponsorship


Lane's End Farm has dropped its sponsorship of the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland Race Course, ending 12 years of being the title sponsor of the Grade 1 race for 2-year-olds.

The Breeders' Futurity is run on the first Saturday in October. A Grade 1 race since 2004, its purse was $500,000 last year when Square Eddie prevailed. The 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race often serves as a major prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, serving last year as a Win and You're In race, with victory guaranteeing a BC berth.

A Keeneland spokesman, Jim Williams, said Thursday that "Lane's End informed us recently that they did not plan to renew their sponsorship." Williams said the purse structure for the fall meet in October has not yet been finalized and it therefore would be "premature to say" how the Breeders' Futurity may be affected.

"We're always seeking new sponsors for our races, and we will continue to seek out a sponsor for the Breeders' Futurity and some of our other major races," he said.

Lane's End, perennially one of the top breeding farms in North America, is owned by the family of Will Farish. Located in Versailles, Ky., the farm is the title sponsor of the richest race at Turfway Park, the northern Kentucky track owned in part by Keeneland. The $500,000 Lane's End Stakes was run last Saturday at Turfway.

Bill Farish, who manages Lane's End for the family, was unavailable for comment Thursday but told The Blood-Horse that dropping its sponsorship of the Breeders' Futurity was primarily a result of the farm adjusting its 2009 budget.

Keeneland already had lost sponsors for two other graded stakes at its upcoming spring meet - Ashland Inc. for the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes and Stonerside Farm for the Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes.