07/25/2017 10:20AM

Red Mile: Opening day is Thursday, July 27

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Harness Racing returns to Lexington, Kentucky with the historic 143rd season at The Red Mile beginning on Thursday, July 27. More than $7.5 million in purses will be offered over 32 race dates concluding on Sunday, October 8.

Thursday's offering is a 10-race overnight card with a $6,200 Preferred Handicap feature pitting eight solid pacing mares in the second race.

The pre-Grand Circuit meet will cover 24 programs, racing live Thursday, Saturday and Sunday through September 17 with a post time of 7:00 p.m. each night.

This early meet will feature the enriched $2 million Kentucky Sires Stakes starting on August 17 with the foals of 2015 now benefitting from a mare residency policy. All purses for the three preliminary legs for 2-year-olds will be $30,000 with all finals set at $250,000.

That policy contains language that states the resulting foals of all horses bred during the 2014 breeding season will be eligible for nomination to the KYSS if the horse is out of a mare, even if sired by an out-of-state stallion, that resided in Kentucky during the year of conception for 180 consecutive days and nominated to the fund or by a stallion that stood in Kentucky and nominated to the fund for that breeding season.

In addition to the change in eligibility, funding for the program has seen significant increases largely due to the pari-mutuel tax on historical horse racing, which is now offered at The Red Mile.

The KYSS for 3-year-olds will offer two legs for a purse of $15,000 ($10,000 divided) and $175,000 finals. All finals will be raced on Sunday, September 17.

The Kentucky Sire Stakes is funded by the Kentucky Standardbred Development Fund (KSDF) and the Kentucky Standardbred Breeders’ Incentive Fund (KSBIF).

The $5 million Grand Circuit meet consist of eight cards and will follow a Thursday through Sunday schedule with post time at 7 p.m. on September 28, 29 & 30 then a matinee 1 p.m. post time on October 1, 5, 6. 7 & 8.

The time-honored Bluegrass Stakes for all divisions will highlight week one. The International Stallion Stakes will provide racing for the freshmen in week two while closing weekend brings with it the 125th Kentucky Futurity, Tattersalls Pace and Allerage Farms series for the FFA set.

Information on all racing is available by calling the Racing Office at (859) 258-7670.

The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale will featured the highly anticipated first crops of Captaintreacherous, Father Patrick, Sweet Lou and Trixton among others along with the top quality consignments that sell at the Fasig-Tipton Pavilion annually. The sale starts at 7:00 p.m. on the evening of Tuesday, October 3.

-edited release (Red Mile)