07/06/2010 11:00PM

Turfway drops Kentucky Cup


In an ominous move, officials at Turfway Park on Wednesday announced that the Kentucky Cup series is being dropped for the 2010 season because of continuing financial duress at the Florence, Ky., track.

The track also will eliminate Wednesday racing from its fall meet, leaving 16 dates instead of 20 when the meet is run Sept. 9 to Oct. 3. Only one stakes, the $100,000 Turfway Fall Championship, a Breeders' Cup Challenge race, remains on the schedule.

Turfway's president, Bob Elliston, citing the financial difficulties the track has experienced in recent years, said in a release that Turfway was "forced to make deep cuts to at least stay even with last fall's daily purse averages and support our local horsemen as best we can. We were especially disappointed to have to drop the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions."

The Kentucky Cup had been a terrific series since its 1994 inception, with horses such as Tabasco Cat, Thunder Gulch, Silver Charm, Street Sense, Boston Harbor, Reraise, and Serena's Song participating. The series had consisted of five events until last year, when the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies were dropped and when purses for the three remaining events were run with downsized purses: the $200,000 Classic, $100,000 Sprint, and $100,000 Distaff.

Turfway already had slashed days from its weekly schedule during its longer winter-spring meet. Thursday and Friday programs at the fall now will start at 5:30 p.m. Eastern instead of 7, consistent with the holiday and winter-spring meets. Weekend post will remain 1:10 p.m.