09/04/2007 11:00PM

Turfway hikes Kentucky Cup Classic purse


In an overt attempt to lure Street Sense to the signature race of its fall meet, Turfway Park on Wednesday announced that an additional $150,000 will be paid to the winning owner of the Sept. 29 Kentucky Cup Classic, which otherwise offers a purse of $350,000. The bonus applies only to horses who have won a Grade 1 race in 2006 or 2007.

Turfway president Bob Elliston said in a release that the bonus "is intended to draw attention to the prestige" the KC Classic has earned.

Street Sense, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Travers, will race twice more this year, with the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park being his final race. In between, the colt will have one prep, and trainer Carl Nafzger has said repeatedly that he will choose from a handful of races, including the KC Classic, $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup, and $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap.

Meanwhile, Hard Spun, the Derby runner-up and most recently a winner of the Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga, has been committed to the 1 1/8-mile KC Classic by owner Rick Porter and trainer Larry Jones. Porter cited the colt's preference for Polytrack, the only racing surface in use at Turfway in Florence, Ky., and how the KC Classic figures as an ideal prep toward the BC Classic or BC Dirt Mile.

Before the bonus offering was made Wednesday, Hard Spun, a Pennsylvania-bred, would have been competing for a total purse of just $200,000; from the original $350,000 purse, $150,000 is restricted to nominees to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Develop Fund.