02/15/2013 11:21AM

Turfway: Spiral Stakes gets a new title sponsor

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Turfway Park officials announced Friday that one of its sister companies, Horseshoe Cincinnati, has become the title sponsor of its showcase 3-year-old race, a development that includes a moderate purse increase from $500,000 to $550,000.

The Grade 3 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes, which goes at 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack, will be run March 23. Horseshoe Cincinnati replaces Vinery as the title sponsor. In a media release, Turfway did not say how long the sponsorship will extend.

Horseshoe Cincinnati is owned by Rock Ohio Caesars, a partnership of Caesars Entertainment and Rock Gaming. Turfway, located in northern Kentucky, is owned by Caesars Entertainment and Rock Gaming, with the Keeneland Association owning 10 percent.

The Horseshoe Cincinnati is worth 50 points to the winner in the new Kentucky Derby eligibility system. Twice in the 41 prior runnings the race has been won by an eventual Derby winner: Lil E. Tee in 1992 and Animal Kingdom in 2011.

The Horseshoe Cincinnati is yet the newest name in race history. It was known as the Spiral from 1972-81; the Jim Beam Stakes (1982-98); the Galleryfurniture.com Stakes (1999); the Turfway Spiral (2000-01); the Lane’s End Stakes (2002-10); and the Vinery Racing Spiral (2011-12).

Two other stakes will be run on the Horseshoe Cincinnati undercard: the Grade 3, $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks and the $75,000 Rushaway. Both also have new title sponsors, with Fathead, a major graphics producer, backing the Bourbonette, and Team Valor sponsoring the Rushaway.

Horseshoe Cincinnati, located less than 15 minutes away across the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, is scheduled for its grand opening next month.