12/05/2001 12:00AM

Two stakes added to 2002 schedule


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Two stakes have been added to the 2002 stakes schedule at Churchill Downs and purses have been increased for three Kentucky Derby weekend stakes.

As always, the highlight of the stakes schedule, which was released Wednesday, is the Kentucky Derby. The 128th running will be held May 4.

The additions are both $100,000 races for 3-year-olds: the May 11 Matt Winn Stakes at six furlongs, and the June 15 Northern Dancer Handicap at one mile. The Northern Dancer, which has been upgraded from overnight handicap status, maintains its old position on the Stephen Foster undercard.

The Matt Winn, to be run the Saturday after the Derby, displaces the Edgewood Stakes, which will move to Kentucky Oaks Day.

The races with purse hikes are the $200,000 Humana Distaff, the $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup, and the $400,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic. The Humana and Louisville BC are up $50,000 from last spring, while the Woodford is up $100,000.

The North American Graded Stakes Committee recently upgraded several of Churchill's races, including the Stephen Foster and Humana Distaff to Grade 1 status.

The spring meet runs April 27 to July 7 and the fall meet runs Oct. 27 to Nov. 30.