$1m Juvenile Turf Sprint added to Breeders' Cup menu
A new contest has been added to this year's Breeders' Cup programme in the shape of a $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint, bringing the total number of Cup races to 14 at Kentucky Derby venue Churchill Downs on November 2-3.
Likely to attract significant interest from European stables, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint will be run over 5½f and open to all two-year-olds.
A fiercely contested Listed race with similar conditions has been run as part of the Breeders' Cup undercard in recent years; sponsored last year at Del Mar by Qatar, it was won by the Aidan O'Brien-trained Declarationofpeace, who led home a 1-2-3-4 for European-based horses.
In other Breeders' Cup news, the purse for the Sprint has been boosted by $500,000 to $2m, which means the prize-money total will now exceed $30m.
"The upgrade of the Juvenile Turf Sprint is in response to the increasing popularity of turf racing in North America and will fill a need for international turf sprint sires," said Dora Delgado, Breeders' Cup senior vice president of racing and nominations.
"Each year, the Juvenile Turf and the Juvenile Fillies Turf are oversubscribed at the Championships. We feel that the Juvenile Turf Sprint will also be a popular draw among horsemen from North America and overseas stables and will generate interest among North American racetracks to card races in this division."
Breeders' Cup officials will be hoping the upgraded Turf Sprint is more successful than dirt races like the Marathon (now a Grade 2 race on the undercard) and Juvenile Sprint (defunct after just two runnings) which retained Cup status for only a few seasons and generally attracted substandard fields.
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