To race at Epsom Downs and Royal Ascot

Churchill Downs partners with British Jockey Club, Ascot Racecourse for international race incentives

Reading time 1:55 min

Churchill Downs, in partnership with the British Jockey Club and Ascot Racecourse, has announced a new program to encourage international participation in horse racing. Horses competing during the Kentucky Derby week will be eligible for entry and travel incentives for races at Epsom Downs Racecourse and the Royal Ascot meeting. 

Two races on Kentucky Derby Day will offer horses an entry and travel incentive to run at Royal Ascot in mid-June: The winner of the GI Old Forester Turf Classic S. will receive a berth to either the G1 Queen Anne S. or the G1 Prince of Wales's S. Earlier on the Kentucky Derby Day program, the winner of the GII Twin Spires Turf Sprint S. will receive an entry to the G1 King Charles S.

Three-year-old turf specialists in the American Turf Stakes (G2T) and Edgewood Stakes (G2T) can receive their entry to either the Epsom Derby (G1) or Epsom Oaks (G1). The winner of the American Turf on Kentucky Derby Day will receive an entry and travel stipend to compete in the Epsom Derby, while one day earlier, on Kentucky Oaks Day, the winner of the Edgewood will receive the same benefits for the Epsom Oaks.

In a press release, Gary Palmisano Jr., executive director of racing for Churchill Downs Inc., stated: “This is a really special partnership that will give owners and trainers a great opportunity to run in some of our marquee races during Kentucky Derby week and, in exchange, they could receive entries into some of Europe's most prestigious turf races.”

This partnership will give owners and trainers based in Europe a good initiative to bring some of their top horses over to experience Kentucky Derby week. Not only is this a great opportunity for connections based in Europe but this will give our owners and trainers here in North America a shot to compete on the international stage,” Palmisano added.

In return for the incentives for horses on Kentucky Derby weekend, a runner from both the Prince of Wales's Stakes and Queen Anne Stakes will receive an entry and a travel incentive to run in the Arlington Million Stakes (G1T) in mid-August at Colonial Downs. In addition, a runner from the Falmouth Stakes (G1) at Newmarket's July Festival will receive an entry and travel incentive to run in the Beverly D. Stakes (G1T) on the same day as the Arlington Million. 

“We're delighted to develop these links with races at the Kentucky Derby Meeting in its 150th year,” said Matt Woolston, the assistant racing and international racing director at The Jockey Club. “A trip to Churchill Downs is one that should be on the bucket list for every racing fan, the world over… These historic races already have an international reputation, and we want to welcome more and more international runners in the years to come.”

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