Changes To KY Sire Stakes Program

Published: September 15, 2016 05:00 pm EDT

Horse owners selling Kentucky-bred yearlings this fall have a distinct advantage: increased purses and opportunities to race in multiple jurisdictions’ sire stakes programs.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s (KHRC) Sire Stakes Advisory Panel recommends increased purses for the 2017 Kentucky Sire Stakes (KYSS) and Kentucky county fair circuit. The 2017 season will be the first year that two-year-olds that were bred under the new lucrative dual eligibility program will race. Under the new program, resulting foals will be eligible not only for the KYSS program, but also other state programs as well.

The KHRC is expected to approve the new purse structures before the end of the year. “It was great to receive input from the harness racing community as a whole. Everyone was engaged in this process and we are all looking forward to a successful 2017 racing season,” said advisory panel chairman Kenneth A. Jackson.

The dual eligibility program began with the 2014 breeding season. Horses are eligible to the KYSS if the horse is out of a mare, even if sired by an out-of-state stallion that resided in Kentucky during the year of conception for 180 consecutive days or by a stallion that stood in Kentucky for that breeding season. The resulting foals will be eligible for nomination to the KYSS. In addition to the change in eligibility, the funding has increased largely due to the pari-mutuel tax on historical horse racing, which is now offered at the Red Mile.

2017 two-year-old KYSS Purse Structure

• All purses guaranteed
• Three legs - $30,000 per race
• Final - $250,000

The advisory panel also approved funding of up to $250,000 to the Kentucky County Fair Circuit to be used for purses at the seven county fairs and the finals, which take place in late July at the Red Mile in Lexington. Two-year-olds racing in the fairs must meet the same Kentucky-bred requirements as the KYSS.

Kentucky County Fairs Purse Structure

• $5,000 per fair race, regardless if it splits and a $15,000 final for each two-year-old division.

The Kentucky Sire Stakes is a culmination of a month-long series of preliminary races, with the biggest money earners getting a chance to compete in one of the richest finals in North America. The Kentucky Sire Stakes is funded by the Kentucky Standardbred Development Fund (KSDF) and the Kentucky Standardbred Breeders’ Incentive Fund (KSBIF).