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Proposed Kentucky Sire Stakes Changes

Published: September 25, 2021 10:49 am ET

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With the stated goal of becoming the premier Sire Stakes program in North America, the Kentucky Sire Stakes Advisory Panel voted on Friday (Sept. 24) to recommend major changes across the board to the Kentucky Sire Stakes program for Kentucky Bred horses.

“The newly announced enhancements to the KYSS Championship Series, Commonwealth Series, Kentucky Proud Series and exciting new programs will establish Kentucky as a leader in the industry. Made possible by significant growth of purse contributions from historical horse racing at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel and The Red Mile, our existing programs and newly recommended programs will make Kentucky breds a coveted choice at the upcoming Lexington Yearling Sales,” said Bob Brady, Kentucky Harness Association President.

The highlights of the program include:

Championship Series

  • Four Legs ($80,000 each)

  • $400,000 Finals

Commonwealth Series A

  • Four Legs ($30,000 each)

  • $100,000 Finals

Kentucky Proud Series

  • $50,000 Finals

  • Purses Increased based on Entries ($1,500/entry)(trailer bonus eliminated)

  • Additional New Fair Under Consideration for Hopkinsville (raced at Oak Grove)

New Programs
Oak Grove Early Sires Stakes Program (for two-year-old and three-year-old Kentucky Breds)

  • Two Legs ($25,000 each)

  • $100,000 Final

  • $25,000 Consolation

Oak Grove 4YO Series (All Divisions)

  • Four Legs ($50,000 each)

  • $150,000 Final

Commonwealth Series B

  • Three Legs ($15,000 each)

  • $50,000 Finals

Oak Grove & Corbin Early Closers & Maturity

  • Over $1 million allocated for programming at the new Corbin track and Oak Grove (details to be established)

Kentucky Standardbred Development Fund Bonus Program

  • Up to $2 million allocated for bonus program to all Kentucky Breds in races other than Kentucky Sire Stakes Programs (details to be established by Advisory Panel)

“There is a real buzz in Kentucky about harness racing moving forward,” said Brady. “With Oak Grove requesting 30 racing days in May through July in 2022, up from 20 in 2021, we are positioning ourselves to have one of the best racing circuits in North America. Horsemen will have the opportunity to now race for significant overnight races and Sire Stakes funded races from May through November. We are really excited about the major changes to the existing programs and the new programs, particularly the new early season four-year-old program for Kentucky breds. Kentucky is becoming the Harness Capital of the World.”

At a meeting to be held in October, the Advisory Panel will consider and make recommendations relating to the specific racing details of each program, including but not limited to, movement among programs, elimination of trailers, minimum starts, consolation details, if any, etc. We welcome any suggestions from the industry for consideration.


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