- Road to the Kentucky Derby
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Late Nominations to Kentucky Oaks Due Wednesday, April 11
Late nominations for the 138th running of the $1 million-guaranteed Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, and the 26th running of the $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI), one of the nation’s top races for older turf stars and a fixture on the Kentucky Derby Day schedule, are due in the Churchill Downs racing office by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday, April 11.
That date is also the deadline for nominations to 10 other stakes races scheduled during Kentucky Derby and Oaks Week at Churchill Downs. Those events are headed by the $200,000-added The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII), a one-mile race for 3-year-olds that is both the racing feature on the track’s April 28 “Opening Night” program of the April 28-July 1 Spring Meet and the final graded stakes prep for the $2 million-guaranteed 138th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on May 5, and the $300,000-added Humana Distaff (GI), a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up that is part of the Kentucky Derby Day racing program.
The 1 1/8-mile Oaks, which will offer its record $1 million purse for the second consecutive year, is scheduled for Friday, May 4. The race is renewed each year on the eve of the Kentucky Derby and both have been run annually without interruption since the first Churchill Downs race meet in May 1875.
The names of 94 3-year-old fillies were on the roster of nominations to the 2012 Kentucky Oaks when its early nomination period closed on Saturday, February 25. Late nominations require payment of a $1,500 fee by Wednesday’s deadline. Eventual runner-up St. John’s River was among three fillies made eligible during the 2011 late nomination period for the Kentucky Oaks won by Peachtree Stable’s Plum Pretty.
Supplemental entries to the Kentucky Oaks will be accepted at the time of entry, but those entries require payment of a fee of $30,000 and the original and late nominees to the race are preferred over supplemental entries. The Kentucky Oaks field is limited to 14 starters, with preference given to entrants that have accumulated the highest earnings in graded stakes races.
The Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, a 1 1/8-mile race for 4-year-olds and up over Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course, is part of a stellar program of six stakes races on the Saturday, May 5 program headed by the Kentucky Derby.
Late nominations to the 26th running of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic must be accompanied by a $1,000 fee. This year’s renewal of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic attracted 61 horses during its early nomination phase. Supplemental nominations can also be made to the race at the time of entry, but a fee of $25,000 is required for those entries.
Six nominees were added during the 2011 late nomination phase for the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic. The race is limited to 14 starters.
The entire Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Week stakes schedule at Churchill Downs is listed below. Nominations are due for each for those races – with the exception of the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic – by the April 11 deadline. Supplemental nominations can be made at the time of entry of each race, but each requires a fee equal to five percent of the purse. Nominations can be made via phone at (502) 636-4470 or fax at (502) 636-4598. Nominations forms are available online at www.ChurchillDowns.com.