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Jun 17, 2011

Sprint for two-year-olds added to Breeders' Cup


Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - A sprint race for two-year-olds has been added to the schedule for this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.

The Breeders' Cup announced Tuesday that the new $500,000 event will be run on the first day of the two-day competition.

"In discussions with horsemen on selecting a new race," noted Clem Murphy, chairman of the Breeders' Cup Racing and Nominations Committee, "an overwhelming majority requested that we add a Juvenile Sprint to the championships program. There are a number of talented two-year-old sprinters around the world who are not suited or may not be ready to run the two turns at 1 1/16-miles of the Juvenile or Juvenile Fillies in early November. The Juvenile Sprint provides horsemen with an alternative."

The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint will be conducted at a distance of six furlongs and is open to both males and females. The new race was conceived from the combined efforts of the Breeders' Cup Racing and Nominations, and Wagering Committees.

"Our goal in the Wagering Committee," said committee chairman David Willmot, "focused on creating a Breeders' Cup race that would generate not only betting interest for the public, but also provide an additional opportunity for the two-year-old crop from which our owners and breeders could benefit. A six- furlong sprint race for juveniles has the potential to provide highly competitive fields in this new division."

However, with the introduction of the Juvenile Sprint, the purse of the Breeders' Cup Sprint has been reduced from $2 million to $1.5 million.

The 15-race World Championships, worth a total of $26 million, will be conducted on Friday and Saturday, November 4-5.

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