|Location: Louisville Kentucky
Track: Churchill Downs
When: May 6th, 2017
Purse: $2 million.
The 143rd renewals the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) and $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) on the first weekend in May headline a roster of 26 stakes events 23 of which are graded races scheduled for Churchill Downs Race Track’s 2017 Spring Meet highlighted by six Grade races and total stakes purses of $8.25 million.
The racing program headlined by the Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest race, on Saturday, May 6th features seven graded stakes races three of them Grade I events with total stakes purses of $4.15 million. The Friday, May 4th program headed by the Longines Kentucky Oaks, the nation’s top race for 3-year-old fillies, includes a pair of Grade I events among its six graded stakes and total stakes purses for the day of $2.2 million.
The 38-day Spring Meet begins with the historic track’s “Opening Night” under the “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Old Forester” lights on Saturday, April 30, and the featured event of the night that launches Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Week will be the second running of the $100,000 William Walker. The six-furlong stakes race for 3-year-olds honors Walker, one of the pioneer African-American jockeys who dominated the Churchill Downs jockey colony in its early years. Spring Meet racing will conclude with “Closing Night” on Saturday, July 2, the last of the meet’s three “Downs After Dark” night racing programs.
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Important changes in the 2016 Spring Meet stakes schedule include a new name, distance and placement for the $200,000 Wise Dan (GII), a 1 1/16-mile event on turf formerly known as the Firecracker. The Wise Dan is now part of the popular “Downs After Dark” program on Saturday, June 18 headed by the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (GI). The Wise Dan had previously been run during the closing weekend of the Spring Meet.
The Wise Dan is named in honor of Mort Fink’s two-time Horse of the Year who completed a spectacular racing career with a perfect four-race season in 2014. The Charlie LoPresti-trained gelding by Wiseman’s Ferry compiled a remarkable lifetime record of 23-2-0 in 31 races with earnings of $7,552,920. He earned seven of those victories from his 11 starts at Churchill Downs, which included a pair of triumphs in the Firecracker that included his successful debut on the grass in its 2011 running and a hedge-skimming victory over yielding turf in a driving rain storm in 2013. Wise Dan’s Churchill Downs success also included victories in the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) in 2013 and 2014, and memorable runs on the main track that included a victory in the 2011?Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) and a runner-up finish in the 2012 Stephen Foster Handicap in which he lost by a head to Ron the Greek. Wise Dan also earned a pair of Eclipse Awards as both turf champion and champion older horse.
“It means so much to us to have that race named to honor Wise Dan,” LoPresti said. “He’s been a great horse, and we’ve had so much fun with him and we’re proud of him. I’ve often thought that someday somebody would name a race after him, and I’m glad that Churchill was the first to come up with it because he’s won so many races there and is such a big part of Churchill Downs.”
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2017 Kentucky Derby
(Race per week )
|May 3||Post Position Draw||5:30 PM to 6:00 PM||NBC SPORTS NETWORK|
|May 3||Kentucky Oaks 143||12:30 PM to 6:00 PM||NBC SPORTS NETWORK|
|May 3||Derby Undercard||12:00 PM to 4:00 PM||NBC SPORTS NETWORK|
|May 6||Kentucky Derby 143||4:00 PM to 7:30 PM||NBC|
Below are some of the contenders that will possibly run the day of the race. There are about 30 contenders for the race but, these are the most likely ones will be confirmed a place at the event.
2017 Kentucky Derby Contenders
|2||Classic Empire||132||$2,093,820||Mark Casse|
|5||Irish War Cry||110||$616,660||H. Motion|
|6||Thunder Snow (IRE)||100||$1,621,063||Saeed bin Suroor|
|7||Always Dreaming||100||$589,000||Todd Pletcher|
|9||Practical Joke||74||$966,000||Chad Brown|
|10||J Boys Echo||63||$305,000||Dale Romans|
|11||State of Honor||62||$280,000||Mark Casse|
|17||Battle of Midway||40||$224,000||Jerry Hollendorfer|
|4||J Boys Echo||53|
2016 Kentucky Derby Results
|1||13||Nyquist||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill||-----|
|2||11||Exaggerator||Kent Desormeaux||Keith J. Desormeaux||1 ¼|
|3||5||Gun Runner||Florent Geroux||Steven M. Asmussen||4 ½|
|4||14||Mohaymen||Junior Alvarado||Kiaran P. McLaughlin||4 ½|
|5||2||Suddenbreakingnews||Luis Quinonez||Donnie K. Von Hemel||4 ½|
Kentucky Derby Past Winners
|2016||Nyquist||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill||Reddam Racing LLC||2:01.31|
|2015||American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert||Ahmed Zayat||2:03.02|
|2014||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||Steve Coburn & Perry Martin||2:03.66|
|2013||Orb||Joel Rosario||Claude McGaughey III||Stuart S. Janney III & Phipps Stable||02:02.9|
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