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    Live racing returns to Churchill Downs when it opens its 12-day September race meet this Friday, Sept. 5. The second annual September meet runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in September and boasts two Downs After Dark events, eight stakes races, two special Happy Hour events, a Family Adventure Day, College Football watch party, Ladies Day and Autumn N’Spires. The meet closes Sunday, Sept. 28.

    Stakes Schedule:

    Saturdays in September are highlighted by eight stakes races worth a total of $925,000. Saturday, Sept. 6, includes a foursome of stakes races featuring the year’s first “Road to the Kentucky Derby” and “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” points races—the $100,000-added Iroquois (G3) for the boys and the $200,000-added Pocahontas (G2) for the girls. Both 1 1/16 mile races for 2-year-olds are Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races, which guarantees the winner an automatic berth in the November Breeders’ Cup.

    Saturday also includes the one-mile $100,000-added Ack Ack Handicap (G3) for 3-year-olds and up and the 1 1/16 mile $100,000-added Locust Grove for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.

    Saturday, Sept. 13, features the six-furlong $100,000-added Open Mind for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. Saturday, Sept. 20 features the seven-furlong $100,000-added Dogwood (G3) for 3-year-old fillies. The final stakes races of the Sept. meet run Saturday, Sept. 27 and include the second running of the 1 1/8 mile $125,000 Homecoming Classic for 3-year-olds and up and the $100,000-added Jefferson Cup (G3), a one mile turf race for 3-year-olds.

    Special Events:

    Downs After Dark. The two Downs After Dark programs will be held Friday, Sept. 5 and Friday, Sept. 19. The opening night event is themed “College Rivalry Night.” Fans are encouraged to come attired in their college team’s colors. Additionally, Churchill Downs will donate $1 to the V Foundation for Cancer Research for every fan in attendance. DJ 2nd Nature will perform and fans can compete in Tailgating Olympics, corn hole trick shots, a dunk tank, and even a chance at a VIP experience to the Jimmy V Men’s Basketball Classic at Madison Square Garden Dec. 9 to see matchups between U of L and Indiana and Illinois and Villanova.

    The second Downs After Dark event will be Friday, Sept. 19, and features a Bavarian-themed Oktoberfest. Feast on sausages, kraut, pretzels and, of course, German beers as you dance a polka jig to the sounds of live music by The Rheingold Band and cover band, The Respectables.

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    Jessie Oswald's picture

    About Jessie Oswald

    I'm a lifetime Louisville resident with a passion for horse racing. When I'm not working as a paralegal or taking care of my family, I follow Thoroughbred racing and love to share the excitement and beauty of the sport with anyone willing to learn!

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