Spendthrift Farm has announced the discontinuation of the Spendthrift Stallions Stakes at Churchill Downs after 2018, citing a refusal by the North American International Cataloguing Standards Committee to give black-type consideration as the reason.
The $300,000 race for two-year-olds is set to run for the final time this Oct. 28th during Churchill’s Fall meeting.
“I am disappointed that the North American International Cataloguing Standards Committee has told us they will not give black-type consideration to the Spendthrift Stallions Stakes going forward, and that significantly limits the race’s ability to grow,” said Spendthrift owner B. Wayne Hughes. “Because of that unwillingness, we will be discontinuing our support of the race after this year, and, instead, shifting our focus to other ways we can help breeders.”
Hughes noted that many sales companies have restricted stakes races that are recognized as black-type, despite a relatively small number of sales graduates being eligible in most cases. In 2018, Spendthrift Farm’s stallions have collectively accounted for 1,742 two-year-olds in the Northern Hemisphere, and all are automatically eligible for the Spendthrift Stallions Stakes this October with no nomination fees.
“When we created this race in partnership with Churchill in 2016, we believe we made a significant commitment in earnest to something that would help breeders and be a positive thing for our industry,” said Hughes. “We held high expectations for what it could develop into. Our sport got to see a new race that showcased quality 2-year-olds, many of which have proven to be accomplished stakes horses including some Graded winners. Field sizes averaged double digits. It gave the breeding community a rare chance to earn purse money from a race. So, we felt it was a race everyone could benefit from: breeders, owners, horse players, Spendthrift, Churchill Downs, and, in turn, the industry.”
Under its agreement with Churchill, Spendthrift has supplemented the entire purse for the Spendthrift Stallions Stakes. Unlike traditional races, half the purse money gets distributed to the breeders of the top four finishers in the seven-furlong dirt race.
Graduates of last year’s Spendthrift Stallions Stakes include current G2 winner & G1-placed Mia Mischief and G3 winner Ezmosh. The inaugural Spendthrift Stallions Stakes in 2016 was won by current G3 winner & G1-placed Warrior’s Club.