The prize hike makes the historic the second richest Derby in the world with the winner to receive $US1.86 million in addition to the gold trophy.It is the first prizmeonmey increase for the Kentucky Derby since it went from $US1 million to $US2 million in 2004.
Churchill Downs has cited strong early returns from state-of-the-art historical racing machines at Derby City Gaming, a $65 million facility that opened last September, as the catalyst for prizemoney increases at the Louisville track.The purse for the G1 Old Forester Turf Classic has been doubled to $US1 million and the G1 Kentucky Oaks will be raised by $250,000 to $1.25 million.
The Oaks was a $500,000 race until its purse was doubled in 2011.A total of 15 races will receive purse hikes including the GI Humana Distaff ($300,000 to $500,000) and G2 Stephen Foster Stakes ($600,000 to $700,000).
The Churchill Downs Stakes, recently elevated to G1 status, will offer a purse of $500,000 as will the G1 La Troienne Stakes on the Oaks undercard.The G2 Longines Distaff Turf Mile, G2 American Turf and G3 Pat Day Mile rise from $400,000 to $500,000.
The Derby and Oaks anchor a a program of 34 stakes races at Churchill worth a record $12.03 million with more than $30 million in purse money to be distributed during this year’s spring meeting covering 372 races.