Churchill Downs 2021 Spring Meet Schedule

Written By Fairway Jay on April 19, 2021 - Last Updated on April 27, 2021

On May 1, Kentucky Derby Day Features Seven Stakes Races

The Churchill Downs 2021 Spring Meet begins Saturday, April 24, and the 2021 Kentucky Derby is less than two weeks away. The horses have started to arrive and train at Churchill Downs. Fans can watch the horses train on the track, and Churchill Downs will be open free of charge daily from 7-10 a.m. from Saturday, April 17, through Wednesday, April 28.

Fans and guests can watch the nation’s top 3-year-old thoroughbreds train toward their engagements in this year’s Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. 

Churchill Downs 2021 Spring Meet

The 38-day Spring Meet begins at Churchill Downs on Saturday, April 24, and runs through Saturday, June 26. A record $13.44 million will be paid out over 40 stakes races.

Derby Week (April 24-May 1) kicks off the nine-week 147th Spring Meet with 18 stakes events that total a record $10.14 million over the six-day stretch. The 147th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby is the headline event. The Grade I race for 3-year-olds, at 1 ¼ miles, will have the Derby post position draw on Tuesday, April 27.

The 14-race card on Derby Day, May 1, includes seven stakes races, with four Grade I events:

  • $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I)
  • $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (Grade I)
  • $500,000 Churchill Downs presented by Ford (Grade I)
  • $500,000 Derby City Distaff (Grade I)
  • $500,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (Grade II)
  • $500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG&E and KU (Grade II)
  • $500,000 American Turf (Grade II)

One day earlier, Churchill Downs will host six other stakes races, headlined by the 1 1/8 mile Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

  • $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I)
  • $500,000 La Troienne (Grade I)
  • $400,000 Alysheba (Grade II)
  • $300,000 Eight Belles presented by Smithfield (Grade II)
  • $300,000 Edgewood (Grade II)
  • $250,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint presented by Sysco (Grade II)

Saturday, April 24, kicks off Derby Week, which includes these stakes races:

  • $125,000 William Walker (April 24)
  • $120,000 Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight Stakes (Tuesday, April 27 — newly named to honor the legendary African-American jockey who was a three-time Derby winner)
  • $125,000 Kentucky Juvenile (Wednesday, April 28)
  • $150,000 Unbridled Sidney (Thursday, April 29)
  • $120,000 Opening Verse Overnight Night Stakes (Thursday, April 29)

After Derby Week, there will be 22 stakes worth a total of $3.3 million. The Stephen Foster Preview Day is Saturday, May 29, and includes seven stakes.

  • $125,000 Matt Winn (Grade III)
  • $125,000 Regret (Grade III)
  • $125,000 Aristides (Listed)
  • $125,000 Blame
  • $125,000 Shawnee
  • $100,000 Audubon
  •  $100,000 Douglas Park Overnight Stakes

The 1 1/8 mile Stephen Foster for older horses is on closing day, Saturday, June 26. The race anchors a seven-race stakes schedule highlighted by:

  • $600,000 Stephen Foster (Grade II)
  • $250,000 Fleur de Lis (Grade II) for fillies and mares
  • $250,000 Wise Dan (Grade II) for turf horses

Legal horse betting is available in more than 30 states from leading online operators like TVG and Twinspires. Get an added bonus when using the promo code LSRTVG, or $100 when registering at Twinspires.

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Fairway Jay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports and betting analyst and provides insight and information you can bet on to engage and assist the avid fan. His tee-to-green coverage and racing contributions have been provided to Churchill Downs, Twinspires, TVG, Forbes, TheLines, numberFire and PlayUSA platforms. Follow on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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