Turfway is honored to welcome 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide on Spiral Stakes day. The celebrated gelding, now a resident of the Kentucky Horse Park Hall of Champions, will come to the paddock at 11:15 a.m. and then stop near the VIP Tent for a longer visit. Later he will return to the paddock with the field for the Bourbonette Oaks, a points race for the Kentucky Oaks. Under the care of his handler, Kentucky Horse Park Equine Operations Director Ronan Cunningham, Funny Cide will then lead the field for the Spiral Stakes on to the track.
The horses will need less than two minutes to battle for the $500,000 Horseshoe Casino Spiral Stakes on Saturday, April 2, but the party surrounding the Kentucky Derby prep race will last all day. The Spiral Stakes is the feature of 12 races on the day.
The raising of the massive Spiral Stakes VIP Tent at Turfway is a sure sign of spring in Northern Kentucky. The open-span structure is 408 feet long and seats 2,000. Guests will enjoy the tent's deluxe buffet, open bar, prizes, shopping, private viewing area and wagering windows, live entertainment and a Maker's Mark charity auction.
At $175 the VIP Tent is the day's premier ticket, but options are available for every budget. General admission is $5, with no charge for children 12 and under. Reservations in the grandstand range from $25 to $80, some including buffet. Parking is free; valet parking is available.
“We don't want anyone to miss the excitement of the Spiral Stakes,” said General Manager Chip Bach. “The Spiral is one of just 35 races in the world that qualify horses to run in the Kentucky Derby, and it's right here in Florence. It puts our town on the map in the racing world. The Commonwealth is the Horse Capital of the World, the Kentucky Derby is the world's most legendary race, and we're proud to be an integral part of that heritage.”
Gates open on Spiral Stakes day at 10 a.m. The first race runs at 1:10 p.m. Early arrivals get a bonus: the first 1,000 fans receive a free Spiral Stakes cap with paid admission.
Sponsors for the day include the feature's title sponsor, Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, as well as Dillard's, Ultimate Air Shuttle, Kroger, Maker's Mark, Stella Artois and Abbey Florist.
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