G1 winner Campanelle to The Mint Ladies Sprint, raising purse to $1M

Campanelle, with Iran Ortiz Jr. up, won Keeneland’s Giant’s Causeway in April. Keeneland photo

FRANKLIN, Ky. (Friday, Aug. 26, 2022) — Trainer Wesley Ward said that two-time Group 1 winner Campanelle will race next in Kentucky Downs’ The Mint Ladies Sprint, triggering a purse increase from $600,000 to $1 million in the Grade 3 stakes on Sept. 10.

Kentucky Downs announced earlier this summer that if a Grade or Group 1 winner competes in the Ladies Sprint, $750,000 Ladies Turf (G3) or $600,000 Franklin-Simpson (G2) the purse will increase to $1 million for registered Kentucky-breds.

Owned by Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stables, Campanelle won last year’s Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in England and as a 2-year-old captured Deauville’s Group 1 Darley Prix Morny in France.

Because she was bred in Ireland, Campanelle is not eligible for the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) enhancements that make up part of the total purse. Still, she helps her cause by raising the base purse for which all horses would run from $300,000 to $550,000. That’s still the highest of any turf sprint in America outside of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).

The KTDF component rises from $300,000 to $450,000 in the Ladies Sprint if a Grade 1 winner competes.

“Where else can you go and race for $550,000?” Ward said. “It only stings that you’re not racing for the full million until you look around and see we’re still running for the most money outside the Breeders’ Cup. Barbara Banke is always looking for ways to help the industry. Well, she’s helping the other owners in the race by raising the purse for them, too.

“Having raced more than half her starts in Europe, Campanelle should feel right at home running over Kentucky Downs’ course.”

Based at Keeneland with Ward’s main stable, the 4-year-old filly has won five of nine career starts, with two thirds, while earning $725,280.

Campanelle is coming off a narrow defeat against males in the Group 1 Platinum Jubilee at six furlongs on June 18, finishing third by a total of three-quarters of a length in the field of 24 at Royal Ascot. In her only other start this year, Campanelle won Keeneland’s $200,000 Giants Causeway in April.

“We are serious about getting our stakes elevated to Grade 1 status. One way you do that is by attracting Grade and Group 1 winners,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ vice president for racing. “Campanelle is exactly the type of horse we wanted to lure when offering to raise the purse to $1 million for the three stakes. Barbara Banke and Wesley are both strong supporters of Kentucky Downs’ racing program, and we’re honored they are bringing Campanelle our way.

“Now, we just need to get Grade 1 winners in the Ladies Turf and Franklin-Simpson. We’d love nothing more than to have five $1 million races on Sept. 10.”

That’s the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs’ marquee card, which includes the $1 million Kentucky Turf Cup and $1 million FanDuel Turf Sprint. Both Grade 2 stakes are “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series races for the corresponding Breeders’ Cup events Nov. 5 at Keeneland.

Trainer Al Stall has said that 2021 Ladies Turf runner-up Dalika, who in her last start became a Grade 1 winner in the Beverly D. at Churchill Downs, is under consideration for the Ladies Turf.

Kentucky Downs is able to offer the stakes’ purse incentives because of agreements with its horsemen’s association, the Kentucky HBPA, as well as with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which must approve KTDF allocations recommended by its advisory committee.

G1 winner Campanelle to The Mint Ladies Sprint, raising purse to $1M - The Mint Gaming Hall