LEXINGTON, KY (April 22, 2014) – The Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm has become the signature sponsor of Keeneland’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1), to be held Saturday, Oct. 4.
The purse for the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity will increase from $400,000 to $500,000 in 2014. The stakes, for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, is a part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series in which the winner automatically qualifies for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.
“We are excited to partner with Keeneland for the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity,” Claiborne President Walker Hancock said. “This race is entrenched deep in Claiborne’s history as we have owned or co-owned the winner of the race five times. We look forward to the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity becoming the marquee prep race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.”
Keeneland will celebrate the 101st running of the Breeders’ Futurity this fall. Johnstown and Whirlaway won the first and third editions of the Breeders’ Futurity in 1938 and 1940, respectively, and went on to win the Kentucky Derby as 3-year-olds. Among the other champions to capture the Breeders’ Futurity are Tasso (1985), Boston Harbor (1996) and Favorite Trick (1997). All three followed their Breeders’ Futurity wins with victories in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
Claiborne has recorded more wins in the Breeders’ Futurity than any other owner – with Horse of the Year Round Table (1956), Duel (1963), Dike (1968), champion Swale (1983) and champion Forty Niner (1987).
“The story of Keeneland and the Breeders’ Futurity is intertwined with Claiborne,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “It is so fitting that they be associated with the Breeders’ Futurity given the Claiborne champions who have graced its history.”
Claiborne’s Arthur B. Hancock Jr. was a founding member of Keeneland, and Claiborne remains a prominent Keeneland sales consignor. The farm, one of the sport’s most storied Thoroughbred breeding and racing operations, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010. Claiborne was honored as outstanding breeder in 1979 and 1984, and received the 2010 Eclipse Award of Merit for outstanding achievement in the Thoroughbred industry. Famous for having been the home of a number of leading sires as well as 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat, Claiborne today stands such exciting young stallions as War Front, champion Blame and 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb.
Claiborne leads all owners with 26 Keeneland stakes wins, alone and in partnership. Claiborne is the only recipient of Keeneland’s gold bowl, awarded as part of the track’s signature graded stakes trophy program.