Owners of The Red Mile, The Hambletonian Society and Kentucky Horse Racing Commission had jointly announced the new race would be the centerpiece of the richest day in Kentucky harness racing, riding the crest of a burgeoning breeding, racing and sales upswing in the Bluegrass State.
The Red Mile Million is a new concept for harness racing with an innovative purse structure. It was seen as a natural accompaniment to the $2 million Kentucky Sire Stake finals in late September, bookending the Grand Circuit week of racing at Lexington’s Red Mile that features elite yearling sales and culminates with the final jewel of the trotting Triple Crown, the Kentucky Futurity. The event was embraced by local and state tourism officials, who heralding the continued growth of one of the state’s most valuable resources, the equine-driven economy.
After several meetings on race dates, the Red Mile opted to race the Kentucky Sires Stake finals on Sept. 15, in order to avoid conflict with existing Grand Circuit and stakes races for those age groups on the North America stake calendar.
“Our owners and breeders have too much invested to be forced to choose between these rich opportunities for their stake colts and fillies that crowd the calendar near the end of the season,” said John Campbell, president of the Hambletonian Society. “Though canceled for 2019 we will continue planning for this event until we get the best date and scenario for all the stakeholders involved.”