FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 11, 2013 – Cincinnati radio station WFTK, better known as 96ROCK (96.5 FM), is the new sponsor of Turfway Park's second local prep stakes race for the track's signature Spiral Stakes (G3), itself a designated points race for the Kentucky Derby (G1).
The 96ROCK Stakes, for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds going a flat mile, is scheduled to run Feb. 2.
The $50,000 prep stakes, established in 1983 as the Presidents Stakes, had been sponsored since 2002 by another Cincinnati station and was previously known as the WEBN Stakes.
The race traditionally has been supported by a rowdy rock party and that tradition will continue and expand. In addition to drink specials, food vendors, live music by Jack Trigger, and games, this year's party includes a grand prize: tickets to a major rock concert in the Louisville area (the star's identity remains under wraps) and an overnight stay at Horseshoe Casino Hotel Southern Indiana, including dinner for two at the Paula Deen Buffet.
"As a Louisville boy who grew up in the shadow of a couple of fairly well known 'spires,' it's a thrill and an honor to be 'breaking out of the gate' with another Kentucky racing institution," said Gary Willis of 96ROCK. "The 96ROCK Stakes carries more than just a $50,000 purse; it's one of three local prep races for the legendary Spiral Stakes. The future for the winner will be exciting and we know the race is set to deliver quality thoroughbreds, top notch jockeys and occasional surprises. 96ROCK is honored to be associated with the race and the huge party around which it’s run. We hope that amongst the Turfway faithful the feeling is 'mutuel.' (Sorry, I couldn't help myself!)"
"This has always been a fun and unique event and we look forward to seeing the creativity 96ROCK will bring to the party," said Turfway's general manager, Chip Bach. "Our fans, our staff, and I personally look forward to this event all year, and we're excited about the chance to make it even better."
"96ROCK Cincinnati's Pure Rock has been busy since 2007 traveling the Tri-State in search of ears and hearts that love and appreciate the diversity that is rock as well as our community," Willis continued. "We provide the soundtrack for the coolest things to do in Greater Cincinnati, from live concerts to live Thoroughbred racing and everything in between. If there's a party, we'll be there . . . when you get there."
A VIP ticket is required for the 96ROCK Stakes party. There is no charge for tickets, but they are limited in number and available only on-air and at Turfway events. Admission to the races and parking are free and open to all.
96ROCK and Turfway have previously partnered to present other successful events at the track, including last year's Chili Cookoff and ‘80s Big Hair Night.
The 96ROCK Stakes was preceded on the Spiral Stakes prep schedule by the Turfway Prevue Stakes on Jan. 5, won by Mac the Man, and will be followed by the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes on Mar. 2. The Spiral Stakes will run Mar. 23.
Also on the Feb. 2 card is the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes, the first of two local preps for fillies hoping to run in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).