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Kentucky Derby Purse Doubles to $2 Million

The Kentucky Derby horse race, the oldest continuous sporting event in the United States, will have its purse doubled to two million dollars.

The increased purse announced by racing officials on Tuesday moves the Derby into a tie for second on the list of richest horse races in the United States. It is the first prize hike for the opening leg of the so-called "Triple Crown" series of races since 1996.

The Breeders' Cup Classic carries a purse of four million dollars, while the Derby joins the Breeders' Cup Turf and the Breeders' Cup Distaff as the only U.S. races with purses of two million dollars.

Churchill Downs race track president Steve Sexton said "this purse should further enhance the attractiveness of this great race to owners and trainers around the world."

The 131st running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for May 7.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.