Stepping Stone Purse
The Stepping Stone Purse was an American Thoroughbred horse race held annually in the latter part of April at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Open to three-year-old horses, it was, along with the Derby Trial Stakes, one of two final prep races hosted by Churchill Downs running up to the Kentucky Derby.
|Discontinued horse race|
|Race type||Thoroughbred – Flat racing|
|Distance||7 furlongs (1958–1976)|
8 furlongs (1977–1981)
|Qualification||Three years old|
In 1959, Sword Dancer won the Stepping Stone Purse, then ran second in the Kentucky Derby before winning the Belmont Stakes. The following year, Bally Ache won this race then ran second in the Derby but won the Preakness Stakes. In 1969, future U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee Majestic Prince won this race by six lengths while setting a new stakes record and then won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. In 1974, Cannonade too won the Stepping Stone Purse and the Kentucky Derby and 1965 winner Tom Rolfe went on to finish third in the Derby but then won the Preakness Stakes.
- Speed record
- 1:21.60 – Majestic Prince (1969) (at 7 furlongs)
- 1:37.40 – Nostalgia (1977) (at 8 furlongs)
- Most wins by a jockey
- Most wins by a trainer
- 2 – Woody Stephens (1963, 1974)
- Most wins by an owner
- 2 – Cain Hoy Stable (1963, 1968)