Making the race part of the Triple Crown should heighten interest in the event and possibly bring out more participants and spectators, said Bill Gallo, director of racing for the NSA.
“The new race, the Georgia Cup, is one of the premiere races on our circuit,” he said.
The Georgia Cup is a 2-mile race to be run on April 10 and will be one of five races that day at the Atlanta Steeplechase.
The other two races in the Triple Crown are the National Hunt Cup at the Radnor Races in Pennsylvania on May 15 and the Meadow Brook Stakes at Belmont Park in New York on June 3.
The purse in each race will be $100,000, and each carries a grade 1 ranking from the NSA.
The Triple Crown steeplechase series is in its sixth year, and the Georgia Cup is getting its first chance at being a part of it because of two venues deciding not to host NSA events this year — Churchill Downs and Pimlico.
The Atlanta Steeplechase attracted about 25,000 people last year to Kingston Downs in Bartow County just across the Floyd County line.
The site — owned by Beaulieu of America CEO Carl Bouckaert — has hosted the event since 1997.
Ticket information for the Atlanta Steeplechase can be found by calling (404) 237-7436 or at www.atlantasteeplechase.org