Keeneland kicks off 17-day fall meet with Alcibiades, Phoenix
by BRIS
Date Posted: 10/2/2012 5:29:17 PM
Last Updated: 10/6/2012 5:58:05 PM

World-class racing returns to Keeneland as the 17-day fall race meet opens Friday. Racing occurs Wednesday through Sunday with the final day of the fall season on October 27. Post time for the first race each day is 1:05 p.m. (ET).

Many of the nation's most talented Thoroughbreds, trainers and jockeys will compete at Keeneland this fall in preparation for the Breeders' Cup World Championships and bids for divisional honors.

The fall meet features 17 stakes with purse money totaling $4.5 million. Keeneland opens with its signature Fall Stars Weekend (October 5-7), highlighted by nine graded stakes worth more than $3 million. Seven Fall Stars stakes are Breeders' Cup Challenge races in which the winners automatically qualify for the Breeders' Cup World Championships to be held November 2-3 at Santa Anita.

The purse for the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile, held Saturday, has been increased this fall to $750,000, ranking it alongside the spring meet's Grade 1 Blue Grass as Keeneland's most valuable race in terms of prize money.

The Shadwell Turf Mile is one of six Grade 1 stakes held at Keeneland this fall, the others being the Alcibiades, Breeders' Futurity, First Lady, Spinster and Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.

Fans can follow all the racing action via free live streaming at Keeneland's newly redesigned website, keeneland.com.

Jeremy Plonk and Joe Kristufek will once again host live chats on keeneland.com each race day, giving selections and answering questions. Keeneland.com also offers a wealth of free handicapping information that will appeal to novice and experienced fans alike. Fans on Twitter can get real-time selections with @keenelandracing.

Keeneland's Wagering Central, located on the first floor grandstand, has been expanded this fall to serve as a wagering information and social media hub. Wagering Central staff can answer basic betting questions, provide free daily selections, and register fans for Keeneland's FastBet card or a Keeneland Select account. A new social media display will feature the @keenelandracing Twitter feed and Instagram photos submitted by fans.

Representatives from America's Best Racing, The Jockey Club's multi-media new fan development program, will be in the North Terrace during Fall Stars Weekend and on College Scholarship Day, October 12, to host their Racing 101 initiative.

Also new for the fall meet, mobile wagering clerks will be available on Fridays and Saturdays in the tailgating and Louisville parking lots.

Keeneland continues to expand its social media presence to enhance the fan experience.

This fall, Keeneland will celebrate many "Fall Stars" throughout the month, highlighting a different Fall Stars experience each week. Fans are encouraged to use the #fallstars hashtag to stay on top of all the action.

Fans can follow Keeneland on Facebook at www.facebook/keeneland and on Twitter @keeneland for news about special events going on around the track and @keenelandracing for the latest racing updates. Keeneland's YouTube channel at www.youtube/keenelandfan is another source for pre-race coverage, jockey interviews, morning works and stakes recaps.

In keeping with the Fall Stars theme, Keeneland is hosting a Fan of the Week contest in which one "Fall Star" will be chosen each week. Fans are encouraged to nominate someone whose love of Keeneland runs deep. In return, Keeneland will share the weekly winner's story on Facebook and award him or her with a gift basket. One grand prize winner will be selected to receive a table for four to the 2013 Blue Grass. The person who nominates a winner will also earn a Keeneland gift.

A capacity field of 14, plus two also-eligibles, were entered for the $400,000 Alcibiades, a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack test for two-year-old fillies.

In a wide-open betting race, the Alcibiades has attracted the top three from the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie -- Gold Edge, La Song and Dancinginthecircle; the multiple stakes-winning Calder invader Rose to Gold; P.G. Johnson second and third Broken Spell and Tara From the Cape; Grade 3 Natalma runner-up and fourth Spring in the Air and Kitten's Dumplings; Grade 2 Adirondack third-placer Fully Living; Grade 3 Sorrento runner-up Speedinthruthecity; and Magical Moon, a sharp maiden winner in a Saratoga turf sprint last time.

On the undercard is the Grade 3, $175,000 Phoenix over six furlongs. Highlighting the field are multiple Grade 2 veteran Aikenite, who missed by a nose in the 2011 Phoenix; Grade 2 Commonwealth winner Lonesome Street; and the stakes-winning sophomores Sum of the Parts and Doctor Chit.

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