Keeneland will offer 16 stakes worth $3.625 million at its 2013 spring race meeting, headlined by the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) and Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I), for 3-year-old colts and fillies, respectively.
The 16-day spring meeting will be April 5-26, and features racing Wednesdays through Sundays. Post time for the first race each day is 1:05 p.m. ET. Fifteen of the spring's 16 stakes are graded, highlighted by five grade I events. Half of the stakes will be run on Polytrack and half contested on turf.
Anchoring the spring's opening week are the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland, for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles April 6, and the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles April 13. Both are signature preps on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and Road to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), respectively.
Last year, Donegal Racing's Dullahan defeated favored Hansen to become only the second horse to win Keeneland's Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) as a 2-year-old and return the following spring to win the Toyota Blue Grass. Champion Round Table accomplished the feat in 1956-57.
Traditionally one of North America's richest and most diverse racing programs, the Keeneland spring meet attracts the country's top horses, trainers, and jockeys. Among last spring's highlights, Keeneland-based Wise Dan, leading contender for Horse of the Year honors, kicked off his 2012 season with a record-setting, 10 1/2-length win in the Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III); Eclipse Award finalist Groupie Doll won the Madison Stakes (gr. I) by three lengths; and Eclipse Award finalist Point of Entry notched his first stakes victory in the closing day Elkhorn (gr. IIT).
"Keeneland is so special because the 'best of the best' from across the country converge here to compete against each other, and that makes for some very memorable racing moments," said vice president of racing Rogers Beasley.
2013 Keeneland Spring Stakes Schedule
|April 5||$100,000 Transylvania (gr. IIIT)||3YO||1 1/16 Miles (T)|
|April 6||$500,000 Central Bank Ashland (gr. I)||3YO F||1 1/16 Miles|
|April 11||$300,000 Madison (gr. I)||4YO & Up,F&M||7 Furlongs|
|April 12||$300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (gr. IT)||4YO & Up||1 Mile (T)|
|April 13||$750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I)||3YO||1 1/8 Miles|
|April 13||$300,000 Jenny Wiley (gr. IT)||4YO & Up, F&M||1 1/16 Miles (T)|
|April 13||$175,000 Commonwealth (gr. III)||4YO & Up||7 Furlongs|
|April 13||$100,000 Shakertown (gr. IIIT)||4YO & Up||5½ Furlongs (T)|
|April 14||$150,000 Beaumont (gr. II) Presented by Keeneland Select||3YO F||7 Furlongs, 184 ft|
|April 18||$100,000 Appalachian (gr. IIIT)||3YO F||1 Mile (T)|
|April 19||$100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (gr. III)||4YO & Up F&M||1 1/16 Miles|
|April 20||$200,000 Coolmore Lexington (gr. III)||3YO||1 1/16 Miles|
|April 20||$100,000 Giant’s Causeway (T)||4YO & Up, F&M||5½ Furlongs (T)|
|April 21||$150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III)||4YO & Up||1 1/8 Miles|
|April 25||$150,000 Bewitch (gr. IIIT)||4YO & Up, F&M||1½ Miles (T)|
|April 26||$150,000 Elkhorn (gr IIT)||4YO & Up||1½ Miles (T)|