Keeneland will offer 17 stakes worth a total of $4.925 million during its 2014 fall meet in Lexington.
The 17-day season, from Oct. 3-25, will distribute approximately $600,000 in average daily purses as one of the richest racing programs in North America. Highlights of the meet include a number of races for horses headed to the Breeders' Cup World Championships. The track also will unveil its new dirt surface for racing on the main track.
This fall, prominent Thoroughbred operations Claiborne Farm, Dixiana Farm, and Lane's End for the first time will sponsor the Breeders' Futurity (gr. I), Bourbon (gr. IIIT) and Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT), respectively. Purses for these stakes will increase by $100,000 each.
Now worth $500,000, the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity is a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds on Oct. 4. The $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon, for 2-year-olds racing 1 1/16 miles on turf, will be run Oct. 5. The $500,000 Lane's End Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, an internationally renowned invitational for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the turf, is scheduled for Oct. 11.
Claiborne and Lane's End join Dixiana, a fall meet race sponsor since 2009, and other longtime fall meet partners Darley, Juddmonte Farms, Pin Oak Farm, and Shadwell Farm. Also returning as prominent stakes sponsors this fall are Buffalo Trace, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, JPMorgan Chase, Keeneland Select, The Lexus Store of Lexington, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC, and the Thoroughbred Club of America.
"Keeneland is privileged to enjoy the strong support of the Central Kentucky community," said Keeneland vice president of racing Rogers Beasley. "We value these partnerships with prominent Thoroughbred farms, respected veterinary clinics, and distinguished businesses that long have been committed to presenting the best in racing. We look forward to a fall meet that will showcase competition among the nation's top horses, owners, trainers and jockeys."
The fall meet opens with the prestigious Fall Stars Weekend, which presents nine graded stakes worth $3.35 million over three days. Five of those races are grade I events: the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades, for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on Oct. 3; the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, for 3-year-olds and up; the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity, for 2-year-olds; and the $400,000 First Lady (gr. IT) for fillies and mares racing a mile on turf, all on Oct. 4; and the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I), for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles, on Oct. 5.
Eight Keeneland stakes are part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series of automatic qualifying races for the Breeders' Cup World Championships to be held Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
Seven of those Breeders' Cup Challenge stakes highlight Fall Stars Weekend: Darley Alcibiades, a Challenge race for the Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), and Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (gr. III), a Challenge race for the Sprint (gr. I), both on Oct. 3; Shadwell Turf Mile, a Challenge race for the Mile (gr. IT), Claiborne Breeders' Futurity, a Challenge race for the Juvenile (gr. I), and the Thoroughbred Club of America (gr. II), a Challenge race for the Filly and Mare Sprint (gr. I), all on Oct. 4; and Juddmonte Spinster, a Challenge race for the Distaff (gr. I) and Dixiana Bourbon, a Challenge race for the Juvenile Turf (gr. IT), on Oct. 5.
The eighth Breeders' Cup Challenge race is the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (gr. IIIT) on Oct. 8. The race awards the winner a berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT).
Keeneland's fall meet stakes have been a springboard to success for a number of Breeders' Cup champions. Keeneland-based Wise Dan won the 2012 Shadwell Turf Mile and was second in the race in 2013 as a prelude to victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile and Horse of the Year honors for both seasons.
The Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes has produced the past five winners of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint: champion Informed Decision (2009), Dubai Majesty (2010), champion Musical Romance (2011) and champion Groupie Doll (2012-2013).
Keeneland 2014 Fall Stakes Schedule
|Oct. 3||$400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1)*||2YO Fillies||1 1/16 Miles|
|Oct. 3||$200,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3)*||3YOs & Up||6 Furlongs|
|Oct. 4||$750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1)*||3YOs & Up||1 Mile (T)|
|Oct. 4||$500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1)*||2YOs||1 1/16 Miles|
|Oct. 4||$400,000 First Lady (G1)||3YOs & Up, F&M||1 Mile (T)|
|Oct. 4||$200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2)*||3YOs & Up, F&M||6 Furlongs|
|Oct. 4||$150,000 Woodford (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select||3YOs & Up||5½ Furlongs (T)|
|Oct. 5||$500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1)*||3YOs & Up, F&M||1 1/8 Miles|
|Oct. 5||$250,000 Dixiana Bourbon (G3)*||2YOs||1 1/16 Miles (T)|
|Oct. 8||$150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3)*||2YO Fillies||1 1/16 Miles (T)|
|Oct. 10||$100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County (L)||3YOs & Up, F&M||5½ Furlongs (T)|
|Oct. 11||$500,000 Lane’s End Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1)||3YO Fillies||1 1/8 Miles (T)|
|Oct. 16||$100,000 Sycamore (G3)||3YOs & Up||1½ Miles (T)|
|Oct. 17||$150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3)||3YO Fillies||1 1/16 Miles (T)|
|Oct. 18||$250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2)||3YO Fillies||7 Furlongs|
|Oct. 19||$125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (L)||3YOs & Up, F&M||1½ Miles (T)|
|Oct. 25||$200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2)||3YOs & Up||1 1/8 Miles|
|*Denotes Breeders’ Cup Challenge stakes|