Anne M. Eberhardt

Keeneland to Try Later Post Opening Day

Keeneland will begin racing at 2:15 p.m. EDT opening day of its fall meet.

Keeneland will begin its Oct. 9 opening-day racing program one hour later to accommodate special events.

First post is set for 2:15 p.m. EDT. On all other racing days, first post will be 1:05 p.m.

Opening day features the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I) and Phoenix Stakes (gr. III), which will kick off “FallStars Weekend.” The stakes that weekend serve as preps for the Nov. 6-7 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park.

The first race is scheduled about an hour later than usual in an effort to give more people the opportunity to enjoy the fall opening in a festive atmosphere, officials said.

Keeneland is hosting “Swinging at Sunset,” complete with a 17-piece, Central Kentucky-based jazz orchestra, and food and drink specials after the last race. “Swinging at Sunset” is sponsored by WLEX-TV.

“By starting one hour later, it will give our customers a greater opportunity to enjoy more of opening day, which features two important graded stakes and a variety of fun events,” Keeneland president Nick Nicholson said. “There will be more racing when people aren’t working.

“The later post time has other advantages. Out-of-town guests will have additional time to travel to Keeneland for the weekend, and our customers won’t be exiting into rush hour on Friday, the most challenging traffic day of the week.”

The 17-day Keeneland meet ends Oct. 31.