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Keeneland Stakes Schedule a Record

The Keeneland 2008 spring meet stakes schedule is worth a record $4.3 million.

From Keeneland

Eighteen stakes worth a record $4.3 million, and enhanced graded status for the Maker’s Mark Mile, Appalachian, and Fifth Third Elkhorn Stakes, highlight Keeneland’s 2008 spring meet to be held April 4-25.

Sixteen of the 18 stakes carded for the spring are graded. Three of those stakes were recently upgraded for 2008 by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

The Maker’s Mark Mile, for 4-year-olds and up on the turf, was elevated from grade II to grade I; the Fifth Third Elkhorn, for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/2 miles on the turf, was promoted from grade III to grade II; and the Appalachian, for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the grass, earned grade III status.

Purse money for the Maker’s Mark Mile was increased from $250,000 to $300,000, while the Appalachian; Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds and up at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf; and Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III), for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, each increased from $100,000 to $125,000.

Three-year-olds will take center stage in the $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles April 5. The $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles is set for April 12.

The $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles is scheduled for April 19.

“Keeneland enjoys great support from its owners and trainers, which allows us to present some of the most competitive racing in North America,” said W. Rogers Beasley, Keeneland’s director of racing. “Such a rich and diverse stakes schedule offers exciting opportunities for our horsemen as well as our race fans.”

In other changes for the spring, the Appalachian and $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III), for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles, were each moved up one week on the stakes calendar to April 17 and April 20, respectively. The distance for the opening-day Central Bank Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT), for 3-year-olds, has been lengthened from one mile to 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Grey Goose Vodka will sponsor the $150,000 Grey Goose Bewitch (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares, 4-years-old and up, at 1  1/2 miles on the turf.


April 4: Central Bank Transylvania (gr. IIIT), $150,000, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles (turf)
April 5: Ashland (gr. I), $500,000, 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles
April 6: Lafayette, $100,000, 3-year-olds, 7 furlongs
April 9: Vinery Madison (gr. II), $200,000, 4-year-olds & up, fillies & mares, 7 furlongs
April 10: Stonerside Beaumont (gr. II), $250,000, 3-year-old fillies, 7 furlongs 184 feet
April 11: Maker’s Mark Mile (gr. IT), $300,000, 4-year-olds & up, one mile (turf)
April 12: Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), $750,000, 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 miles
April 12: Commonwealth (gr. II), $400,000, 3-year-olds & up, 7 furlongs
April 12: Jenny Wiley (gr. IIT), $200,000, 4-year-olds & up, fillies & mares, 1 1/16 miles (turf)
April 13: Shakertown (gr. IIIT), $125,000, 3-year-olds & up, 5 1/2 furlongs (turf)
April 17: Appalachian (gr. IIIT), $125,000, 3-year-old fillies, one mile (turf)
April 18 – Doubledogdare (gr. III), $125,000, 4-year-olds & up, fillies & mares, 1 1/16 miles
April 19: Coolmore Lexington (gr. II), $325,000, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles
April 19 – Giant’s Causeway, $100,000, 3-year-olds & up, fillies & mares, 5 1/2 furlongs (turf)
April 20: Ben Ali (gr. III), $150,000, 4-year-olds & up, 1 1/8 miles
April 23: Grey Goose Bewitch (gr. III), $150,000, 4-year-olds & up, fillies & mares, 1 1/2 miles (turf)
April 24: Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings (NSA-I), $150,000, 4-year-olds & up, 2 1/2 miles (hurdles)
April 25: Fifth Third Elkhorn (gr. IIT), $200,000, 4-year-olds & up, 1 1/2 miles (turf)