Polytrack, FallStars Weekend Highlight Keeneland Opening

(Edited press release)
Keeneland will celebrate two milestones when the historic racetrack opens its fall meeting Oct. 6. In addition to the completion of its extensive track renovation, highlighted by the new Polytrack synthetic surface, Keeneland will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its inaugural race meet in 1936.

Keeneland's fall meeting runs Oct. 6-28, with racing conducted Wednesdays through Sundays. Gates open at 11:00 a.m. ET; first post is 1:15 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults; children under 12 are admitted free.

Keeneland will inaugurate its Polytrack this fall by offering 19 stakes races worth $5,125,000. Keeneland's fall stakes have become a springboard for horses pointing toward the Breeders' Cup World Championships. In 2005, both Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps' Pleasant Home and Juddmonte Farm's Intercontinental raced at Keeneland prior to winning Breeders' Cup races.

This fall, such nationally prominent trainers as Patrick Biancone, Neil Drysdale, Bobby Frankel, Neil Howard, Michael Matz, Bill Mott, Todd Pletcher, Richard Violette, Jr., and Nick Zito are stabled at Keeneland.

The meet opens with FallStars Weekend, three days of racing anchored by three grade I events--the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile for 3-year-olds and up and the $500,000 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity for 2-year-olds Oct. 7; and the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up Oct. 8.

Other stakes slated for FallStars Weekend are the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. II) and the $150,000-added Sycamore Breeders' Cup (gr. III) on opening day; the $250,000-added Phoenix Breeders' Cup (gr. III) Oct. 7; and the $100,000-added Woodford County Oct. 8.

In addition to world-class racing, the fall meet features a full calendar of special events and promotions.

On opening day, the ribbon will be cut to open the new Polytrack racetrack prior to the running of the first race. Darley will again sponsor the fall meet opening day promotion, giving away a collapsible stadium chair to the first 3,000 patrons with paid admission.

Keeneland will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its first race meet with Founders Day Oct. 15. The track will take a step back in time to 1936 with vintage music, antique cars, and tributes to this year's Founders Day honorees, Keeneland co-founder Major Louie Beard and 1958 Horse of the Year Round Table. A free jigsaw puzzle featuring the artwork "Keeneland Through the Years," by David McCall Johnston, will be given to the first 1,500 patrons with paid admission.

Friday, October 13, will prove lucky for 10 college students whose names are drawn at Keeneland as winners of a $1,000 scholarship. College Day at Keeneland--fast becoming one of the track's most popular special events--will return for the 2006 fall meeting. The first 1,000 students with paid admission on College Day will receive a free t-shirt, and every student will get a general admission pass to return on any race day during the fall meet.

"Breakfast with the Works" will be offered each Saturday morning during the meet from 7:00 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. Guests will receive trackside commentary about the horses, a southern-style breakfast, free children's activities, and a paddock demonstration at 8:45 a.m.

Keeneland also will introduce two new special events for its fall line-up. Patrons can test their wagering skills during two Wednesday handicapping contests, slated for Oct. 11 and Oct. 25. Keeneland also has scheduled a Military Day at the Races for Oct. 22. The track will recognize active and veteran military personnel with special activities and free general admission for service members.

For more information or to view Keeneland's fall meet special events calendar, visit www.keeneland.com