Horseracing returns to Blue Grass country Friday, April 4 with the opening of the 15-day, 2003 Keeneland Spring Meet, and so does TVG, which will offer live, on-site coverage from the Lexington, Ky., track. TVG's live coverage will air from 3:00-5:00 p.m. (ET) on "Trackside Live!: Keeneland/Aqueduct" and will be simulcast on Fox Sports Net 2. The meet concludes April 25.
The Keeneland Spring meet will include 19 stakes, 14 of them graded, with purses exceeding $3.6 million, and at least one $100,000 race each day. The three-day opening weekend (Friday-Sunday) will be highlighted by Saturday's grade I, $500,000 Ashland Stakes for three-year-old fillies. The Ashland is a major prep for the Kentucky Oaks. The weekend's other stakes races are the grade III Transylvania (Friday, April 4) and the grade III Lafayette (Sunday, April 6). The grade I, $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes for 3-year-olds, Keeneland's premier Kentucky Derby prep, will be contested April 12.
"We're delighted to work with Keeneland to bring our viewers extensive coverage of the Spring Meet, one of horseracing's great traditions," said Tony Allevato, TVG Vice President and Executive Producer. "In many ways, the Keeneland Spring meet is the unofficial kickoff of the horseracing season, while also serving to wind down the road to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I)."
TVG's on-site coverage from Keeneland will feature several hosts, analysts and commentators, including Caton Bredar, Jeff Lifson, Ken Rudulph and Todd Schrupp, who will be on hand opening weekend.