Keeneland Sets $3.65M Spring Stakes Slate

Nineteen stakes worth $3.65 million will be offered during Keeneland's 16-day spring meet from April 5-26. Anchoring the rich stakes program are two grade I races -- the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass for 3-year-olds and the $500,000 Ashland Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

The 1 1/8-mile Toyota Blue Grass will be run April 13, three weeks before the Kentucky Derby. The Ashland, a 1 1/16-mile steppingstone to the Kentucky Oaks, is set for April 6.

At least one stakes worth $100,000 or more will be run on each day of the meet. Twelve of the stakes are graded and nine will be run on the turf.

Another important springboard to the Derby and Triple Crown events is the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes, a grade II event for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, on April 20.

"While the Keeneland spring meeting is an ideal path to the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, it also provides a variety of stakes opportunities for all divisions -- on the dirt and the turf," director of racing Rogers Beasley said.

New to the schedule this year is the Madison Stakes, a $100,000 race for fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, at seven furlongs on April 10.