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.
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.