Keeneland will offer a record $4,275,000 million in stakes purses during its 2007 spring race meet, to be held April 6-27, up $50,000 from the 2006 spring meeting.
The total stakes purse money establishes a record for a Keeneland spring meet and reflects an increase in the value of the grade III Bewitch Stakes from $100,000-added to $150,000. The Bewitch, for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 mile on the turf, is slated for April 25.
Additionally, the $100,000-added Doubledogdare for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 mile on the turf, has been upgraded to grade III status for 2007.
Nineteen stakes are carded for the 15-day Keeneland spring meet, with at least one stakes held each race day. Nine stakes will be run over the Polytrack, nine on the turf, and one--the Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings (NSA-I)--over the hurdles. Fifteen of the 19 stakes are graded.
"We continue to adjust and improve our racing program in order to better fit the needs of our horsemen and ensure the best racing possible for our fans," said Rogers Beasley, director of racing. "Our rich stakes schedule combined with the overwhelmingly positive response to our Polytrack surface should make for a very exciting race meet."
Keeneland's spring meet is highlighted by the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) April 14, and the $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) April 7. The Blue Grass, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 mile, and the Ashland, for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 mile, have historically been used by trainers as preps for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), respectively. Keeneland hosts an additional classic prep, the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 mile April 21.
In an additional change this year, the $100,000-added Lafayette Stakes for 3-year-olds April 7, has been lengthened from six to seven furlongs.
2007 Keeneland Spring Stakes Schedule:
April 6--Central Bank Transylvania (gr. IIIT), $150,000, 3-year-olds, 1 mile
April 7--Ashland (gr. I), $500,000, 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 mile
April 7--Lafayette (listed), $100,000-added, 3-year-olds, 7 furlongs
April 11--Vinery Madison (gr. II), $200,000, 4-year-olds & up, fillies & mares, 7 furlongs April 12--Stonerside Beaumont (gr. II), $250,000, 3-year-old fillies, 7 furlongs 184 ft
April 13--Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IIT), $250,000, 4-year-olds & up, 1 mile
April 14--Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), $750,000, 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 mile
April 14--Commonwealth Breeders' Cup (gr. II), $400,000 *, 3-year-olds & up, 7 furlongs
April 14--Jenny Wiley (gr. IIT), $200,000, 4-year-olds & up, fillies & mares, 1 1/16 mile
April 15--Shakertown (gr. IIIT), $100,000-added, 3-year-olds & up, 5 1/2 furlongs
April 18--Doubledogdare (gr. III), $100,000-added, 4-year-olds & up, fillies & mares, 1 1/16 mile
April 19--Forerunner (listed), $100,000-added, 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 mile (turf)
April 20--Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings (NSA-I), $150,000, 4-year-olds & up, 2 1/2 mile
April 21--Coolmore Lexington (gr. II), $325,000, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 mile
April 21--Giant's Causeway (listed), $100,000-added, 3-year-olds & up, fillies & mares, 5 1/2 furlongs (turf)
April 22--Appalachian (listed), $100,000-added, 3-year-old fillies, 1 mile (turf)
April 25--Bewitch (gr. IIIT), $150,000, 4-year-olds & up, fillies & mares, 1 1/2 mile
April 26--Ben Ali (gr. III), $150,000, 4-year-olds & up, 1 1/8 mile
April 27--Fifth Third Elkhorn (gr. IIIT), $200,000, 4-year-olds & up, 1 1/2 mile
* Includes $100,000 from Breeders' Cup
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