Keeneland announced this past Wednesday, July 13, 2011, that it will hold 18 stakes races in its upcoming 2011 Fall meet worth $3.375 million.
With the start of the Fall meet on Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, which is all part of the track's ongoing 75th anniversary celebration this year, Keeneland will hold nine graded stakes races, five of them Grade 1 races on it's opening FallStars Weekend.
Those nine stakes races are:
* Friday, Oct. 7: Darley Alcibiades (G1) and Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3);
* Saturday, Oct. 8: Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (G1), First Lady (G1), Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) and Woodfords Stakes (G3); and
* Sunday, Oct. 9: Juddmonte Spinster (G1) and Bourbon Stakes (G3).
These nine graded stakes races will be worth more than $2.8 million and attract some of the top contenders for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and subsequent year-end honors.
In addition, six of the FallStars opening weekend stakes – the Darley Alcibiades, Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix, Shadwell Turf Mile, Dixiana Breeders' Futurity, Thoroughbred Club of America and Juddmonte Spinster – are all part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge, a global series of automatic qualifying races for the Breeders’ Cup, which will be held Nov. 4-5 at Churchill Downs.
All of which makes Keeneland's Fall meet one of the most important meets of the year for all divisions in thoroughbred racing.
“This fall will be particularly special for Keeneland as we commemorate our 75-year history and reflect on the many champions – both human and equine – that have graced this race course,” W.B. Rogers Beasley, Keeneland’s vice president of racing, said in Keeneland's press release. “Keeneland is a jewel of American racing, and we take pride in continuing its legacy of offering the highest quality racing possible.”
In addition to those nine graded stakes races, there are a few others that rank in the upper echelon of racing that will be held this fall.
On Saturday, Oct. 15, Keeneland will feature the 28th running of the internationally renowned $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), a 1-1/8 mile turf race for three-year old fillies and the $125,000 Keeneland 75th Anniversary Stakes (L), a six-furlong race on the main Polytrack for two-year-olds.
According to the press release, "The Keeneland 75th Anniversary Stakes is a nod to the original Lexington Stakes, one of four stakes (the others being the Keen Handicap, Breeders’ Stakes and Ashland Stakes) contested during the track’s inaugural fall meeting. The Lexington was held for two-year-olds going six furlongs from 1936-1937. "
No question, the 2011 Keeneland Fall meet is going to be another good one.
2011 Keeneland Fall Stakes Schedule
* $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) / 2 YO Fillies / 1-1/16 miles.
* $175,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3) / 3 YO & Up / 6F
* $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) / 3YO & Up / 1 Mi (T)
* $400,000 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (G1) / 2 YOs / 1-1/16 miles
* $350,000 First Lady (G1) / 3 YOs & Up – F & M / 1 mile (T)
* $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) / 3 YO & Up – F & M / 6F
* $ $100,000 Woodford (G3) / 3 YO & Up / 5-1/2F (T)
* $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) / 3 YO & Up – F & M / 1-1/8 miles
* $100,000 Bourbon (G3) / 2 YO / 1-1/16 miles (T)
* $150,000 JP Morgan Chase Jessamine (G3) / 2 YO Fillies / 1-1/16 miles (T)
* $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County (L) / 3 YO & Up – F & M / 5-1/2F (T)
* $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) / 3 YO Fillies / 1-1/8 miles (T)
* $125,000 Keeneland 75th Anniversary (L) / 2 YO / 6F
* $100,000 Sycamore (G3) / 3 YO and Up / 1-1/2 miles (T)
* $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3) / 3 YO Fillies / 1-1/16 miles (T)
* $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) / 3 YO Fillies / 7F
* $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (L) / 3 YO & Up – F&M / 1-1/2 miles (T)
* Oct. 29
$150,00 Fayette (G2) / 3 YO & Up / 1-1/8 miles
(Photo by Rick Capone)