Keeneland concluded its 2012 Fall race meeting Saturday with strong
gains in all-sources handle and a Fall Meet attendance record while
featuring outstanding Thoroughbred racing.
The 17-day season kicked off with Fall Stars Weekend, which showcased
a number of Breeders’ Cup contenders, including Horse of the Year
candidate Wise Dan, winner of the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) on
Buoyed by large field sizes and quality racing, all-sources wagering
on Keeneland totaled $137,981,281, an increase of 7.35 percent compared
to $128,533,933 in 2011.
Keeneland set a record for Fall Meet attendance with 259,710, for an
average of 15,277 per day. The previous Fall Meet record was set last
year during Keeneland’s 75th Anniversary celebration that drew 250,163 for 17 days of racing.
Saturday, October 13, which featured the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II
Challenge Cup (G1), welcomed a near-record Fall crowd of 28,337. The
current single-day record in the Fall is 28,880 set on October 7, 2006.
Weekdays this October continue to show increased strength with
Wednesdays and Thursdays averaging just shy of 10,000 people per day.
“This was a strong meeting from many aspects – especially wagering,
attendance, and quality of racing,” said Bill Thomason, in his first
race meet as Keeneland President and CEO. “We gave our horsemen and our
fans 17 terrific days of racing, and I continue to be proud of our team
and the product we put out there for them to enjoy. I am already looking
forward to the Spring meeting.”
Jockey Julien Leparoux and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey dominated the
Fall season, assuming clear leads in the jockey and owner categories,
respectively, early in the race meet to cruise home by comfortable
Leparoux continued to establish his place in Keeneland’s storied
history, capturing his fifth consecutive, and ninth overall, leading
rider title. He recorded 26 wins during the Fall Meet, 12 more than
runner-up Corey Lanerie.
A two-time Eclipse Award recipient, Leparoux earned his 300th
Keeneland victory on October 24 to become the fifth jockey to attain
that level at Keeneland and trails only Pat Day (918), Don Brumfield
(716), Robby Albarado (444) and Shane Sellers (412). He ranks fourth in
terms of riding titles – Day won a record 22 meet titles, followed by
Brumfield (16) and Steve Brooks (10).
Leparoux’s 33 stakes wins at Keeneland include four this Fall – the
Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3) on Sum of the Parts, the Bourbon (G3) on
Balance the Books, the Sycamore (G3) on Kindergarden Kid and the
closing-day Fayette (G2) on Newsdad.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s 12 wins this Fall tie the record held by Mr.
and Mrs. Robert F. Roberts (Fall 1968) and Calumet Farm (Spring 1941)
for number of wins by an owner during a Keeneland race meet.
It is the 11th leading owner title won by the Ramseys, who
also topped the owner’s list in the Spring. They share second place in
the number of Keeneland meet titles with Bwamazon Farm and Overbrook
Farm, and fall just shy of T.A. Grissom, who leads all owners with 14.
The race for leading trainer honors came down to the wire, with
Wesley Ward scoring three wins on closing day to overtake Mike Maker in
the standings, 12 wins to 10. It completes a sweep of 2012 for Ward, who
won his first Keeneland trainer’s title in the Spring.
“Once again, we wish to thank the horsemen for competing at
Keeneland,” said Vice President of Racing Rogers Beasley. “We hosted
horses and horsemen from all over the country and it made for some
outstanding racing over these last 17 days.”