A total of 17 stakes – six of which are Grade 1 races – worth $4.625 million in purse money will headline Keeneland’s 2013 fall race meeting, to be held October 4-26, the track announced Thursday.
The fall meeting, which opens with the prestigious Fall Stars Weekend, is among the richest in the country with purses averaging approximately $600,000 per day, attracting the nation’s leading owners, trainers and jockeys and showcasing many Breeders’ Cup-bound horses.
Prize money has been increased in 2013 for two Fall Stars Weekend stakes: the purse for the opening-day Grade III Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix, a six-furlong event for 3-year-olds and up, has been raised from $175,000 to $200,000 this fall, while the purse for the Grade I First Lady, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and older on October 5, is up $50,000 to $400,000.
Also new this fall will be Hagyard Equine Medical Institute’s sponsorship of the closing day Grade II Fayette Stakes, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 3-year-olds and up. Purse money for the Hagyard Fayette has been increased $50,000 to $200,000.
“The fall meet is so special for our fans because they get to see horses who are campaigning for year-end honors; athletes that are truly at the top of their game,” said Rogers Beasley, Keeneland’s Vice President of Racing. “Both our stakes and overnight racing programs continue to thrive, and that is made possible by the great partnership with have with our horsemen and our fans.”
Headlining Fall Stars Weekend, October 4-6, are nine graded stakes worth $3.15 million. Five Fall Stars stakes are Grade I events – the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades, for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles, on October 4; the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, for 3-year-olds and up, the $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, and the aforementioned First Lady, all held October 5; and the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster, for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on October 6.
A sixth Grade I stakes, the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, an internationally renowned invitational for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the turf, will be contested Saturday, October 12.
Eight Keeneland stakes are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series of automatic qualifying races for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park.
Seven of those Breeders’ Cup Challenge stakes highlight Fall Stars Weekend: the Darley Alcibiades (a Challenge race for the Juvenile Fillies) and Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (Sprint) on October 4; the Shadwell Turf Mile (Mile), Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (Juvenile) and Thoroughbred Club of America (Filly & Mare Sprint) on October 5; and the Juddmonte Spinster (Ladies’ Classic) and Bourbon on October 6.
The Grade III JPMorgan Chase Jessamine, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge stakes for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, has been moved up one day on the race schedule to Wednesday, October 9.
Keeneland’s fall stakes have been a springboard to success for a number of Breeders’ Cup champions. Last fall, Morton Fink’s homebred gelding Wise Dan romped to a 2¼-length win in the Shadwell Turf Mile as a prelude to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and eventual Horse of the Year honors.
The Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes has produced the past four winners of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint – champion Informed Decision (2009), Dubai Majesty (2010), champion Musical Romance (2011), and champion Groupie Doll (2012).
Keeneland 2013 Fall Stakes Schedule
Oct. 4 $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1)*
Oct. 4 $200,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3)* 3YOs & Up 6 Furlongs
Oct. 5 $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1)* 3YOs & Up 1 Mile (T)
Oct. 5 $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1)* 2YOs 1 1/16 Miles
Oct. 5 $400,000 First Lady (G1)
Oct. 5 $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2)* 3YOs & Up, F&M 6 Furlongs
Oct. 5 $150,000 Woodford (G3) Presented by
Oct. 6 $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1)* 3YOs & Up, F&M 1 1/8 Miles
Oct. 6 $150,000 Bourbon (G3)*
Oct. 9 $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3)* 2YO Fillies 1 1/16 Miles (T)
Oct. 11 $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County (L) 3YOs & Up, F&M 5½ Furlongs (T)
Oct. 12 $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) 3YO Fillies 1 1/8 Miles (T)
Oct. 17 $100,000 Sycamore (G3)
Oct. 18 $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3) 3YO Fillies 1 1/16 Miles (T)
Oct. 19 $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) 3YO Fillies 7 Furlongs
Oct. 20 $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (L) 3YOs & Up, F&M 1½ Miles (T)
Oct. 26 $200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2)
*Denotes Breeders’ Cup Challenge stakes