Keeneland has scheduled 17 stakes — six of which are Grade 1 races — worth $4.625 million in purse money for its 2013 fall race meeting, to be held October 4-26.
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 3 Phoenix, a six-furlong event for three-year-olds and up, has been raised from $175,000 to $200,000 this fall, while the purse for the Grade 1 First Lady, a one-mile turf race for distaffers 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 2 Fayette, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for three-year-olds and up. Purse money for the contest 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 W.B. 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 we 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 1 events — the $400,000 Alcibiades for two-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on October 4; the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile for three-year-olds and up, $400,000 Breeders’ Futurity for juveniles at 1 1/16 miles and aforementioned First Lady, all held October 5; and the $500,000 Spinster for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on October 6.
The fall meet runs through Saturday, Oct. 26, with live racing Wednesday through Sunday. Post time for the first race is 1:05 p.m. ET.
Fans can follow the horses competing during Fall Stars Weekend and training at Keeneland in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships via its new microsite, www.Keeneland.com/fallstars, which features probable race fields, photos and video, news and contests. Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #fallstars on Twitter.
Keeneland 2013 Fall Meet Wagering
Once again, Keeneland will offer two popular wagering opportunities during the fall meet – the Friday Pick 4 takes place the first three Fridays of the meet, with a guaranteed pool of $200,000. The $250,000 All Stakes Pick 4 on Saturday, Oct. 5, challenges Players to handicap the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), First Lady (G1), Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1), and Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).
Bet 2013 Keeneland Fall horse racing online with TwinSpires.com and watch it live on TwinSpiresTV!
Handicapping Keeneland Racecourse
Keeneland 2013 Fall Meet Information
Dates: October 4 through October 26
Keeneland Racecourse horse racing schedule: Wednesday through Sunday
Post Times: Post time for the first race is 1:05 p.m. ET.
Keeneland Racecourse Information
Main track (Polytrack): 1 1/16-mile oval
Length of stretch from last turn to finish line: 1,174 feet
Turf course: 7 1/2-furlong oval
Keeneland Racecourse Facts
Keeneland Racetrack is home to a number of historical firsts in horse racing. In 1948, it installed an inside aluminum rail for its spring meeting, replacing the conventional wooden one. The rail, at a cost of approximately $5,000, was the first of its kind to be used at an American racetrack. In 1958, at its spring meeting, Keeneland held daily-double wagering for the first time in its history. During the fall meeting of 1961, Keeneland became the first thoroughbred track in America to use the Visumatic Timer, which posted the various fractions and final clocking on the tote board. In the spring of 1979, Keeneland became the first horse track in Kentucky – and only the fourth in the country – to use the AmTote 300 Series Totalisator System, known as ABC (All Betting and Cashing) Mutuels. This system allowed bettors to buy and cash tickets in any amount and type at any window throughout the plant.
In 1984, the first phase of a $3-million construction project began at Keeneland, and on Oct. 11, Queen Elizabeth II attended horse races at the track. At its fall meeting in 1985, Keeneland became the first organized track in Kentucky to hold grass racing and it also installed exacta wagering for the first time. In November 1997, Keeneland’s Breeding Stock Sale set an industry record for gross sales with an impressive $213 million. Also during this year, former President George H.W. Bush attended the races as the guest of W.S. Farish, the owner of Lane’s End Farm. Bush presented the trophy to the owners of Favorite Trick after the undefeated colt romped to victory in the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity. It marked the first time that a former president had made a trophy presentation at Keeneland.
In terms of elegance, Keeneland is one of the best in horse racing. Filled with hearty pin oaks, sycamores and maple trees, Keeneland’s paddock is among the most beautiful places you will find in Kentucky. Mornings at the Lexington track are serene, a perfect match for the colt or young filly who must be schooled in the paddock. Keeneland is one of the few races tracks in America where fans are allowed to get up close and personal with the horses.
Keeneland unveiled a Polytrack surface in time for its 2006 fall race meeting, making it the third public racetrack in North America to make a transition from a traditional dirt surface to Polytrack. Turfway Park switched to Polytrack in September 2005, and Woodbine installed a Polytrack surface in August 2006.