Keeneland Race Track

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Keeneland Racing

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KEENELAND Live Racing

Keeneland Spring Meet

  • Dates: April 4 - April 26
  • Keeneland Spring Racing Schedule: Wednesday through Sunday except Easter Sunday
  • Gates Open: 11:00am ET
  • Post Times: 1:05pm ET
  • Thursday Night Live

Keeneland Fall Meet

  • Dates: October 5 - October 27
  • Keeneland Fall Racing Schedule: Wednesday through Sunday
  • Post Times: 1:05pm ET

Main track (Dirt): 1 1/16-mile oval
Length of stretch from last turn to finish line: 1,174 feet
Composition: Dirt

Turf course: 7 1/2-furlong oval


Keeneland Spring Stakes Schedule for 2019

Date Race Grade Purse Restrictions Surface Distance
Thursday, April 4 Palisades Turf Sprint   $100,000 3YO Turf 5.5 furlongs
Friday, April 5 Kentucky Utilities Transylvania GIII $150,000 3YO Turf 8.5 furlongs
Saturday, April 6 Toyota Blue Grass GII $1,000,000 3YO Dirt 9 furlongs
Saturday, April 6 Central Bank Ashland GI $500,000 F3YO Dirt 8.5 furlongs
Saturday, April 6 Madison GI $300,000 FM 4&UP Dirt 7 furlongs
Saturday, April 6 Commonwealth GIII $250,000 4&UP Dirt 7 furlongs
Saturday, April 6 Shakertown GII $200,000 3&UP Turf 5.5 furlongs
Sunday, April 7 Beaumont Presented by Keeneland Select GIII $150,000 F 3YO Dirt 7 furlongs & 184’
Sunday, April 7 Appalachian GII $200,000 F 3YO Turf 8 furlongs
Friday, April 12 Limestone Turf Sprint $100,000 F 3YO Turf 5.5 furlongs
Friday, April 12 Maker’s 46 Mile GI $300,000 4&UP Turf 8 furlongs
Saturday, April 13 Coolmore Jenny Wiley GI $350,000 FM 4&UP Turf 8.5 furlongs
Saturday, April 13 Stonestreet Lexington GIII $200,000 3YO Dirt 8.5 furlongs
Saturday, April 13 Ben Ali GIII $200,000 4&UP Dirt 9 furlongs
Saturday, April 13 Giant’s Causeway   $100,000 FM 3&UP Turf 5.5 furlongs
Friday, April 19 Hilliard Lyons-Baird Doubledogdare GIII $100,000 FM 4&UP Dirt 8.5 furlongs
Saturday, April 20 Dixiana Elkhorn GII $250,000 4&UP Turf 12 furlongs
Friday, April 26 Bewitch GIII $150,000 FM 4&UP Turf 12 furlongs

A Overview of the Keeneland Spring Meet

The much-anticipated spring meet at Keeneland Race Course will get underway on Thursday, April 4 and run through April 26. The Lexington, Kentucky venue is arguably the most attractive spring horse racing destination in the United States, bringing out hoards of race goers as well as top athletes from across the nation.

A total of 18 graded events worth in excess of $4 million will be held at Keeneland with eight occurring during
opening weekend. The $150,000 Transylvania Stakes (G3) for sophomores on the lawn will kick off the graded action on Friday, April 5. A full and talented cast is expected for this year’s edition.

Saturday, April 6 is the signature day of the spring meeting and is led by the $1 million Blue Grass Stakes (G2). This Road to the Kentucky Derby series event is a 1 1/8 miles event for three-year-old Kentucky Derby (G1) hopefuls, and it always features some of the top sophomores in training. This important stakes contest was taken by Good Magic in 2018, and he parlayed his Keeneland success into a runner-up finish in the Kentucky Derby.

The top draw on the Blue Grass undercard on Saturday is the $500,000 Ashland Stakes (G1). This Road to the Kentucky Oaks affair is run at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt for three-year-old fillies and has historically attracted some of the top fillies in training. Champion Monomoy Girl used the Ashland as her final prep before eclipsing the 2018 Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Three other graded races will be contested on Saturday --

$300,000 Madison Stakes (G1); $250,000 Shakertown Stakes (G2); and the $250,000 Commonwealth Stakes (G3).
A pair of graded races will take place on Sunday, April 7 to cap a blockbuster opening weekend. Sophomore fillies will travel one-mile on the green in the $200,000 Appalachian Stakes (G2). Also on the card is the $150,000 Beaumont Stakes (G3), for three-year-old fillies running about seven furlongs on the main strip.

The second weekend of racing lacks the quantity of the prior week, though the quality is still in abundance. Friday, April 12 features the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1). This one-mile turf event is one of the top early-season races for mile turf specialists and a sizable field is expected this campaign.

On Saturday, April 13 four total stakes races will take place, with a trio of those being of the graded variety. Fillies and mares will go 1 1/16 miles on the green in the always highly competitive $350,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1).

The $200,000 Lexington Stakes (G3) is on the Jenny Wiley undercard. This event is rapidly growing in popularity and is a key spot for horses hoping to earn additional points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The $200,000 Ben Ali Stakes (G3) and $100,000 Giant’s Causeway Stakes are the other pair of black-type contests on the day.

The closing day feature $150,000 Bewitch Stakes (G3) on April, 26. Fillies and mares will travel 1 ½ miles on the turf to conclude the exciting spring meeting.

Keeneland offers high-quality racing for all types of horses, whether it be on the turf or the main oval. The picturesque venue features full fields with competitive betting events, as well as a strong purse structure. It’s a must see for all racing fans!"


Keeneland Racetrack History and Facts:

15 Famous Horses Who Have Won at Keeneland

The Keeneland spring meet runs for 15-16 racing days in April, and it annually draws more than 16,000 fans per day. The attendance is twice that on the blockbuster Saturday cards which feature multiple graded stakes races and full fields. Keeneland races average nearly 9 horses per race and drives the on-track and all-sources wagering totals. That includes during the 16-17 day fall meet in October, which produces many horses that secure spots in the November Breeders’ Cup races through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series.

Many of the leading jockeys and trainers in American racing compete at Keeneland, and they are on hand opening weekend in April for the featured race, the $1 million Blue Grass Stakes, a major Kentucky Derby prep race that sends at least two horses to Churchill Downs a month later for the Kentucky Derby. Many return in October for the key Breeders’ Cup Challenge series races.

Keeneland opened in 1936, and there have been some famous horses who have won at the Lexington, Kentucky track on their way to Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup victories, and Hall of Fame careers. The list of champions who have appeared on the Lexington oval would about span the length of Keeneland's stretch.   
Here are 15 to remember.

  1. Spectacular Bid (1979) - Won the Blue Grass Stakes by 7 lengths.
  2. Alydar (1978) - Won the Blue Grass Stakes by 13 lengths
  3. Northern Dancer (1964) - Won the Blue Grass Stakes
  4. Whirlaway (1940) - Six starts at Keeneland including a win in the 1940 Breeders’ Futurity
  5. Round Table (1957-58) - One of the great turf horses in history, Round Table won all five of his starts at Keeneland including the 1956 Breeders’ Futurity and 1957 Blue Grass Stakes
  6. Ack Ack (1969) – Won the Forerunner Stakes 
  7. Riva Ridge (1972) – Won the Blue Grass Stakes by 4 lengths
  8. Holy Bull (1994) – Won the Blue Grass Stakes by 4 lengths
  9. Lure (1994) - Won the Elkorn Stakes
  10. Skip Away (1996) – His first stakes victory was the Blue Grass Stakes by 6 lengths
  11. Princess Rooney (1983-84) – She was 4-for-4 at Keeneland winning the 1983 Ashland and 1984 Spinster
  12. Bayakoa (1989-90) – She won the Spinster in both 1989 and 1990
  13. Azeri (2004) – She won the Spinster in her final career start
  14. Go For Wand (1989) – She won the Beaumont by 8 ½ lengths and the Ashland by 5
  15. Alysheba (1987) – Crossed the finish line first in the Blue Grass Stakes, but was disqualified and place third for interference in the stretch 

Keeneland Fall Stakes Schedule for 2018

The prestigious Keeneland will host a wonderful fall stakes calendar of races beginning October 6th through October 28th. There is $5.325 million available over 17 graded stakes races, which includes six Grade-I events. This is one of the most highly regarded meets in the country and will attract some of the biggest and best in Thoroughbred horse racing.

Nine of these races are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series and offer premium betting fields, which means that the winner earns an automatic berth into specific events at the World Championships. These races include the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (Sprint), Darley Alciabdes Stakes (Juvenile Fillies), First Lady Stakes (Filly & Mare Turf ), Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (Filly & Mare Sprint), Clairborne Breeders’ Futurity (Juvenile), Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (Mile), Dixiana Bourbon Stakes (Juvenile Turf), Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (Distaff) and the JP Morgan Chase Jessamine Stakes (Juvenile Fillies Turf).

Additionally, the Breeders’ Futurity is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby as one of the early prep races for the Triple Crown. This contest offers a 10-4-2-1 derby point split for the top four finishers.

Date Stakes Division Distance Course

Friday, Oct. 5

$400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1)* 2yo fillies 8.5 furlongs Dirt

Friday, Oct. 5 

$250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2)* 3yo & up 6 furlongs Dirt

Saturday, Oct. 6

$1,000,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1)* 3yo & up 8 furlongs Turf

Saturday, Oct. 6

$500,000 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1)* 2yo 8.5 furlongs Dirt

Saturday, Oct. 6

$400,000 First Lady (G1)* 3yo & up, f&m 8 furlongs Turf

Saturday, Oct. 6

$250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2)* 3yo & up, f&m 6 furlongs Dirt

Saturday, Oct. 6

$200,000 Woodford (G2) presented by Keeneland Select 3yo & up 5.5 furlongs Turf

Sunday, Oct. 7

$500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1)* 3yo & up, f&m 9 furlongs Dirt

Sunday, Oct. 7

$250,000 Dixiana Bourbon (G3)* 2yo 8.5 furlongs Turf

Sunday, Oct. 7

$200,000 Indian Summer* 2yo 5.5 furlongs Turf

Wednesday, Oct. 10

$200,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2)* 2yo fillies 8.5 furlongs Turf

Friday, Oct. 12

$100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) 3yo & up, f&m 5.5 furlongs Turf

Saturday, Oct. 13

$500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) presented by Lane's End

3yo fillies

9 furlongs Turf

Thursday, Oct. 18

$100,000 Sycamore (G3)

3yo & up

12 furlongs Turf

Friday, Oct. 19

$150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3) 3yo fillies 8.5 furlongs Turf

Saturday, Oct. 20

$250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) 3yo fillies 7 furlongs Dirt

Sunday, Oct. 21

$125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) 3yo & up, f&m 12 furlongs Turf
Saturday, Oct. 27 $200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2) 3yo & up 9 furlongs Dirt

 

Keeneland Spring Stakes Schedule for 2018

Date
Stakes Division Distance
6-Apr $150,000 Transylvania (G3) Presented 3YOs 1 1/16 Miles (T)
by Keeneland Select
7-Apr $1 Million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) 3YOs  1 1/8 Miles
7-Apr $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) 3YO Fillies 1 1/16 Miles
7-Apr $300,000 Madison (G1)  4YOs & Up, F&M 7 Furlongs
7-Apr $250,000 Commonwealth (G3) 4YOs & Up 7 Furlongs
7-Apr $200,000 Shakertown (G2) 3YOs & Up 5½ Furlongs (T)
8-Apr $200,000 Appalachian (G2) Presented  3YO Fillies  1 Mile (T)
by Japan Racing Association 
8-Apr $150,000 Beaumont (G3) 3YO Fillies 7 Furlongs, 184’
13-Apr $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) 4YOs & Up 1 Mile (T)
14-Apr $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) 4YOs & Up, F&M 1 1/16 Miles (T) 
14-Apr $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3) 3YOs  1 1/16 Miles 
14-Apr $200,000 Ben Ali (G3) 4YOs & Up 1 1/8 Miles
14-Apr $100,000 Giant’s Causeway (L) 3YOs & Up, F&M 5½ Furlongs (T)
20-Apr $100,000 Hilliard Lyons  4YOs & Up, F&M  1 1/16 Miles 
Doubledogdare (G3) 
21-Apr $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) 4YOs & Up 1½ Miles (T)
27-Apr $150,000 Bewitch (G3) 4YOs & Up, F&M 1½ Miles (T)

Keeneland Racetrack

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.


Keeneland Location and Details

Located in the heart of the Thoroughbred industry, Keeneland offers three weeks of live racing in April and October. The picturesque track in Central Kentucky opened in 1936.

Keeneland offers more than a beautiful setting. The Lexington, Kentucky venue features an outstanding stakes schedule in both the spring and fall, attracting some of the biggest stables from across the country.

Owners love to win races at Keeneland, leading to contentious fields and excellent betting opportunities, and packed stands are the nom de course during the weekend.

Known as a boutique meet due to its appeal and short duration, Keeneland runs five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, and both meets are front-loaded. The opening weekend of the April meet features the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) and Ashland Stakes (G1), important prep races for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, respectively.

Other major races during the April meet include the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1), the Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1), the Madison Stakes (G1) and the Lexington Stakes (G2).

The October meet begins with the Fall Stars Weekend, featuring a package of stakes races that serve as preps for Breeders’ Cup races. The calendar includes the following “Win and You’re In” events: the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), the Spinster Stakes (G1), the First Lady Stakes (G1), the Breeders’ Futurity (G1), the Alciabides Stakes (G1) and the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2).

The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), an important race for three-year-old turf fillies that honors the Queen of England, highlights the second weekend of the October meet.

Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan has captured seven graded stakes at Keeneland, including multiple editions of the Maker’s 46 Mile and Shadwell Turf Mile. Distinguished performers in 2014 included Close Hatches, Take Charge Brandi, Dayatthespa, Work All Week and Judy the Beauty, all of whom captured Eclipse Awards as divisional champions.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the Eclipse Award-winning owners of 2013 and 2014, won titles at Keeneland along with Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher.

There are guaranteed Pick 4 pools on every major racing day and Keeenland offers a plethora of special events like Make a Wish Day, Military Appreciation Day, Horses and Hope Pink Day, College Scholarship Day, Breakfast with the Works, Wear Red Day, Heroes Day, See Blue Day and Fan Appreciation Day.

Handicappers and spectators appreciate the full fields and quality Thoroughbred racing action that Keeneland delivers.

Keeneland established attendance (40,617) and single-day handle ($21,647,378) records on Blue Grass Stakes Day in 2012.

Average daily attendance (18,006) and all-sources wagering ($161,990,603) marks were established during the 2014 April meet.

After an eight-year stint featuring synthetic Polytrack, Keeneland reinstalled a 1 1/16-mile dirt main track before the 2014 October meet. The turf course is 7 ½ furlongs.

Keeneland has a renowned public library, “one of the world’s largest repositories of information related to the Thoroughbred,” and the Gift Shop is a must-stop for visitors. It is also known for its world-famous horse sales in September, November and January.

Keeneland betting is always available at TwinSpires.com!


Where can I watch Keeneland coverage?

TwinSpires.tv is the best and easiest way to take in the action at Keeneland during its amazing fall meet. You can access this through your desktop or mobile device by logging in to your account. The best part about using TwinSpires.tv is that you are able to see live odds updated, place wagers and watch multiple feeds at once!

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series events featured on the Keeneland Fall Stakes calendar will be broadcast on NBC or NBC Sports Network on the listed days, usually one hour prior to post time. Check your local listings.

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