LEXINGTON, Ky. – Before Keeneland hosts the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for the third time, the track will offer 22 stakes worth $8.75 million during their fall meeting. The 17-day season, October 7-29, kicks off with 11 appearances – nine of which are Win and You’re In events as part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series presented by America’s Best Racing – during the distinctive three-day Fall Stars -Weekend. Keeneland has rescheduled several operations to attract horses to the Breeders’ Cup, most notably moving the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) to opening day.
The fall meeting continues an exceptional year in Keeneland, which awarded the previous meeting record of $7.7 million for 22 appearances during the 15-day spring meeting in April. A total of $1.5 million came from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF). Full fields of quality competitors propelled the all-source handle to a record $219 million.
During the fall meeting, Keeneland will present 12 appearances on grass and 10 appearances on dirt, offering multiple appearances over six days. The purses of all stakes have increased and some have doubled. KTDF contributes $1.3 million to Fall Meet fundraisers, subject to Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approval.
The richest race of the season is the $1 million Coolmore Turf Mile (G1), a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race anchored on the opening Saturday of Fall Stars weekend. Combined with Coolmore’s first year as a Premier Turf Stakes sponsor, the race is once again worth seven figures – a status it held from 2014, when it was Keeneland’s first million-dollar race, through 2019.
“Keeneland has a fall meeting planned that promises to be better than ever,” said Shannon Arvin, Keeneland President and CEO. “Adjustments made to the season last year, including increasing the number of appearances to 22 and increasing the final days of multiple appearances, resulted in a hugely successful meeting from start to finish. This year, the higher-stakes purses show the strength of the Kentucky Circuit and help Keeneland set the stage for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which we are proud to host for the third time.”
During the Herbststern weekend, every winner of a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race will automatically receive a starting position and free entry to the World Championships in Keeneland on November 4th and 5th.
Opening day, October 7th, will feature three entries, all win-and-you’re-in events: $500,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) (NetJets Juvenile Fillies-G1), $350,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) (Qatar Racing Sprint-G1) and $350,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) (Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1).
Keeneland moved the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine to opening day this year after previously racing the race the following Wednesday. The new date will increase awareness for JPMorgan Chase Jessamine, placing the race exactly four weeks ahead of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The race is also included in the popular Keeneland Turf Pick 3 bet on opening day.
Coolmore Turf Mile (FanDuel Mile-G1) Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races on opening Saturday, October 8 include the $600,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) (TVG Juvenile-G1) and the $350,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2). (Mare and Mare Sprint-G1).
Other entries on the day include the $600,000 First Lady (G1) presented by UK HealthCare and the $350,000 Woodford (G2) presented by FanDuel. Both operations are expected to attract Breeders’ Cup hopes.
The Sunday of Fall Stars weekend features three entries – all Breeders’ Cup Challenge races: $600,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) (Distaff-G1), $350,000 Castle & Key Bourbon (G2) (Juvenile Turf-G1) and $250,000 Indian Summer ( L) Presented by Keeneland Select (Juvenile Turf Sprint-G1).
Stakes for the second week of the fall meet begin Friday, October 14 with the $300,000 Sycamore (G3) for older men who race 1½ miles on grass. Keeneland moved the Sycamore to the calendar a week early to serve as an option for horses pointing to Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).
The following day, Saturday October 15th, will see the sixth Class 1 Stake of the Fall Meeting, the $600,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Dixiana. To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Great British Racing International and the QIPCO British Champions Series, on behalf of British racing, will present the victorious Keeneland Invitation holder with a specially designed strawberry dish, crafted by the Royal Jeweler Garrard. The trophy commemorates the Queen’s international influence on thoroughbred racing.
The third bet this weekend is the $300,000 Franklin (G3) on Sunday, October 16th.
The stakes action continues the following Saturday, October 22, with the $350,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) and the $250,000 Perryville, which has been upgraded to Listed status for 2022. The following day is the $300,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3).
The fall meet concludes with two multiple stakes days beginning with the $300,000 Rubicon Valley View (G3) and $200,000 Myrtlewood on Friday, October 28th. On closing day are the $350,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2), the $300,000 Bryan Station (G3) and the $200,000 Bowman Mill.
Bryan Station has been upgraded to a Grade 3 event for 2022.
“The roster is designed to provide our riders and fans with exceptional racing opportunities from opening day through the final map of the fall meet,” said Keeneland Vice President of Racing Gatewood Bell. “We are very excited about the wallet structure we are able to offer and look forward to an outstanding competition in October.”
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