LEXINGTON, KY (June 10, 2014) – Keeneland will offer 17 stakes worth a total of $4.925 million during its 2014 Fall Meet from Oct. 3-25. The 17-day season will award approximately $600,000 in average daily purses as one of the richest racing programs in North America, while Keeneland debuts a state-of-the-art dirt surface on the main track and features races for horses headed to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
This fall, prominent Thoroughbred operations Claiborne Farm, Dixiana Farm and Lane’s End Farm for the first time will sponsor the Breeders’ Futurity (G1), Bourbon (G3) and Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), respectively. Purses for these stakes will increase by $100,000 each.
Now worth $500,000, the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity is a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds on Oct. 4. The $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon, for 2-year-olds racing 1 1/16 miles on turf, will be run Oct. 5. The $500,000 Lane’s End Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, an internationally renowned invitational for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the turf, is scheduled for Oct. 11.
Claiborne and Lane’s End join Dixiana, a Fall Meet race sponsor since 2009, and other longtime Fall Meet partners Darley, Juddmonte Farms, Pin Oak Farm and Shadwell Farm. Also returning as prominent stakes sponsors this fall are Buffalo Trace, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, JPMorgan Chase, Keeneland Select, The Lexus Store of Lexington, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC and the Thoroughbred Club of America.
“Keeneland is privileged to enjoy the strong support of the Central Kentucky community,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing Rogers Beasley said. “We value these partnerships with prominent Thoroughbred farms, respected veterinary clinics and distinguished businesses that long have been committed to presenting the best in racing. We look forward to a Fall Meet that will showcase competition among the nation’s top horses, owners, trainers and jockeys.”
The Fall Meet opens with the prestigious Fall Stars Weekend, which presents nine graded stakes worth $3.35 million over three days. Five of those races are Grade 1 events: the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades, for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on Oct. 3; the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, for 3-year-olds and up, the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and the $400,000 First Lady, for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up racing a mile on turf, all on Oct. 4; and the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster, for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles, on Oct. 5.
Eight Keeneland stakes are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series of automatic qualifying races for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
Seven of those Breeders’ Cup Challenge stakes highlight Fall Stars Weekend: Darley Alcibiades (a Challenge race for the Juvenile Fillies-G1) and Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix-G3 (Sprint-G1) on Oct. 3; Shadwell Turf Mile (Mile-G1), Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (Juvenile-G1) and Thoroughbred Club of America-G2 (Filly and Mare Sprint-G1) on Oct. 4; and Juddmonte Spinster (Distaff-G1) and Dixiana Bourbon (Juvenile Turf-G1) on Oct. 5.
The eighth Breeders’ Cup Challenge race is the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) on Oct. 8. The race awards the winner a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
Keeneland’s Fall Meet stakes have been a springboard to success for a number of Breeders’ Cup champions. Keeneland-based Wise Dan won the 2012 Shadwell Turf Mile and was second in the race in 2013 as a prelude to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and Horse of the Year honors for both seasons.
The Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes has produced the past five winners of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint: champion Informed Decision (2009), Dubai Majesty (2010), champion Musical Romance (2011) and champion Groupie Doll (2012-2013).