Red Mile's Grand Circuit opens Thursday

Fans of Thoroughbred racing and standardbred racing will have no shortage of options in Central Kentucky the next two weeks, with Churchill Downs and The Red Mile hosting major races, and Keeneland opening its Fall Meet.

Churchill Downs wraps up its first-ever September meet this weekend with racing Friday afternoon, Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. The weekend is highlighted by 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic champion Fort Larned's appearance in the inaugural Homecoming Classic Stakes on Saturday night.

At The Red Mile, the track's annual Grand Circuit schedule kicks into gear on Thursday night. Racing takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday this weekend beginning at 7 p.m., with a 1 p.m. post time on Sunday. Next week, the meet wraps up with racing Thursday through Sunday starting at 1 p.m. each day.

Keeneland begins its Fall Meet on Friday, Oct. 4. The track's traditional Fall Stars Weekend features nine graded stakes races worth $3.15 million, including five Grade I events.

The Red Mile's Grand Circuit racing gets underway Thursday night with the Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters.

The Bluegrass Stakes is split into three divisions, running in the fifth, eighth and 10th races.

Moonlight in Miami (5-2) and Grammas Girl (3-1) are the top choices in the eight-horse fifth race, which has a purse of $95,200.

Nine fillies will duel in the $96,200 eighth race, which is headlined by Lifetime Pursuit (5-2) and Cee Bee Yes (3-1).

The night's 10th and final race, also for $96,200, features a contentious field of nine topped by Shake It Cerry (2-1), Designed To Be (7-2) and Cooler Schooner (4-1).

Cooler Schooner, driven by John Campbell, set a harness racing world record last month at Pocono Downs, covering a mile in 1:51.3.

In Friday night's Bluegrass Stakes races, the 2-year-old colt trotters and filly pacers take center stage.

Next weekend, The Red Mile concludes its Grand Circiut meet on Sunday with the 121st Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-olds, the third leg of trotting's Triple Crown.

Grand Circuit meet

When: Thursday through Saturday this weekend and next weekend

Post times: Thursday-Saturday, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.; Oct. 3-6, 1 p.m.

Admission: $2

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