Keeneland will offer 17 graded stakes worth $5.275 million during its 2016 Fall Meet, to be held Oct. 7-29. The meet begins with nine graded stakes presented as part of the track’s prestigious Fall Stars Weekend.
Eight Fall Meet stakes are Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” events with winners automatically qualifying for a berth in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on Nov. 4-5.
The 17-day meet marks the 80th anniversary of racing at Keeneland, which opened Oct. 15, 1936, for its inaugural nine-day season.
Two stakes, the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix and Buffalo Trace Franklin County, were upgraded for 2016 by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The Phoenix was upgraded from Grade III to Grade II with the Franklin County upgraded from a listed stakes to a Grade III event.
“The Fall Meet is the hallmark of quality, beginning with Fall Stars Weekend that features five of the season’s six Grade I races,” Keeneland racing secretary Ben Huffman said. “Many stars bound for the Breeders’ Cup will compete here, prepping in a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race or another of the Fall Meet’s lucrative stakes, making Keeneland a key racing destination.”
Since its inception in 1984, the winners of 43 Breeders’ Cup races made their final start before the World Championships during Keeneland’s Fall Meet. The track hosted the Breeders’ Cup for the first time in October 2015.
Keeneland’s signature Fall Stars Weekend, Oct. 7-9, will be highlighted by nine graded stakes worth a total of $3.7 million. Five of those stakes are Grade I events and include the opening-day $400,000 Darley Alcibiades, for 2-year-old fillies. The Oct. 8 card is anchored by the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile, for 3-year-olds and up; the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, for 2-year-olds; and the $400,000 First Lady, for fillies and mares, 3 years old and up. Headlining the Oct. 9 races is the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster, for fillies and mares, 3 years old and up.
A sixth Grade I stakes, the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, for 3-year-old fillies, is scheduled for Oct. 15 .
Seven Breeders’ Cup Challenge stakes will be run Fall Stars Weekend: Darley Alcibiades (a Challenge race for the Juvenile Fillies) and Phoenix (Sprint); Shadwell Turf Mile (Mile), Breeders’ Futurity (Juvenile) and Grade II Thoroughbred Club of America (Filly and Mare Sprint) on Oct.8; and Juddmonte Spinster (Distaff) and Grade III Dixiana Bourbon (Juvenile Turf) on Oct. 9.
The eighth Breeders’ Cup Challenge race is the Grade III, JPMorgan Chase Jessamine on Oct. 12, which awards the winner a berth in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
This fall, the Grade II $200,000 Hagyard Fayette, for 3-year-olds and up, returns to its traditional closing-day position on the stakes schedule. In 2015, the Hagyard Fayette was featured on Prelude to the Cup Day in celebration of the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland.
Keeneland 2016 Fall Meet stakes schedule
Oct. 7: $400,000, Grade I Darley Alcibiades for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles
Oct. 7: $250,000, Grade II Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix for 3-year-olds and up at 6 furlongs
Oct. 8: $1 Million, Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile for 3-year-olds and up at 1 mile (turf)
Oct. 8: $500,000, Grade I Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles
Oct. 8: $400,000, Grade I First Lady for fillies and mares 3 and older at 1 mile (turf)
Oct. 8: $250,000, Grade II Thoroughbred Club of America for fillies and mares 3 and older at 6 furlongs
Oct. 8: $150,000, Grade III Woodford Presented by Keeneland Select for 3-year-olds and up at 5½ furlongs (turf)
Oct. 9: $500,000, Grade I Juddmonte Spinster for fillies and mares 3 and older at 1 1/8 miles
Oct. 9: $250,000, Grade III Dixiana Bourbon for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
Oct. 12: $150,000, Grade III JPMorgan Chase Jessamine for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
Oct. 14: $100,000, Grade III Buffalo Trace Franklin County for fillies and mares 3 and older at 5½ furlongs (turf)
Oct. 15: $500,000, Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles (turf)
Oct. 20: $100,000, Grade III Sycamore for 3-year-olds and up at 1½ miles (turf)
Oct. 21: $150,000, Grade III Pin Oak Valley View for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
Oct. 22: $250,000, Grade II Lexus Raven Run for 3-year-old fillies at 7 furlongs
Oct. 23: $125,000, Grade III Rood & Riddle Dowager for fillies and mares 3 and older at 1½ miles (turf)
Oct. 29: $200,000, Grade II Hagyard Fayette for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles