Keeneland

Keeneland Spring Meet boasts increase in purses, 15 graded stakes races

Brody’s Cause, with Luis Saez aboard, won the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland last April.
Brody’s Cause, with Luis Saez aboard, won the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland last April. Jonathan Palmer/TeamCoyle

Keeneland Race Course announced a 2017 Spring Meet stakes schedule Thursday that boasts $4.325 million in purses, an increase of $100,000 over last year.

Fifteen of the spring’s 16 stakes are graded events with half contested on the turf.

The 15-day Spring Meet, to be held April 7-28, will offer racing Wednesdays through Sundays except Easter Sunday, April 16.

“Keeneland receives loyal support from owners and trainers across North America, and we are proud to once again feature such a rich and diverse stakes schedule,” Keeneland vice president of racing and sales Bob Elliston said. “We continue to pursue initiatives to provide an exceptional racing program for horsemen and competitive wagering opportunities for fans.”

The increase in purses is the result of two races, the Lexington Stakes and the Transylvania Stakes, growing by $50,000 each.

The meet’s two richest and most prominent races will be served up opening weekend.

The track’s major Kentucky Derby prep race, the $1 million, Grade 2 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes headlines the opening Saturday on April 8 along with the $500,000, Grade 1 Central Bank Ashland, a prep race for the Kentucky Oaks. The Blue Grass, which will go to post at 6 p.m., will be part of an NBC Sports Network broadcast from 5-7 p.m. that will also include two other prominent Derby preps — the Wood Memorial and the Santa Anita Derby.

Three additional graded stakes will be featured on the Blue Grass Stakes undercard, the $300,000, Grade 1 Madison, the $200,000, Grade 2 Shakertown and the $250,000, Grade 3 Commonwealth.

Another Kentucky Derby prep, the $200,000, Grade 3 Stonestreet Lexington, will anchor the meet’s second Saturday on April 15 along with the $350,000, Grade 1 Coolmore Jenny Wiley. Also that Saturday is the $200,000, Grade 3 Ben Ali and the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway.

A fourth Grade 1 stakes, the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile, one of the sport’s major early-season turf stakes, will be held Friday, April 14.

Keeneland 2017 Spring Meet stakes schedule

Date

Stakes

Division

Distance

April 7

$150,000 Transylvania (Grade 3)

3-year-olds

1 1/16 miles (turf)

April 8

$1 Million Toyota Blue Grass (Grade 2)

3-year-olds

1 1/8 miles

April 8

$500,000 Central Bank Ashland (Grade 1)

3-year-old fillies

1 1/16 miles

April 8

$300,000 Madison (Grade 1)

Fillies, mares 4 and up

7 furlongs

April 8

$250,000 Commonwealth (Grade 3)

4-year-olds and up

7 furlongs

April 8

$200,000 Shakertown (Grade 2)

3-year-olds and up

5½ furlongs (turf)

April 9

$150,000 Adena Springs Beaumont (Grade 3)

3-year-old fillies

7 furlongs, 184 feet

April 13

$125,000 Appalachian (Grade 3)

3-year-old fillies

1 mile (turf)

April 14

$300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (Grade 1)

4-year-olds and up

1 mile (turf)

April 15

$350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (Grade 1)

Fillies, mares 4 and up

1 1/16 miles (turf)

April 15

$200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (Grade 3)

3-year-olds

1 1/16 miles

April 15

$200,000 Ben Ali (Grade 3)

4-year-olds and up

1 1/8 miles

April 15

$100,000 Giant’s Causeway

Fillies, mares 3 and up

5½ furlongs (turf)

April 21

$100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (Grade 3)

Fillies, mares 4 and up

1 1/16 miles

April 22

$250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (Grade 2)

4-year-olds and up

1½ miles (turf)

April 28

$150,000 Bewitch (Grade 3)

Fillies, mares 4 and up

1½ miles (turf)

Keeneland Spring Meet

Dates: April 7-28

Times: Gates open at 11 a.m. each day. Post time for the first race is 1:05 p.m. except April 8 and April 15 when racing begins at 12:35 p.m.

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