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Keeneland Racecourse will be the focus of Thoroughbred racing this autumn when the track presents 18 stakes worth a total of $4,775,000 during its 2020 Fall Meet, to be held Oct. 2-24 ahead of the 37th Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland on Nov. 6-7.
The prestigious Fall Stars Weekend opens the 17-day season, which also features the repositioning of the Hagyard Fayette (G2) to join the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana on the second Saturday of the meet and serve as a prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) on Nov. 7.
"The Keeneland fall racing season is highly anticipated by horsemen and fans alike, but this one is even more exciting as it serves as a prelude for the Breeders' Cup at Keeneland," Keeneland Vice President of Racing Bob Elliston said. "We expect to welcome many Breeders' Cup-bound stars, both human and equine, that will boost the racing competition and the handicapping fun during the Fall Meet and build momentum leading into the World Championships."
Keeneland will host the Breeders' Cup for the second time following its successful debut at the track in 2015.
Nine Fall Stars Weekend stakes are "Win and You're In" events, part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series Presented by America's Best Racing that awards each winner an automatic and free entry into the World Championships: $350,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) (Juvenile Fillies-G1) and $200,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) (Sprint-G1) on Friday, Oct. 2; $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) (TVG Mile-G1), $400,000 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1) (TVG Juvenile-G1), $350,000 First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare (G1) (Maker's Mark Filly and Mare Turf-G1) and $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) (Filly and Mare Sprint-G1) on Saturday, Oct. 3; and $400,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) (Distaff-G1), $200,000 Bourbon (G2) (Juvenile Turf Presented by Coolmore America-G1) and $150,000 Indian Summer (L) (Juvenile Turf Sprint-G2) on Sunday, Oct. 4.
The other graded stakes during Fall Stars Weekend, also being run Saturday, Oct. 3, is the $150,000 Woodford (G2).
Last year, Fall Stars Weekend produced three Breeders' Cup winners. Darley Alcibiades winner British Idiom won the Juvenile Fillies; Juddmonte Spinster winner Blue Prize (ARG) took the Distaff and First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare winner Uni (GB) captured the Mile. British Idiom and Uni both were division champions.
Keeneland's 10th Breeders' Cup Challenge race, set for Wednesday, Oct. 7, is the $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2). The winner earns a spot in the starting gate for the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
The Fall Meet's sixth Grade 1 stakes, the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Dixiana, an invitational turf race for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles, will be held Saturday, Oct. 10.
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