Fall Stars Weekend, world-class racing schedule set stage for Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland
LEXINGTON, KY (Sept. 29, 2015) – Keeneland will be the center of the Thoroughbred racing world this fall as the historic track embarks upon an unprecedented Fall Meet, to be held Oct. 2-24, which will climax at month’s end with a special day of racing, Prelude to the Cup on Oct. 29, followed by the $26 million Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Oct. 30-31.
The 17-day Fall Meet features 16 stakes races worth a total of $5,075,000 in purse money, led by the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) on Oct. 3.
The Fall Meet breaks from the starting gate on Friday, Oct. 2, with Fall Stars Weekend, three days of racing which will showcase many Breeders’ Cup-bound stars. Nine graded stakes races worth $3.7 million, including seven Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races, where the winner earns an automatic berth into Breeders’ Cup, kick off the 17-day meet.
“This is a monumental time for Keeneland nearly 80 years in the making,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We are thrilled to welcome the Thoroughbred racing world and its fans for a historic month of racing and activities that will showcase not only Keeneland but the entire Central Kentucky community.”
Five days after the Fall Meet concludes, racing resumes Thursday, Oct. 29, for Prelude to the Cup, a special nine-race card on the eve of the Breeders’ Cup that will feature the $100,000 Lafayette Presented by Keeneland Select, for 3-year-olds and up at 7 furlongs.
Keeneland welcomes the world when it hosts, for the first time in its illustrious history, the Breeders’ Cup on Oct. 30-31. Held over two days, the Breeders’ Cup encompasses 13 Grade 1 races worth more than $26 million in prize money and awards. Racing’s national and international human and equine stars will be on hand for the Breeders’ Cup, which is highlighted by the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on Friday, Oct. 30, and the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), the richest Thoroughbred race in North America, on Saturday, Oct. 31.
Fall Stars Weekend
The centerpiece of Fall Stars Weekend is the Shadwell Turf Mile, Keeneland’s signature $1 million race in the fall, and one of seven Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races on opening weekend.
A total of 37 horses have prepped at Keeneland during the Fall Meet for their Breeders’ Cup win. In 2014, Keeneland was represented by three Breeders’ Cup winners: Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) winner and champion Dayatthespa won the First Lady; 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner and champion Take Charge Brandi ran in the Darley Alcibiades; and Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner and champion Work All Week won the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3).
Additional information on Fall Stars Weekend can be found at the microsite Keeneland.com/FallStars. Fans can track workouts, watch video interviews with racing personalities, view nominations/probables, entries and more. The site will track Breeders’ Cup-bound horses throughout the meet.
Breeders’ Cup Challenge Races Many of the world’s top trainers will prepare their horses for the 2015 Breeders’ Cup during Keeneland’s Fall Meet.
Eight Keeneland stakes races are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” series of automatic qualifying races for the Breeders’ Cup. Seven of those Breeders’ Cup Challenge stakes highlight the loaded Fall Stars Weekend schedule: Darley Alcibiades (a Challenge race for the Juvenile Fillies-G1) and Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix-G3 (Sprint-G1) on Oct. 2; Shadwell Turf Mile (Mile-G1), Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (Juvenile-G1) and Thoroughbred Club of America-G2 (Filly and Mare Sprint-G1) on Oct. 3; and Juddmonte Spinster (Distaff-G1) and Dixiana Bourbon (Juvenile Turf-G1) on Oct. 4.
The eighth Breeders’ Cup Challenge race is the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) on Oct. 7. The race awards the winner a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
NBC will broadcast live from Keeneland with two “Win and You’re In” series programs on Saturday, Oct. 3 (5-6 p.m. ET), featuring the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and Shadwell Turf Mile, and Sunday, Oct. 4 (5-6 p.m.) with the Juddmonte Spinster and Dixiana Bourbon Stakes.