The Keeneland fall meet, which opens Friday Oct. 5, signals the official start of the fall season in the Bluegrass. The 17-day race meet runs through Saturday, Oct. 27 and is packed with stakes action and activities for everyone.
The meet boasts 17 stakes races and purses totaling $4.5 million. The Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile, which will run this Saturday and is part of the Fall Stars Weekend, will offer an increased purse of $750,000. That ties it with the $750,000 Grade 1 Toyota Bluegrass Stakes as the second richest race in the state outside of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.
The Shadwell Turf Mile is one of six Grade 1 stakes races Keeneland will run during its meet. The others being the Darley-Alcibiades for two-year-old fillies that will run on Friday; the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity for two-year olds and the First Lady for fillies and mares three-years old and up, both of which will be run on Saturday, the Juddmonte Spinster for fillies and mares three-years old and up which will be run on Sunday, and the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup for three-year old fillies that will be run Oct. 13.
With 17 stakes races and nine of those being part of the Breeders’ Cup Win & You’re In Challenge series; you can expect the fall meet to attract some of the country’s best horses, trainers, jockeys and owners.
Keeneland’s theme of Fall Stars goes beyond the equine stars with emphasis on community, the military, and the fans. Some of the meet’s scheduled events include Make-A-Wish Day in which the wishes of nine deserving children will be granted; College Scholarship Day when full-time college students receive free track admission and can register for one of ten $1,000 scholarships; Keeneland Salutes Two Track Stars when Olympic runner and Lexington resident Tyson Gay and Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty will be honored; Military Family Day when active and inactive military (with ID) receive free track admission and access to food and fun in the Military Family Zone; and Fashions on the Field Day when fans compete for the honors of top dressed male and female.
Keeneland will also offer Sunrise Trackside every Saturday during the meet. During the morning hours before the races, fans can enjoy Breakfast with the Works, Kids Club activities, tours of the racetrack, pictures taken with Bucky the Bugler, handicapping seminars, jockey Q&A, and more.
The details: The meet runs from Friday, Oct. 5 – Saturday, Oct. 27, with no racing on Mondays and Tuesdays. Daily post time is 1:05 p.m. ET and gates open at 11 a.m. General admission is $5 for adults, children 12 and under are free. Reserved seating and dining options are available. Parking is free with a shuttle available for most lots. Preferred parking is available for $5 during the week and $10 on Fridays and weekends.
Keeneland offers and encourages tailgating! Enter Keeneland Gate 1 entrance across from Man o’ War Boulevard. If you can’t make it to the track, but want to watch from home, races can be seen on TVG and Keeneland.com or follow all the action through Keeneland’s social media outlets on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo: Courtesy Keeneland