LEXINGTON, Ky. — Keeneland’s Fall Meet begins Friday, October 4, celebrating 17 days of some of the finest Thoroughbred racing in North America that kicks off with the blockbuster Fall Stars Weekend, featuring nine of the meet’s 10 Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races.
The season offers a full slate of special events, highlighted by the return of fan favorites like Make-A-Wish Day and College Scholarship Day, as well as new amenities such as the Saddling Paddock Chalet and The Bourbon Bar.
The Fall Meet runs October 4-26 with racing Wednesdays through Sundays. Gates open at 11 a.m. ET. General admission is $5, and children 12 and under are free. Post time for the first race every day is 1:05 p.m.
The Saddling Paddock Chalet [tickets.keeneland.com] , which was in place during the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, has returned to Keeneland for the next three Fall Meets. Fans are invited to make reservations in the Chalet via Keeneland.com [keeneland.com] to watch racehorses from this unique location overlooking the Saddling Paddock and enjoy a premium buffet and other amenities such as a Wagering Central hub, auxiliary location of The Keeneland Shop and bourbon tastings – all in a modern, business casual setting
The Chalet is available all race days except opening day.
Also this fall, Keeneland will introduce The Bourbon Bar adjacent to the Paddock, which offers premium bourbons, including Maker’s Mark Keeneland Private Select Bourbon and Blanton’s Single Barrel Select for Keeneland.
In keeping with Keeneland’s mission to support the horse industry, all self-serve wagering machines at the track will have a charitable donation feature that allows handicappers to donate a portion or all of their winnings to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) and receive a receipt for their donation. TAA is a nonprofit that accredits, inspects and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retrain, retire and rehome Thoroughbreds using industry wide funding.
Rich racing action features Breeders’ Cup preps
A showcase of world-class Thoroughbred racing, the Fall Meet will present 18 stakes worth a total of $5.675 million, a record for a season without the Breeders’ Cup World Championships (which returns to Keeneland on November 6-7, 2020). Ten stakes are Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races, which award the winners automatic berths in the Nov. 1-2 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.
Keeneland’s signature Fall Stars Weekend, October 4-6, will feature 10 stakes, including five Grade 1 races, worth a total of $3.95 million. Nine Win and You’re In races highlight Fall Stars Weekend: $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) (Juvenile Fillies-G1) and $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) (TwinSpires Sprint-G1) on Friday, Oct. 4; $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) (TVG Mile-G1), $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) (Juvenile-G1), $400,000 First Lady (G1) (Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf-G1) and $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) (Filly and Mare Sprint-G1) on Saturday, Oct. 5; and $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) (Distaff-G1), $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon (G3) (Juvenile Turf-G1) and $200,000 Indian Summer (Juvenile Turf Sprint) on Sunday, Oct. 6.
Keeneland’s 10th Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, set for Wednesday, October 9, is the $200,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2). The winner receives a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
The season’s sixth Grade 1 stakes, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, is the internationally prestigious $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End. The purses of two races – Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) on Friday, October 11, and Sycamore (G3) on Thursday, October 17 – were increased $50,000 this fall to be worth $150,000 apiece.
Keeneland on NBC, TVG and more
NBC will cover four Breeders’ Cup Challenge races on Fall Stars Weekend at Keeneland as part of its 2019 “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In, presented by America’s Best Racing.”
On October 5 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., the Shadwell Turf Mile and Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity will air on NBCSN.
On October 6, NBC will broadcast the Juddmonte Spinster and Dixiana Bourbon from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
TVG will provide live on-site coverage throughout the Fall Meet starting at 1 p.m. each race day.