Keeneland’s Fall Stars Weekend Includes 8 Breeders’ Cup Prep Races
A huge weekend of racing at Keeneland is scheduled Oct. 6-8 for the opening Fall Stars weekend. A total of 8 “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge races are set with Friday’s opening Breeders’ Cup prep the $250,000 Phoenix Stakes (G2) drawing 11 with an automatic entry to the Breeders’ Cup $1.5 million Twinspires Sprint to the winner. That race is followed in Race 9 by the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1) for 2-year-old fillies, which could generate an early hopeful for the Kentucky Oaks next spring. A competitive field of 10 is lined up with five fillies priced at 5-1 or less. The winner of the Alcibiades gains entry into the Breeders’ Cup $2 million 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies.
Keeneland has really upped the ante this weekend with stakes races totaling $3.75 million in purse payouts, led by the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile on Saturday, Oct. 7. Miss Temple City (3-1) tries to repeat as the favorite in the Turf Mile, facing the boys again in one of the many intriguing storylines in the 32nd running of the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile. A capacity field of 14 will go to the gate looking to knock off the defending lady champ with Heart to Heart (7-2), Mondialiste (4-1) and Divisidero (9-2) the top challengers. Also in the Turf Mile field is American Patriot, who gave 2017 Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Todd Pletcher a Keeneland record 51st stakes win in the Maker’s 46 Mile last spring.
A Shadwell win offers automatic qualification to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile be run during the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar on Nov. 3-4.
Here’s what else to watch for at Keeneland during the Fall Stars weekend filled Breeders’ Cup Challenge races.
Looking for a potential Road-to-the-Derby horse? Check out Sunday’s 104th running of the $500,000 Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity for 2-year-olds. The winner moves on to the $2 million Grade 1 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Dale Romans-trained Free Drop Billy (2-1) is the favorite after running second in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga. Givemeaminit (7-2) was just a head back of Free Drop Billy in the Hopeful and looks to get his picture taken this time.
Also on the card Sunday, the 62nd running of the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster for fillies and mares checks in as one of the biggest money events of the meet and a prelude to the $2 million Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
|Date||Race Name||Track||Purse||Distance||age/sex||Breeders’ Cup Division|
|6-Oct||Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G2)||Keeneland||$250,000||6f||3&up||TwinSpires Sprint|
|6-Oct||Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1)||Keeneland||$400,000||8.5f||2yr f||14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies|
|7-Oct||First Lady Stakes (G1)*||Keeneland||$400,000||8f||3&up f/m||Filly & Mare Turf|
|7-Oct||Thoroughbred Club of America (G2)||Keeneland||$250,000||6f||3&up f/m||Filly & Mare Sprint|
|7-Oct||Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1)||Keeneland||$500,000||8.5f||2yr||Sentient Jet Juvenile|
|7-Oct||Shadwell Turf Mile (G1)*||Keeneland||$1,000,000x||8f||3yo&u||Mile|
|8-Oct||Dixiana Bourbon Stakes (G3)*||Keeneland||$250,000||8.5f||2yo||Juvenile Turf|
|8-Oct||Spinster Stakes (G1)||Keeneland||$500,000||9f||3&up f/m||Longines Distaff|