Friday marks October’s first weekend of live racing at Keeneland, and?it is a busy one. Here’s what you need to know for Keeneland’s 2016 fall meet:
Dates:?Friday, Oct. 7?through Saturday, Oct. 29 with racing Wednesday through Sunday.
Post times:?Gates open at 11 a.m. each day and first post is at 1:05 p.m.
Admission:?General admission is $5. Children under 12 get in free when accompanied by an adult. Free parking in Rows 15-20 and Rows 28-34 near the Grandstand, as well as in The Meadow and on The Hill.
Purses:?The 17-date fall meet features?17 graded stakes worth $5.275 million. The 2015 fall meet featured?23 stakes worth a total of $5,975,000.
Stakes:?Oct. 7???$400,000?Darley Alcibiades (G1), Breeders’ Cup challenge;?$250,000?Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2), Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
Oct. 8???$1 million?Shadwell Turf Mile (G1),?Breeders’ Cup Challenge;?$500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1), Breeders’ Cup Challenge;?$400,000?First Lady (G1);?$250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), Breeders’ Cup Challenge;?$150,000 Woodford (G3).
Oct. 9???$500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1), Breeders’ Cup Challenge; $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon (G3), Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
Oct. 12???$150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3), Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
Oct. 14???$100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3).
Oct. 15???$500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1).
Oct. 20???$100,000 Sycamore (G3).
Oct. 21???$150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3).
Oct. 22???$250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2).
Oct. 23???$125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3).
Oct. 29???$200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2).
? Fall Stars Weekend:?Opening weekend, Oct. 7-9. Includes seven 2016 Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” challenge races and five Grade 1 stakes.?The weekend’s nine graded stakes are collectively worth $3.7 million.
??Battle for the jackpot:?The largest purse of Keeneland’s fall meet, the $1 million, G1?Shadwell Turf Mile headlines a packed schedule on Saturday, Oct. 8 as one of three Grade 1 stakes and three Breeders’ Cup Challenge races. Despite going winless in his last three starts, defending champion Grand Arch, owned by Jim and Susan Hill, will attempt to become the third back-to-back winner of the race. His stiffest competition will be Arlington Million (G1) winner Mondialiste, trained by David O’Meara.
??Tepin going for second First Lady:?Reigning female grass champion Tepin will run in the $400,000, G1 First Lady, her last race before she defends her title in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Trained by Mark Casse, Tepin’s seven-length victory in last year’s First Lady jump started a seven-race win streak.?Although the First Lady is a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares, Tepin defeated males her last time out in a first-place finish at Woodbine.
With wins in 11 of Tepin’s last 13 starts,?Casse said he’s been pleased with the 5-year-old mare’s?dominance.
“Good horses win when everything goes their way; great horses can win when difficulties occur,” Casse said. “Has she always given us her A game? Probably not, but she?s so talented that even when she doesn?t give you her A-plus game she can win.”