Keeneland's 75th Fall Meet Opens October 7th - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Keeneland's 75th Fall Meet Opens October 7th

Posted: Updated:

Keeneland's 75th Anniversary Fall Season Opens Friday, October 7

Horses Preparing for Breeders' Cup World Championships, Post Time with the Pops among Highlights of 17 Days

LEXINGTON, KY (Sept. 30, 2011) – Seventy-five years ago, on October 15, the opening of a new racetrack in Lexington generated great excitement throughout the area and the entire Thoroughbred industry. The track was Keeneland, established in the bleakest years of the Great Depression by a group of Central Kentuckians who were committed to developing a model racetrack to showcase the finest in Thoroughbred racing and be an important member of the community.

Today, the hopes and dreams of Keeneland's founders surely have been realized. Fans flock to Keeneland's exclusive spring and fall racing seasons to enjoy beautiful surroundings and outstanding racing featuring some of the sport's greatest horses, trainers and jockeys. Throughout its history, Keeneland has pursued and led initiatives to ensure the safety of both human and equine athletes, and the Keeneland Foundation has contributed some $18 million to organizations and charities that benefit residents of Central Kentucky and members of the Thoroughbred industry.

All this and more are being celebrated on 17 days from Friday, October 7, through Saturday, October 29, as Keeneland turns 75. Highlights include:


World-Class Racing

Some of the year's most accomplished Thoroughbreds will train and race at Keeneland while they prepare for the Breeders' Cup World Championships on November 4-5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville. For the fall meeting, Keeneland has slated 18 stakes–led by five Grade 1 races on opening FallStars Weekend–with purse money totaling $4.475 million. Seven races are part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge, a global series of automatic qualifying races for the Breeders' Cup.

Opening day features the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) and the $175,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3). Five stakes will be run on Saturday, October 8, led by the meeting's richest event, the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1). The other stakes that day are the $400,000 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (G1), $350,000 First Lady (G1), $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) and the $150,000 Woodford (G3).

Highlights of racing on Sunday, October 9, are the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) and the $150,000 Bourbon (G3).

Two prominent stakes will be held Saturday, October 15, led by the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1). In celebration of the 75th anniversary, Keeneland also has slated a special six-furlong stakes for two-year-olds – the $125,000 Keeneland 75th Anniversary Stakes.


Live Racing Coverage

New this fall, "Autumn at Keeneland" presents live coverage from Keeneland over two weekends beginning on Friday, October 7, on VERSUS and culminating with a live broadcast of the track's 75th anniversary on Saturday, October 15, on NBC. VERSUS will have hour-long programs on October 7, 8 and 9 from 5-6 p.m. (ET). The October 15 program on NBC is from 5-6 p.m. (ET).

Additionally, the cable network TVG will feature live coverage of Keeneland each race day beginning at 1 p.m. Fans also can watch the live races streamed on


Internet Presence, Mobile Wagering App

Keeneland is a recognized leader in using technology to enhance the fan experience.

FastBet, a mobile wagering app developed by United Tote, allows fans to use their smart phones or iPads to make wagers from anywhere, including the comfort of their seats or along the paddock rail after they spot a horse with a winning look.

The new is an advance deposit wagering (ADW) site that allows fans to wager on Keeneland's races. Keeneland Select commits profits to player rewards, race purses and equine research., the track's comprehensive website, offers live streaming of Keeneland races and live chats with expert handicappers. Among the other features is Polycapping, which provides handicappers with detailed information on every horse that has won a race at Keeneland since October 2006.

In addition, Keeneland maintains its presence on Twitter, with real-time handicapping information at racing, and on Facebook at, with updates, special offers, live streaming and live chats. Keeneland recently hit a Facebook milestone when it reached 100,000 fans on its official page.


Wagering Opportunities

Handicappers have a number of options, including a 50-cent Pick Three, 50-cent Pick Four, 50-cent Pick Five, 50-cent Trifecta and 10-cent Superfecta. Additional wagering opportunities include:

On the first three Fridays of the season, the Friday Pick 4, presented by TVG, offers a guaranteed pool of $200,000.

On Saturday, October 8, the $250,000 All Stakes Pick 4, presented by TVG, challenges patrons to handicap the day's biggest races.

The Keeneland Handicapping Contest is offered each Wednesday of the season. Entrants will receive a free Daily Racing Form and will play for a guaranteed $2,500 pool.

Keeneland recently launched, an advance deposit wagering (ADW) site that allows fans to wager on Keeneland's races. Keeneland Select commits profits to player rewards, race purses and equine research.

Special Events

On the evening of October 15, Post Time with the Pops will present a musical birthday salute to Keeneland. The event features the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the world's most popular symphony, with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra in a performance at Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington.

Post Time with the Pops will feature music that references the horse showcased in three distinct performance segments, as well as vignettes related to Keeneland's history. The Boston Pops will perform under the direction of Keith Lockhart, and the UK Symphony Orchestra will perform under the direction of John Nardolillo.

Proceeds from the concert will go to the Lee T. Todd Jr. and Patricia B. Todd Music Outreach Endowment. The endowment was created as part of a three-year commitment made by Maker's Mark and Keeneland to raise money for a unique extension program highlighting music outreach in schools throughout Kentucky.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. at Rupp Arena. Tickets are available by calling (859) 233-3535 or visiting


Other special events during the fall season include:

Breakfast with the Works, featuring a Southern-style breakfast and children's activities, at 7 a.m. on Saturdays. The program includes trackside commentary on Thoroughbreds as they train and a show-and-tell by a member of the racing industry. An equine-related demonstration in the paddock follows at 8:45 a.m.

Make-A-Wish Day on October 12. Local Thoroughbred farms team up with Keeneland to grant wishes for nine children, who will present trophies to the owners of the winning horses of all nine races.

Appearances by the Budweiser Clydesdales. Members of the famous team will appear for photographs at Keeneland's South Gate on October 12-14. The full hitch will perform on the main track between races on October 15.

College Scholarship Day, which draws thousands of students from colleges and universities in Kentucky and in neighboring states, on October 14. In honor of Keeneland's 75th anniversary, a total of twenty $1,000 scholarships – double the amount awarded in the past – will be presented. Admission is free for full-time students, who can register in the College Zone in the North Terrace to win a $1,000 scholarship. The first 1,000 students to register receive a free T-shirt courtesy of Kennedy Book Store.

See Blue Day, which kicks off homecoming weekend at the University of Kentucky, on October 21. Admission is free for UK students, alumni and faculty. The event will raise money for UK's DanceBlue fundraiser to benefit UK's Pediatric Oncology Clinic.

Military Family Day on October 23. All active and inactive members of the military and their families will receive free general admission with a military ID at any pass gate.

Keeneland Fall Meeting At a Glance

Dates:                         October 7-29 (17 days). No racing on Mondays and Tuesdays.

First race:                  1:15 p.m. (ET) Gates open at 11 a.m.

General admission:  $5. Children 12 and under free. 

Parking:                     Free (shuttles available from many lots); Preferred Parking ($5 on Wednesdays and Thursdays, $10 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays).

Tailgating:                 Enter Keeneland's Gate 1 entrance across from Man o' War Boulevard. The tailgate lot is adjacent to the Entertainment Center and features a dedicated shuttle stop. Patrons are dropped off at the East Gate.

Simulcasting:            Major Thoroughbred tracks in the United States. On November 4-5, Keeneland will simulcast the Breeders' Cup World Championships from Churchill Downs.


Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.