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Keeneland Announces Record Fall Stakes Schedule

Keeneland racecourse in Lexington, KY, has scheduled the richest stakes program in its history, featuring five Grade 1 stakes and a record $5.3 million in total stakes purses, for its fall race meeting, held October 5 – 27, 2007.

Keeneland opens with its signature three-day FallStars Weekend, October 5-7, expanded this year to include nine stakes worth $3.35 million. Four Grade 1 stakes highlight FallStars Weekend – the Darley Alcibiades, for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles, carries an increased purse of $500,000 and Grade 1 status for 2007, and joins the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, for 3-year-olds and up; the $500,000 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity, for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles; and the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster, for fillies and mares, for 3-year-olds and up, at 1 1/8 miles.

Keeneland will host the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), an internationally renowned invitational for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the turf, on October 13, 2007.

Five stakes on FallStars Weekend will be part of the new Breeders’ Cup Challenge "Win and You’re In" series. Winners of Keeneland’s aforementioned Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (G1), as well as the $400,000 First Lady (G2) and $250,000 Phoenix (G3) on Saturday, and the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) on Sunday, automatically qualify for the corresponding divisional race in the $20 million Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

Keeneland’s fall stakes have become a springboard for the Breeders’ Cup, and several stakes have been moved up in the fall racing calendar to better accommodate horses preparations for the championship including the First Lady and $300,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G3) and the $150,000 Woodford Reserve Bourbon and $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine, both for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Both races will serve as preps for the new $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

"Keeneland’s fall racing is traditionally rich in quality," said Keeneland’s Director of Racing, Rogers Beasley. "This year we anticipate a month of blockbuster racing during which fans will get a chance to see many of the superstars being pointed toward the Breeders’ Cup."

Last fall, the first three finishers in the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity – Great Hunter, Circular Quay and Street Sense – ran 1-2-3, in reverse order, in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Miesque’s Approval, fourth in the Shadwell, won the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

This fall, Pin Oak Farm will sponsor the Pin Oak Valley View (G3), for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf on October 19. The Valley View, JPMorgan Chase Jessamine and Woodford Reserve Bourbon each will offer increased purse money of $150,000 in 2007.

Courtesy: The HorseTV Channel News, http://www.horsetv.com


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