Keeneland celebrates its 80th anniversary of racing when the 2016 Fall Meet gets underway Friday, Oct. 7. The 17-day meet opens with Keeneland’s prestigious Fall Stars Weekend, when many of racing’s most celebrated horses make their final starts before next month’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita, and continues the excitement through closing day Oct. 29 with top-quality racing, engaging special events, a new Merchandise Pavilion and an expansive social and digital media presence.
Keeneland’s Fall Meet offers one of the nation’s richest purse programs and a convergence of the country’s top stables and jockeys. Racing is highlighted by 17 graded stakes worth $5.275 million, six of them Grade 1 races led by the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) on Oct. 8. Eight Fall Meet stakes are Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races, which award to the winner an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Nov. 4-5 at Santa Anita Park.
Since the inception of the Breeders’ Cup in 1984, the winners of 43 Breeders’ Cup races made their final start before the World Championships during Keeneland’s Fall Meet. The track successfully hosted the Breeders’ Cup for the first time in October 2015.
Keeneland kicks off the Fall Meet with its spectacular Fall Stars Weekend, Oct. 7-9, featuring nine graded stakes, seven of them Breeders’ Cup Challenge races: $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) (a Challenge race for the 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies-G1) and $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) (TwinSpires Sprint-G1) on Oct. 7; $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) (Mile-G1), $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) (Sentient Jet Juvenile-G1) and $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) (Filly and Mare Sprint-G1) on Oct. 8; and $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) (Distaff-G1) and $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon (G3) (Juvenile Turf-G1) on Oct. 9.
The eighth Breeders’ Cup Challenge race is the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) on Oct. 12, which awards the winner a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
A sixth Grade 1 stakes, the internationally prominent $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the turf is scheduled for Oct. 15.
NBC Sports at Keeneland for Fall Stars Weekend
Adding to the excitement, NBC Sports will broadcast from Keeneland during Fall Stars Weekend as part of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In Series presented by Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing.” On opening Saturday, NBC will feature the Thoroughbred Club of America, Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and Shadwell Turf Mile and the next day will present the Juddmonte Spinster and Dixiana Bourbon. Both programs will air 5-6 p.m. ET.
TVG again will provide live coverage from Keeneland during the Fall Meet, beginning at 1 p.m. each race day. Additional TVG coverage will air on FOX Sports affiliates including FSN Prime Ticket, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.
Keeneland also offers free live streaming of its races on Keeneland.com.
Keeneland Amps Up Wagering Excitement with Lucrative Pick 4 Opportunities
On opening Saturday, Keeneland will offer a $250,000-guaranteed All Stakes Pick 4 on the Thoroughbred Club of America, First Lady, Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and Shadwell Turf Mile.
The popular Friday Pick 4 Presented by TVG also returns this fall. On Friday, Oct. 7, 14 and 21, a $200,000-guaranteed Pick 4 will be held on the final four races of the day.
Merchandise Pavilion Offers Fans a New Shopping Experience
This fall, The Keeneland Shop will debut its Merchandise Pavilion, an exclusive new retail venue where fans can commemorate their race day with a variety of Keeneland-branded apparel and accessories. Located in a 4,000-square-foot chalet near the Grandstand East entrance, the Merchandise Pavilion will be open race days from 10 a.m. until 30 minutes after the final post. Among the customer services provided are an on-site embroidery and engraving station for personalization of Keeneland ball caps and select metals accessories and a complimentary bag check service that will hold purchases for shoppers to retrieve at the end of the race day.
The Merchandise Pavilion is one of three venues available for visitors to shop at Keeneland during the Fall Meet. The Keeneland Shop at the South Gate is open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The popular Milliners Corner returns Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays this fall, offering hats and fascinators from a variety of milliners. Celebrity designer Christine A. Moore will be at Keeneland on Friday and Saturday of Fall Stars Weekend. Milliners Corner sits adjacent to the Walking Ring.
Keeneland Expands Social and Digital Media Footprint this Fall
Keeneland continues to enhance fan outreach via a robust social and digital media presence. From the track’s new media hub, Connect with Keeneland, to the popular Fall Stars microsite and Race Day App, and an array of social media channels, Keeneland embraces technology as a way to create and engage race fans.
Stay connected this fall via:
Ø Connect with Keeneland on the home page of Keeneland.com, a central hub for fans to view Fall Meet news, race-day video reviews and race replays, photo galleries, bios of leading Keeneland trainers and jockeys, Media Guide statistics and racing history, and social media feeds.
Ø Fall Stars microsite (Keeneland.com/fallstars) follows the latest news on Fall Stars stakes and provides race replays, information about contenders and histories of each stakes.
Ø Free Keeneland Race Day App offers a number of options for fans to make the race day more memorable. Among the features available at your fingertips: live streaming of Keeneland races and race replays; entries and results; wagering tools such as Expert Picks and Handicappers Consensus for each race card; and a GPS-enabled interactive map of Keeneland that allows fans to share their location with friends. A Bet Simulator shows users each step in placing a wager, calculating the cost of a bet and projected simple will-pays.
Ø Follow Keeneland on social media. Stay up-to-date this fall by interacting with Keeneland via these accounts: Facebook @Keeneland, Instagram @Keeneland, Twitter @KeenelandRacing, Periscope @KeenelandRacing and Snapchat @KeenelandRacing.
Ø Fans also are encouraged to use and reference the following hashtags: #Keeneland, #ILoveKeeneland, #WinningatKeeneland.
Exciting Special Events Calendar Compliments Racing Action
This fall, world-class racing is coupled with a special events and promotions calendar designed to offer fun to fans of all ages and interests and support community organizations in Central Kentucky. Among the highlights are:
Ø Tailgating on The Hill – Fridays/Saturdays – Local food trucks, a jumbo TV to capture all the racing and football action and wagering facilities make The Hill a destination spot on race days. The Keeneland Shop kiosk and shuttles to the track Grandstand also are available. On Saturdays, Central Kentucky’s favorite Bluegrass bands perform from 12-4 p.m.
Ø Sunrise Trackside – Saturday mornings – Enjoy Breakfast With the Works, a Southern-style breakfast and trackside commentary while horses train on the main track (7-8:30 a.m.); children’s activities in the Kids Club Corner (7-9 a.m.); guided walking tours (8-10:30 a.m.); an equine-related demonstration in the Paddock (9 a.m.); a trackside handicapping seminar (11 a.m.); and a Q&A session with a jockey in the Paddock (12:05 p.m.).
Ø Make-A-Wish Day (Thursday, Oct 13) – Local Thoroughbred farms and organizations team with Keeneland to grant wishes for nine deserving children. Come out to Keeneland to support the Make-A-Wish foundation and cheer on these children as they present the trophies after each race. Sponsors include Hagyard Medical Institute, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Ashford Stud, Shadwell Farm, Darley, Gainesway Farm, Shawnee Farm, Flaxman Holdings and Lane’s End.
Ø College Scholarship Day (Friday, Oct 14) – Full-time college students receive free general admission and the chance to win one of ten $1,000 scholarships after each race. Registration will take place in Keeneland’s College Zone in the North Terrace. Students will enjoy music, free snacks and prize drawings.
Ø seeblue. Day at the Races (Friday, Oct 21) – Keeneland celebrates seeblue. Day at the Races in advance of the University of Kentucky versus Mississippi State football game. Look for special Wildcat appearances on track throughout the day. UK students, alumni, faculty and staff receive free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seating with valid UK IDs.
Ø Heroes Day Delivered by Papa John’s (Sunday, Oct 23) – Keeneland recognizes the men and women who serve our community. All military (active duty and veterans), first responders – law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs – and their families will receive free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seating. Join us in the North Terrace from noon–4 p.m. for free food, children’s activities and more.
Keeneland 2016 Fall Meet at a Glance
Gates Open: 11 a.m.
Post time: 1:05 p.m.; no racing on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Admission: $5. Children 12 and under free.
Parking: Free (shuttles available throughout the grounds).
The Hill (Tailgate): Near Keene Barn & Entertainment Center. Enter Gate 1 across from Man o’ War Boulevard or via Gates 4 and 5 off Van Meter Road.
Simulcasting: Major Thoroughbred tracks in North America.
For 80 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. As the world's largest Thoroughbred auction company, Keeneland conducts sales every January, September and November. Its sales graduates dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. In 2015, Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a private, for-profit corporation that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses, and it has donated millions of dollars in charitable contributions for education, research and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. To learn more about Keeneland, visit Keeneland.com.