Keeneland’s Fall Meet begins Friday, Oct. 4, celebrating 17 days of some of the finest Thoroughbred racing in North America that kicks off with the blockbuster Fall Stars Weekend, featuring nine of the meet’s 10 Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races. The season offers a full slate of special events, highlighted by the return of fan favorites like Make-A-Wish Day and College Scholarship Day, as well as new amenities such as the Saddling Paddock Chalet and The Bourbon Bar.
The Fall Meet runs Oct. 4-26 with racing Wednesdays through Sundays. Gates open at 11 a.m. ET. General admission is $5, and children 12 and under are free. Post time for the first race every day is 1:05 p.m.
The Saddling Paddock Chalet, which was in place during the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, has returned to Keeneland for the next three Fall Meets. Fans are invited to make reservations in the Chalet via Keeneland.com to watch racehorses from this unique location overlooking the Saddling Paddock and enjoy a premium buffet and other amenities such as a Wagering Central hub, auxiliary location of The Keeneland Shop and bourbon tastings – all in a modern, business casual setting
The Chalet is available all race days except opening day.
Also this fall, Keeneland will introduce The Bourbon Bar adjacent to the Paddock, which offers premium bourbons, including Maker’s Mark Keeneland Private Select Bourbon and Blanton’s Single Barrel Select for Keeneland.
In keeping with Keeneland’s mission to support the horse industry, all self-serve wagering machines at the track will have a charitable donation feature that allows handicappers to donate a portion or all of their winnings to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance(TAA) and receive a receipt for their donation. TAA is a nonprofit that accredits, inspects and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retrain, retire and rehome Thoroughbreds using industrywide funding.
Rich racing action features Breeders’ Cup preps
A showcase of world-class Thoroughbred racing, the Fall Meet will present 18 stakes worth a total of $5.675 million, a record for a season without the Breeders’ Cup World Championships (which returns to Keeneland on Nov. 6-7, 2020). Ten stakes are Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races, which award the winners automatic berths in the Nov. 1-2 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.
Keeneland’s signature Fall Stars Weekend, Oct. 4-6, will feature 10 stakes, including five Grade 1 races, worth a total of $3.95 million. Nine Win and You’re In races highlight Fall Stars Weekend: $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) (Juvenile Fillies-G1) and $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) (TwinSpires Sprint-G1) on Friday, Oct. 4; $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) (TVG Mile-G1), $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) (Juvenile-G1), $400,000 First Lady (G1) (Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf-G1) and $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) (Filly and Mare Sprint-G1) on Saturday, Oct. 5; and $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) (Distaff-G1), $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon (G3) (Juvenile Turf-G1) and $200,000 Indian Summer (Juvenile Turf Sprint) on Sunday, Oct. 6.
Keeneland’s 10th Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, set for Wednesday, Oct. 9, is the $200,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2). The winner receives a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
The season’s sixth Grade 1 stakes, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, is the internationally prestigious $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End. The purses of two races – Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) on Friday, Oct. 11, and Sycamore (G3) on Thursday, Oct. 17 – were increased $50,000 this fall to be worth $150,000 apiece.
Keeneland on NBC, TVG and more
NBC will cover four Breeders’ Cup Challenge races on Fall Stars Weekend at Keeneland as part of its 2019 “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In, presented by America’s Best Racing.”
On Oct. 5 from 5:30-6:30 p.m., the Shadwell Turf Mile and Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity will air on NBCSN.
On Oct. 6, NBC will broadcast the Juddmonte Spinster and Dixiana Bourbon from 4:30-6 p.m.
TVG will provide live on-site coverage throughout the Fall Meet starting at 1 p.m. each race day.
“Today at Keeneland,” a 30-minute live program beginning at 11:30 a.m. on race days, will preview the day’s card and include handicapping picks and discussion of horses of interest. TVG racing analysts Gabby Gaudet and Scott Hazelton will host the program, which streams live on Keeneland.com, KeenelandSelect.com, YouTube Live, TVG2, The CW Lexington and WKYT.com.
Handicappers have plenty of action
Each race day, Keeneland offers a daily Pick Six in addition to its early and late Pick Fours and Pick Fives. Highlighting the Fall Meet are these wagers with guaranteed pools:
· $200,000-guaranteed Friday Pick Four Presented by TVG (Oct. 4, 11, 18).
· $300,000-guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Five and $400,000-guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Four (Saturday, Oct. 5).
· $300,000-guaranteed Pick Four Presented by TVG (Saturday, Oct. 12 and 19).
Keeneland will hold two major handicapping tournaments during the season: the Fall Challenge on Oct. 12 and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge/National Handicapping Challenge on Oct. 13. The latter awards cash prizes and as many as five spots in the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Santa Anita and eight spots in the National Handicapping Challenge in Las Vegas in 2020.
Each Wednesday, handicappers of all levels can test their skills through the WINS-Day Challenge Sponsored by Malone’s, which has a guaranteed $2,500 pool. The entry fee is $10.
Keeneland’s wagering experts, BETologists, will roam the grounds each race day to answer fans’ wagering questions and explain how to wager on a mobile device or self-serve wagering machine. Look for the BETmobile golf cart roaming parking lots and The Hill tailgating area, while other handicapping information is available on the first floor of the Grandstand at Wagering Central.
Fans can wager anywhere via their phones with the Keeneland Select app, while the free Keeneland Race Day App offers a number of options to make the race day more memorable. Among the features: live streaming of Keeneland races and race replays; entries and results; expert picks; special events information and a GPS-enabled interactive map of Keeneland. A Bet Simulator shows you each step in placing a wager, calculating the cost of a bet and projected simple will-pays. App users may also receive exclusive access to daily promotions, contests and giveaways.
Watch “Keeneland Magazine on TV” This Weekend
“Keeneland Magazine on TV,” a 30-minute program that chronicles stories about Central Kentucky life and culture from the print edition of Keeneland magazine, airs this weekend. The latest episode will be shown on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 1:30 p.m. ET on WKYT and again on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. on The CW Lexington.
The episode features the Beaumont Inn, Camp Nelson, Peter O’Callaghan of Woods Edge Farm and the opportunities of Keeneland’s stakes for 2-year-olds during the Fall Meet.
Fans will enjoy popular special events and activities
Official Keeneland Tours – A variety of year-round guided tours explain Keeneland’s racing and sales operations. Click here for more information.
The Hill (Fridays and Saturdays) — Keeneland’s official tailgate lot features a jumbo screen to watch live racing and football, wagering booths, live music, local food trucks and free shuttles to the Grandstand. Saturdays include live Bluegrass music.
Sunrise Trackside (Saturday mornings) – Families, out-of-town guests, longtime Keeneland fans and others will enjoy spending a morning at the track before the races begin. Watch horses train over the track and enjoy Breakfast With the Works and trackside commentary (7-8:30 a.m.); children’s activities in the Kids Club Corner (7:30-9:30 a.m.); free guided tours of the grounds (7:30-10 a.m.) and an equine-related demonstration in the Paddock (9 a.m.). A special Halloween edition will be held Oct. 26.
Jockey Autograph Signing (Saturday, Oct. 5) – Fans will meet active and retired jockeys – including Hall of Famers, history makers and Keeneland favorites – in this fundraiser for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Sunday Brunch at Keene Place (Sunday, Oct. 6, 13, 20) – Keeneland Hospitality will present a twist on traditional brunch dishes with seasonally inspired offerings and craft cocktails. Watch the races from the Clubhouse and learn wagering tips from Keeneland BETologists.
Make-A-Wish Day (Thursday, Oct. 10) – For 12 years, Keeneland and local Thoroughbred farms and organizations have granted wishes for deserving children of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Children and their families will receive a VIP experience at Keeneland that includes presenting a trophy after each race and meeting jockeys. Racing fans may make a donation to Make-A-Wish in the Wishing Well near the Keeneland Paddock.
Big Blue Day (Friday, Oct. 11) – Keeneland will welcome Big Blue Nation the day before the University of Kentucky football team hosts the University of Arkansas. UK students, alumni, faculty and staff will receive free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seating with valid UK IDs, and other special activities will help fans cheer for the Wildcats.
Buffalo Trace Giveaway (Friday, Oct. 11) – On the day of the Buffalo Trace Franklin County is the featured race, fans can enter to win a VIP Buffalo Trace Distillery Experience. The first 2,000 people to register will receive a free Buffalo Trace drawstring bag with a pair of Buffalo Trace sunglasses.
Secretariat Festival (Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 12-13) – Keeneland is the new home of this annual event that celebrates the beloved Triple Crown winner. Activities will include the unveiling of a monument of Secretariat that will be placed in Lexington. People connected to Secretariat and other recognized Kentucky Derby-winning jockeys are scheduled to attend.
Kids Club Family Day (Sunday, Oct. 13) – The Keeneland Kids Club is for fans 12 and younger, and a day at the races for members and their families will include free general admission, access to reserved Grandstand seating and special activities.
Budweiser Clydesdales (Thursday, Oct. 17-Sunday, Oct. 20) – The popular horses will appear at Keeneland and perform on the track one afternoon.
College Scholarship Day (Friday, Oct. 18) – Full-time college students will receive free general admission and the chance to win one of ten $1,000 scholarships awarded after each race. Two $10,000 Runhappy Scholarships also will be awarded. At Keeneland’s College Zone on the North Terrace, students will enjoy music, free food, prize drawings and more. Click here to pre-register.
Heroes Day (Sunday, Oct. 20) – Keeneland will recognize 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, access to reserved Grandstand seating, free lunch and be able to take part in children’s activities.
Library Lecture Series (Tuesday, Oct. 22) – The Keeneland Library, which is celebrating its 80th birthday, will present Brien Bouyea, who will discuss his new book, The Travers: 150 Years of Saratoga’s Greatest Race, which he co-wrote with Michael Veitch. The event, which begins at 6:30 p.m., is free and open to the public.
In addition, The Keeneland Shop will host a variety of special activities at the races in October that feature designers and their creations at trunk shows and at Milliners Corner.
Keeneland 2019 Fall Meet at a Glance
Dates: Oct. 4-26 (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)
Post time: Gates open at 11 a.m. ET
First post: 1:05 p.m.
Admission: $5; children 12 and under free.
Parking: Free in designated lots near the Grandstand and on The Hill, the designated tailgating area.
Website: Keeneland.com. Includes live streaming of all races and race replays at no charge.
Social Media: Plug into Keeneland.com and Keeneland’s social media platforms to stay informed of all the racing action and special events. Follow Keeneland on Facebook @Keeneland, Instagram @Keeneland and Twitter @KeenelandRacing and @BetKeeneland.