Keeneland, which is preparing to host its third Breeders' Cup championship weekend in November, will offer 22 stakes races worth a record $8.75 million at its upcoming Fall Meet, which runs from Oct. 7-29. The Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund is contributing $1.3 million to Fall Meet stakes purses, pending approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, and purses for every stakes race have increased for 2022.
“Keeneland has planned a Fall Meet that promises to be better than ever,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “Adjustments made to the season last year, including increasing the number of stakes to 22 and boosting the final days with multiple stakes, produced an extremely successful meet from start to finish. This year, even higher stakes purses indicate the strength of the Kentucky circuit while helping Keeneland set the stage for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, which we are proud to host for the third time.”
The 17-day season will open with 11 stakes–nine of which are “Win and You're In” events as part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series Presented by America's Best Racing–during the signature three-day Fall Stars Weekend.
Keeneland has adjusted several stakes on the schedule to attract horses bound for the Breeders' Cup, most notably moving the GII JPMorgan Chase Jessamine S. to opening day. Opening day stakes races will also include the $500,000 GI Darley Alcibiades S. and $350,000 G2 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix S. All three are 'Win and You're In' races for the Breeders' Cup.
The season's richest race is the $1-million GI Coolmore Turf Mile, a Breeders' Cup Challenge race that anchors opening Saturday of Fall Stars Weekend. Along with Coolmore's first year as sponsor of the premier turf stakes, the race is again worth seven figures–a status it held from 2014, when it was Keeneland's first million-dollar race, through 2019.
Also on the Oct. 8 card is the $600,000 GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity, $350,000 GII Thoroughbred Club of America S.–both Win and You're In races–and the $600,000 GI First Lady S. and the $350,000 GII Woodford S.
Sunday of Fall Stars Weekend presents three stakes–all Breeders' Cup Challenge races: the $600,000 GI Juddmonte Spinster S., $350,000 GII Castle & Key Bourbon S. and $250,000 Indian Summer S.