Keeneland will present 18 stakes, featuring the 97th running of the $800,000 GII Toyota Blue Grass S. and the 84th running of the $400,000 GI Central Bank Ashland S., worth a total of $4.1 million during its 2021 Spring Meet from Apr. 2-23. Post time for the first race during the 15-day season will be 1:05 p.m. ET. Keeneland will be closed Easter Sunday, Apr. 4.
“Keeneland is excited to welcome racing back to the Bluegrass in April,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “With the cancellation of last year's Spring Meet because of the pandemic, it is critical to the Thoroughbred industry that we are able to offer our full slate of April stakes on their traditional dates. These races are key fixtures on the international racing calendar.”
“For this year's Spring Meet,” Arvin added, “Keeneland is working on plans for ticketing options under our COVID-19 safety protocols and we plan to make an announcement in the next few weeks.”
Keeneland will conduct a total of 10 stakes on grass and eight stakes on dirt while offering multiple stakes on four days during the Spring Meet.
Opening day, Friday, Apr. 2, features three stakes: the $150,000 GIII Kentucky Utilities Transylvania S., a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds; the $150,000 GIII Beaumont S. at seven furlongs, 184 feet, on dirt for 3-year-old fillies; and $100,000 Palisades Turf Sprint S., for 3-year-olds going 5 1/2 furlongs on the grass.
The Toyota Blue Grass and Central Bank Ashland will be contested the following day, Saturday, Apr. 3, as part of a blockbuster card of six stakes. Both are worth 180 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Road to the Kentucky Oaks, respectively. The winners of each stakes will earn 100 qualifying points to the respective races. Joining the Toyota Blue Grass and Central Bank Ashland on April 3 are the $300,000 GI Madison S. for older fillies and mares at seven furlongs; $200,000 GII Appalachian S. for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the grass; $200,000 GII Shakertown S. for 3-year-olds and up at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf; and $200,000 GIII Commonwealth S. for older horses at seven furlongs.
For the remainder of the Spring Meet, racing will be held Wednesday through Sunday. For the entire stakes schedule, visit Keeneland.com.