Home » Keeneland and Kentucky Downs team up for lucrative racing opportunity

Keeneland and Kentucky Downs team up for lucrative racing opportunity

FRANKLIN, Ky. — Horses offered at auction during the upcoming Keeneland September Yearling Sale will be eligible to run in a pair of $250,000 allowance races at the 2022 FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs.

Keeneland and Kentucky Downs announced an arrangement where Kentucky Downs will stage one $250,000 allowance race for 2-year-old fillies and one for 2-year-old colts and geldings restricted to horses that go through the sales ring at Keeneland’s world-famous yearling auction Sept. 13-24 in Lexington, Ky.

Yearlings that are sold as well as those not reaching their reserve bid will be eligible for the lucrative allowance events the following September at Kentucky Downs. 

Kentucky Downs already offers the largest purses in America. To put the $250,000 purse in perspective, an entry-level allowance race for 2-year-olds at the 2021 meet carries a purse of $145,800, of which $75,600 comes from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF).

The Keeneland sale-restricted allowance purses will not include any KTDF money, which is available only to register Kentucky-bred horses. That means horses born anywhere will run for the entire $250,000, which is more than the purses of most stakes races. 

Funding will come out of the Kentucky Downs’ horsemen’s purse account under an agreement with the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, which represents owners and trainers at the commonwealth’s five Thoroughbred racetracks.

Kentucky Downs’ 2021 meet opened Sunday, Sept. 5, and continues on Sept. 11 and 12. The six-date session was scheduled to pay out more than $15 million in purses, including KTDF supplements. 

Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale is the world’s most important Thoroughbred auction, offering quality yearlings at all levels of the market. Attracting buyers from across the world, Keeneland September is racing’s No. 1 source of future champions and Grade 1 winners. The 2021 auction spans 11 daily sessions, beginning Monday, Sept. 13.

A total of 2,481 yearlings were sold for a collective $248,978,700 at last year’s September Sale. While the sales topper fetched $2 million, the average price was $100,354 with the median being $37,000.

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