Home » Keeneland Fall Meet kicks off in a week with prestigious Fall stars weekend

Keeneland Fall Meet kicks off in a week with prestigious Fall stars weekend

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Keeneland’s 17-day Fall Meet opens Friday, Oct. 6, with the start of Fall Stars Weekend, three days of exceptional Thoroughbred racing that will help determine the fields for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the contenders for Eclipse Awards as North American champions. The Fall Meet, which runs through Saturday, Oct. 28, will offer record prize money to North America’s leading horses and horsemen, inviting wagering offerings for horseplayers and exciting special events for fans. 

Keeneland will present 22 stakes worth a record $9.05 million, which includes $1.3 million from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF). A total of $5.55 million will be awarded during 11 stakes on Fall Stars Weekend, eight of which are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. Winners of those races will earn an automatic and free entry to the 40th Breeders’ Cup Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita. 

The Fall Meet continues a noteworthy run at Keeneland, which has established records for all-sources handles for the past five consecutive race meets while raising stakes purses to new heights. All sources wagering during the 15-day Spring Meet in April was $224 million, a record for the Spring season at the track. 

Post time for the first race each day of the Fall Meet is 1 p.m. ET, and all races will be livestreamed on Keeneland.com. Complimentary Equibase past performances will be available to download. 

Advance ticket sales are available

All tickets to Keeneland for the Spring Meet must be purchased in advance via Keeneland’s Official Online Ticket Office at tickets.Keeneland.com/racing or on the Keeneland Race Day App. 

Bank of America, John Deere join Keeneland team

Keeneland recently announced that Bank of America, one of the world’s leading financial institutions, and John Deere, the official equipment supplier of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the equine industry since 2001, have joined Keeneland as a race sponsor and partner, respectively.

Bank of America will sponsor the $300,000 Valley View Stakes (G3), a 1-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies that will be run on Friday, Oct. 27.

John Deere|Meade Tractor’s involvement in the Fall Meet will include Sunrise Trackside, the free, family-friendly event on Saturdays from 8-10 a.m. The John Deere Tractor Break will be featured at approximately 8:30 a.m. In addition, children and adults can play games to win John Deere merchandise in conjunction with Meade Tractor. 

Opening Saturday features a new Breeders’ Cup Pick 6 wager

Fall Stars Weekend will kick off a slate of wagering action that will appeal to casual and experienced handicappers. 

On Oct. 6, the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2), the Jessamine (G2) Presented by Keeneland November and the Darley Alcibiades (G1) will be included in late Pick 4 and late Pick 5 wagers.

 On Oct. 7, the All Stakes Pick 4 and All Stakes Pick 5 will conclude with the Coolmore Turf Mile (G1). New this year is the Breeders’ Cup Pick 6, which will feature six “Win and You’re In Races” – three from Keeneland and three from Santa Anita. 

On Oct. 8, the late Pick 4 and Late Pick 5 will include the Indian Summer (L) Presented by Keeneland Select, the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) and the Castle & Key Bourbon (G2). 

Other wagers and competitions during the season include the Keeneland Turf Pick 3, which requires a $3 minimum and is offered on the final three turf races each day; the Super High Five, which is offered on the final race each day; and the New York Racing Association’s Cross Country wager on Saturdays, which will include Keeneland races. 

Additional handicapping events during the Fall Meet include: 

  • Wednesday, Oct. 11, 18, 25: Malone’s Presented WINS-Day Challenge. This is an inexpensive way for beginner handicappers to give contests a try. Enter for $10 at Wagering Central on the first floor of the Grandstand and place a mythical $2 win and place wager – no actual money required – on the final six Keeneland races of the day. The first 200 participants receive a free Daily Racing Form and appetizer card from Malone’s.
  • Friday, Oct. 13: Fall $400 Challenge. Registration is open for Keeneland’s live bankroll handicapping tournament, which has a $400 buy-in. Players will wager a live bankroll of $250 on any or all races at Keeneland with no minimums per race. One Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge berth and as many as four National Horseplayers Championship spots are up for grabs. 
  • Saturday, Oct. 14: $3,500 Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge. Registration is open for in-person and remote participation in Keeneland’s live-money contest in cooperation with XpressBet, NYRA Bets, 4NJ Bets, HPI and TVG. The entry fee is $3,500, with $2,500 going to the live bankroll and $1,000 to the prize fund. Players must wager a minimum of $400 in at least five Keeneland races and a minimum of $2,500. Prizes include cash, as many as six Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge berths, and 10 NHC spots (based on the number of entries). 

Special events are fan favorites 

In addition to presenting outstanding Thoroughbred racing, Keeneland has scheduled a full calendar of special events during the Fall Meet with special meaning because they continue the track’s mission to promote the industry and support the Central Kentucky community: 

  • Saturday, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28: Sunrise Trackside. This free morning program is geared toward families with a unique view of Thoroughbreds during training hours. Coffee, hot chocolate, donuts and sausage biscuits will be available at The Starting Gate concession stand. Children’s activities (including a visit with Keeneland mascot Buckles, face painting, games and jockey silk photos) will take place from 8-10 a.m. on the first floor of the Grandstand. The John Deere Tractor Break will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. A meet and greet with a horse will take place from 8:30-9 a.m. in the Walking Ring. Guests can learn more about Keeneland by joining a complimentary mini-tour. Visit the Tours Podium located near the Paddock area for more information.  This event is open to the public and does not require a ticket. A special Halloween edition of Sunrise Trackside will take place Oct. 28. 
  • Thursday, Oct. 12: Make-A-Wish Day. This is the 16th year for the event, the culmination of a rewarding experience for a special group of deserving children. Local Thoroughbred farms and organizations team up with Keeneland to grant wishes for the children, who, with their families, are treated to a VIP experience, complete with presenting a trophy after each race, meeting jockeys and experiencing the excitement of a day at the races. Fans are encouraged to support Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana by donating to the “Wishing Well” near the Keeneland Paddock. 
  • Friday, Oct. 13: College Scholarship Day Presented by Lane’s End. Full-time college students are invited to enjoy a day at the races, prizes, scholarship giveaways, behind-the-scenes racing experiences, reserved seating and more. Pre-registered students can win one of ten $2,000 scholarships provided by Keeneland and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association. Students who attend the race day and have their tickets scanned will also be eligible to win two additional scholarships provided by Lane’s End Farm, as week as prize packages from local Kentucky businesses.
  • Sunday, Oct. 15: Keeneland Kids Club Family Day, Presented by Kentucky Children’s Hospital. The Keeneland Kids Club is the Official Kids Club for fans 12 and younger. Kids Club members and their families are invited to enjoy this special day at the races with free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seating when they present their membership cards at admission gates. Children’s activities will occur in the North Terrace from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include local community partners.
  • Sunday, Oct. 22: Heroes Day. Heroes Day honors members of the military (active duty and veterans) and first responders (law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and health care workers) and their families with free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seats. The Family Zone will offer free lunch provided by City BBQ and children’s activities for those families in the North Terrace from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Keeneland will showcase a POW-MIA Chair of Honor to bring awareness to past and current POW-MIA military members through a partnership with The Rolling Thunder Kentucky Chapter 5. Heroes Day also will feature a flag unfurling on the main track between races, and local heroes will be recognized in the Winner’s Circle throughout the afternoon.
  • Friday, Oct. 27: Jockey Autograph Signing. Fans will meet active and retired Keeneland riders and Hall of Famers in an event that benefits the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Signing takes place near the Walking Ring from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 28: Teacher Appreciation Day. Keeneland will honor educators and staff by granting free admission with a valid ID. Teachers will receive free admission; guests are encouraged to purchase tickets only ahead of time at tickets.keeneland.com. 

Keeneland Pale Ale benefits Blue Grass Farms Charities 

Keeneland and Country Boy Brewing of Lexington again have teamed to produce Keeneland Pale Ale, available around Kentucky and sold at the track in cans and on draft. Country Boy Brewing, Kentucky Eagle and other distributor partners will donate $1 per case to Blue Grass Farms Charities (BGFC) to support its Back-to-School Backpack Program, which provides school supplies for nearly 1,000 children whose parents work in Keeneland’s stable area and on Central Kentucky farms. 

Keeneland 2023 Fall Meet at a Glance

  • Schedule: 17 days from Oct. 6-28. No racing Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Gates open: 11 a.m.    First race: 1 p.m.
  • Six Grade 1 races: $600,000 Darley Alcibiades on Oct. 6; $1 million Coolmore Turf Mile, $750,000 First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare and $600,000 Claiborne Breeders Futurity on Oct. 7; $600,000 Juddmonte Spinster on Oct. 8; and $600,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Dixiana on Oct. 14.
  • Watch races: Thanks to the Keeneland Livestream, fans can watch all Fall Meet races live and at no charge on Keeneland.comKeeneland Race Day AppKeeneland Select and Keeneland’s YouTube page.
  • Website: Keeneland.com
  • Patron Experience Guide: Visit Keeneland.com/welcome for this resource to help you make the most of your day at Keeneland.
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