Keeneland Announces 2017 Spring Meet Stakes Schedule

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LEXINGTON, KY (Jan. 19, 2017) – Keeneland today announced a $4.325 million stakes schedule for its 2017 Spring Meet that offers 16 stakes, featuring the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), and introduces Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet as the signature sponsor of the $200,000 Lexington (G3). Purse money for the Lexington and opening day Transylvania (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select have been increased by $50,000 each.

The 15-day Spring Meet, to be held April 7-28, will offer racing Wednesdays through Sundays except Easter Sunday, April 16.

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“Keeneland receives loyal support from owners and trainers across North America, and we are proud to once again feature such a rich and diverse stakes schedule,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. “We continue to pursue initiatives to provide an exceptional racing program for horsemen and competitive wagering opportunities for fans.”

Fifteen of the spring’s 16 stakes are graded events with half contested on the turf.

The Spring Meet kicks off Friday, April 7, with the Transylvania, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds on the turf. Purse money for the Transylvania was elevated from $100,000 to $150,000 for 2017.

Keeneland has carded blockbuster days of racing on consecutive Saturdays, offering multiple stakes races that attract the nation’s human and equine stars.

Two prominent classic preps, the Toyota Blue Grass and Central Bank Ashland, headline opening Saturday, April 8. The Toyota Blue Grass, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, and the Central Bank Ashland, for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles, are worth 100 points each to the winners on the Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Road to the Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively.

The early nomination deadline for both races is Feb. 18. Late nominations are due March 22.

On April 8, NBC Sports Network will provide live coverage of the Toyota Blue Grass, along with the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct and Santa Anita Derby (G1), from 5-7 p.m. ET. Post time for the Toyota Blue Grass is 6 p.m.

Three other graded stakes form a strong undercard on Toyota Blue Grass Day and showcase top older horses, including the $300,000 Madison (G1), for fillies and mares and contested at seven furlongs; $200,000 Shakertown (G2), for 3-year-olds and up at 5½ furlongs on the turf; and $250,000 Commonwealth (G3), for older horses over seven furlongs.

Anchoring the second Saturday of racing, April 15, is the $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1), a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares on the turf won last year by champion turf female Tepin. The Stonestreet Lexington, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and one of the final preps on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, will carry a purse of $200,000, an increase of $50,000. The Stonestreet Lexington awards the winner 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Rounding out the day’s card is the $200,000 Ben Ali (G3) for older horses racing 1 1/8 miles and $100,000 Giant’s Causeway (L), a 5½-furlong turf race for fillies and mares.

A fourth Grade 1 stakes, the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile, one of the sport’s major early season turf stakes, will be held Friday, April 14. In 2016, Miss Temple City became the first filly to run in and also to win the Maker’s 46 Mile.

Because Easter Sunday falls on April 16 in 2017, the $150,000 Adena Springs Beaumont (G3), for 3-year-old fillies going seven furlongs, 184 feet, will be held a week earlier on Sunday, April 9.

Older horses highlight stakes competition during the final days of the Spring Meet. The $100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles is scheduled for Friday, April 21, and is followed by the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) at 1½ miles on the turf on Saturday, April 22, and the 150,000 Bewitch (G3) for fillies and mares racing 1½ miles on the turf on closing day, April 28.

Gates open at 11 a.m. Post time for the first race is 1:05 p.m. except Saturday, April 8, and Saturday, April 15 when racing begins at 12:35 p.m.

Keeneland 2017 Spring Stakes Schedule

 

Date Stakes Division Distance
April 7 $150,000 Transylvania (G3) Presented
by Keeneland Select
3YOs 1 1/16 Miles (T)
April 8 $1 Million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) 3YOs 1 1/8 Miles
April 8 $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) 3YO Fillies 1 1/16 Miles
April 8 $300,000 Madison (G1)  4YOs & Up, F&M 7 Furlongs
April 8 $250,000 Commonwealth (G3) 4YOs & Up 7 Furlongs
April 8 $200,000 Shakertown (G2) 3YOs & Up 5½ Furlongs (T)
April 9 $150,000 Adena Springs Beaumont (G3) 3YO Fillies 7 Furlongs, 184’
April 13 $125,000 Appalachian (G3) Presented
by Japan Racing Association
3YO Fillies 1 Mile (T)
April 14 $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) 4YOs & Up 1 Mile (T)
April 15 $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) 4YOs & Up, F&M 1 1/16 Miles (T)
April 15 $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3) 3YOs 1 1/16 Miles
April 15 $200,000 Ben Ali (G3) 4YOs & Up 1 1/8 Miles
April 15 $100,000 Giant’s Causeway (L) 3YOs & Up, F&M 5½ Furlongs (T)
April 21 $100,000 Hilliard Lyons
Doubledogdare (G3)
4YOs & Up, F&M 1 1/16 Miles
April 22 $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) 4YOs & Up 1½ Miles (T)
April 28

 

$150,000 Bewitch (G3) 4YOs & Up, F&M 1½ Miles (T)

 

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Alex Risen joined the ABC 36 News team in October of 2011 as ABC 36’s Weekend Sports Anchor/ Sports Reporter. Alex can also be seen Friday nights co-anchoring the Highschool Highlight Reel. Alex started out in the broadcast business while still in college at the University of Kentucky, heading up the school’s daily student news network as the Sports Director. He made his commercial televsion debut in May of 2011 while at WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky as co-host of a weekly, half-hour high school sports program previewing area schools’ games on Friday nights and as a morning sports anchor. Alex has also spent time as an intern at ESPN in the Statistics and Analysis department, as a production assistant for NBC Sports horse racing and Sunday Night Football productions, and as an intern for WLKY in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Alex graduated from Saint Xavier High School in 2007 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 2010 where he graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program. He’s excited to be covering his passion in his home state and make Central Kentucky his home for years to come. Alex can be reached at ARisen@wtvq.com