Keeneland to Award Record $6 Million in Stakes Purses during 2021 Fall Meet as Track Celebrates 85th Anniversary

June 30, 2021

Stakes schedule expanded to 22 races with two new stakes, two returning stakes

LEXINGTON, Ky. – While Keeneland celebrates its 85th anniversary during the 2021 Fall Meet in October, the track will offer a race meet record $6 million in stakes purses and an expanded stakes schedule of 22 races. The Fall Meet, which covers 17 days of racing from Oct. 8-30, will open with the signature Fall Stars Weekend, feature 10 Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races, offer two new $150,000 stakes for 2-year-olds and reposition several stakes to create a total of six race cards with multiple stakes.

Keeneland opened Oct. 15, 1936, for a nine-day Fall Meet.

The Keeneland Fall Meet is incredibly important, and 85 years of racing at Keeneland is a testament to the uncommon vision of our founders, who tirelessly worked to create an entity that would take a leadership role in the global Thoroughbred industry and in the Central Kentucky community,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “This summer, as we look forward to welcoming back fans and the superstars who will compete here, we feel the anticipation building for the Fall Meet and we look forward to celebrating the anniversary.”

Keeneland will release information about 2021 Fall Meet ticketing along with the timeline for purchases in early July.

All existing stakes for the 2021 Fall Meet have been restored to 2019 purse levels except for the Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3), which received a boost from $125,000 to $150,000, and the Keeneland Turf Mile (G1) and Bourbon (G2), which remain at 2020 levels of $750,000 and $200,000, respectively.

“After thoughtful review by our racing team and input from horsemen, we made adjustments to our fall stakes program that will further elevate the quality of racing throughout the meet,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing Gatewood Bell said. “We feel the lucrative purse money and expanded racing opportunities, including two new stakes for 2-year-olds, now in place will broaden Keeneland’s appeal to horsemen and fans alike.”  

During Fall Stars Weekend, nine stakes are included in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Presented by America’s Best Racing. Each winner receives an automatic starting position and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Nov. 5-6 World Championships at Del Mar:

$400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1), Juvenile Fillies (G1) and $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2), Sprint (G1) on Friday, Oct. 8;

$750,000 Keeneland Turf Mile (G1), FanDuel Mile (G1), $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1), TVG Juvenile (G1), $400,000 First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare (G1), Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf (G1) and $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) on Saturday, Oct. 9

$500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) (Distaff-G1), $200,000 Bourbon (G2), Juvenile Turf (G1) and $200,000 Indian Summer (L), Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) on Sunday, Oct. 10.

The fifth stakes on Fall Stars Saturday, Oct. 9, is the $200,000 Woodford (G2) Presented by TVG.

On Wednesday, Oct. 13, Keeneland will present its 10th Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, the $200,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2), Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).

The Fall Meet’s sixth Grade 1 stakes is the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Dixiana, an invitational turf race for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles, to be run Saturday, Oct. 16.

For the season, Keeneland has shifted the dates of several stakes. The first is the $150,000 Sycamore (G3), a 1½-mile turf event for 3-year-old and up, which has been moved from Thursday to Friday, Oct. 22.  

To enhance the final days of the Fall Meet, Keeneland has introduced two new $150,000 juvenile stakes, the Myrtlewood and Bowman Mill; revived the Perryville and Bryan Station, both fixtures for 3-year-olds, and scheduled the Valley View (G3) and Hagyard Fayette (G2) to create multiple stakes cards:

Joining the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) on Saturday, Oct 23 is the $150,000 Perryville, a 7-furlong race for 3-year-olds. Keeneland ran the Perryville from 1999-2009 and revived the race in 2015 and 2020 as a 6-furlong event that was part of the undercard stakes for the Breeders’ Cup here.

The $150,000 Valley View (G3) will be run Friday, Oct. 29 alongside the new $150,000 Myrtlewood for 2-year-old fillies at 6 furlongs.

The $200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2), for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles, resumes its traditional role as the Fall Meet’s closing-day feature. Joining the Hagyard Fayette on Saturday, Oct. 30 are the $150,000 Bryan Station for 3-year-olds at 1 mile on the turf and the new $150,000 Bowman Mill for 2-year-olds at 6 furlongs.

Keeneland previously ran the Bryan Station from 1993-2009 and revived the race as a 1 1/8-mile stakes on the turf for 3-year-olds in 2015 and 2020 as part of the Breeders’ Cup undercard. 

Keeneland Press Release

Photo of Keeneland (Keeneland/Coady Photography)

@jonathanstettin I for one can still actually feel the pall cast over the crowd and game that day. It was palpable. Kudos 2/2

William G. Gotimer (@WilliamGotimer) View testimonials