01/18/2006 1:00AM

Blue Grass tops among 19 stakes


Keeneland Race Course released its spring stakes schedule Wednesday with minimal changes and an announced value of more than $4.2 million for the 19-race schedule.

As usual, the meet will be front-loaded with major races, with the first seven days of racing to include the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes, Grade 2 Madison, Grade 2 Beaumont, Grade 2 Maker's Mark Mile, Grade 2 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup, Grade 2 Jenny Wiley, and the traditional meet highlight, the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes on April 15.

Notable races later at the Lexington, Ky., track include the April 21 Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings, a Grade 1 steeplechase, and the Grade 2 Lexington on April 22.

As previously announced, both the Madison and the Jenny Wiley have been elevated to Grade 2's.

Fourteen of the 19 stakes are graded, and at least one stakes will be run every day of the 15-day meet, which runs April 7-28.

2006 stakes schedule

Fri.,April 7Transylvania (G3)3YO1 mile (T)$150,000
Sat.,April 8Ashland (G1)3YO F1 1/16 miles500,000
Sun.,April 9Lafayette3YO6 furlongs100,000
Wed.,April 12Madison (G2)F&M, 4YO & Up7 furlongs200,000
Thur.,April 13Beaumont (G2)3YO F7 furlongs, 184 ft.250,000
Fri.,April 14Maker's Mark Mile (G2)4YO & Up1 mile (T)250,000
Fri.,April 14Shakertown (G3)3YO & Up5 1/2 furlongs (T)100,000
Sat.,April 15Blue Grass (G1)3YO1 1/8 miles750,000
Sat.,April 15Commonwealth B.C. (G2)3YO & Up7 furlongs400,000
Sat.,April 15Jenny Wiley (G2)F&M, 4YO & Up1 1/16 miles (T)200,000
Wed.,April 19DoubledogdareF&M, 4YO & Up1 1/16 miles100,000
Thur.,April 20 Forerunner3YO1 1/8 miles (T)100,000
Fri.,April 21Royal Chase/Spt. of Kings (NSA-G1)4YO & Up2 1/2 miles (h)150,000
Sat.,April 22Lexington (G2)3YO1 1/16 miles325,000
Sat.,April 22Giant's CausewayF&M, 3YO & Up5 1/2 furlongs (T)100,000
Sun.,April 23Appalachian3YO F1 mile (T)100,000
Wed.,April 26Bewitch (G3)F&M, 4YO & Up1 1/2 miles (T)100,000
Thur.,April 27Ben Ali (G3)4YO & Up1 1/8 miles150,000
Fri.,April 28Elkhorn (G3)4YO & Up1 1/2 miles (T)200,000