07/07/2004 11:00PM

Keeneland fall meeting: 19 stakes in 17 days


Keeneland Race Course on Thursday released its stakes schedule for the 17-day fall meet with only subtle revisions to the usual high-class fare.

Two of the 12 graded stakes to be run at the Lexington, Ky., track now sport a higher grade and larger purse: the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity went from Grade 2 to Grade 1 and is now worth $500,000, up from $400,000, while the Raven Run Stakes is up one notch to a Grade 2 and is worth $200,000, an increase of $50,000. The purse for the Storm Cat Stakes has also been raised from $75,000 to $100,000.

In all, 19 stakes worth more than $4.6 million will be run at a meet that perennially serves as a crucial preview to the Breeders' Cup, which this year will be run Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park in Texas. Most notably, the three-day opening weekend is packed with Breeders' Cup previews, including the Darley Alcibiades, Phoenix Breeders' Cup, Breeders' Futurity, WinStar Galaxy, Shadwell Mile, and Overbrook Spinster.

The meet runs Oct. 8-30. At least one stakes will be run on 14 of the 17 programs. Daily purses are expected to average $600,000 per day, among the highest of any track in North America.