01/18/2018 1:36PM

Keeneland raises purse of Appalachian Stakes to $200,000


Keeneland Racecourse has increased the purse of its Grade 2 Appalachian Stakes by $75,000 for this year’s spring meet, which will feature 16 stakes races worth a record $4.4 million in total purses, the track said on Thursday.

The $200,000 Appalachian, which was recently elevated from a Grade 3 to a Grade 2, will be run on opening day of the spring meet, April 6. The race was the only stakes race targeted for a purse increase this year. All of the other stakes will have the same purse as last year.

The racing highlight of the 16-day meet will once again be the first Saturday, April 7, when Keeneland will card its major prep for the Kentucky Derby, the $1 million Blue Grass Stakes. Four other graded stakes will be held that day, including the Grade 1 Ashland for 3-year-old fillies and the Grade 1 Madison, a seven-furlong test for fillies and mares ages 4 and up.

The Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile, worth $300,000 and for older horses on the turf, is scheduled for Friday, April 13. The next day, Keeneland will run four stakes races, including the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley on the turf.

The spring meet will run through April 27 on a Wednesday-through-Sunday schedule. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.