07/16/2012 1:29PM

Keeneland: Shadwell Turf Mile boosted to $750,000

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The signature race of the Keeneland fall meet, the Shadwell Turf Mile, has had its purse increased to $750,000, officials with the Lexington, Ky., track announced Monday. The 17-day meet that will begin Oct. 5.

The Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile had been a $600,000 race until getting the bump for this coming fall, bringing it even with the longstanding spring highlight at Keeneland, the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.

The Shadwell is one of nine stakes on FallStars Weekend, which opens the meet Oct. 5-7, and one of six Grade 1 events for the meet. As always, the first weekend will be a critical staging ground for the Breeders’ Cup, which is set for Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita.

In all, 17 stakes will be run at the meet, which runs through Oct. 27. Stakes purses are expected to total $4.5 million. Two other races, the Grade 3 Woodford and Grade 3 Bourbon, also got purse increases, going from $100,000 to $150,000 each.

Shadwell has sponsored the Turf Mile since 1999.

“Shadwell Farm is an invaluable member of the Keeneland family,” Rogers Beasley, Keeneland vice president for racing, said in a media release. “We greatly appreciate their strong commitment to Thoroughbred racing.”

Gio Ponti won the last two runnings of the Shadwell Turf Mile.