06/10/2014 2:38PM

Keeneland: Three sponsored stakes get $100k increases


Keeneland announced Tuesday that a trio of stakes at its fall meet will receive $100,000 purse increases due to sponsorship agreements with three leading Kentucky breeding farms.

Claiborne will sponsor the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity, which will be worth $500,000 this year; Lane’s End will lend its name to the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup, which will be worth $500,000; and Dixiana will back the Grade 3 Bourbon, which will be $250,000.

“Keeneland is privileged to enjoy the strong support of the Central Kentucky community,” Keeneland vice president of racing Rogers Beasley said in a release.

In all, Keeneland will offer 17 stakes worth more than $4.9 million at its fall meet, which will run from Oct. 3-25. Purses at the 17-day meet are expected to average $600,000 per program.

:: Complete Keeneland fall stakes schedule

The Keeneland fall meet stakes take on added significance as Breeders’ Cup preps this year since Keeneland will have replaced its Polytrack surface with a new dirt track in time for the meet. The Breeders’ Cup will be run at Santa Anita this year on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

As usual, the Keeneland meet is front-loaded, with nine stakes scheduled during the opening three-day Fall Stars Weekend. Five of the nine stakes are Grade 1s and seven of them are Win and You’re In races for the Breeders’ Cup.

The seven opening weekend BC Challenge races are the Darley Alcibiades (Juvenile Fillies), the Phoenix (Sprint), the Shadwell Turf Mile (Mile), the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (Juvenile), the Thoroughbred Club of America (Filly and Mare Sprint), the Juddmonte Spinster (Distaff), and the Dixiana Bourbon (Juvenile Turf).

The eighth Win and You’re In of the Keeneland meet is the Jessamine Stakes (Juvenile Fillies Turf).