06/15/2003 11:00PM

Names are changed, stakes the same

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Although a handful of Keeneland stakes will have new names this fall, the 19-race, $4.5 million stakes schedule is little changed and retains all the elements that make the meet an annual highlight of the Kentucky season.

The 17-day Keeneland fall meet, Oct. 3-25, begins with Fallstars Weekend, Oct. 3-5, when seven graded stakes are positioned to serve as prep races for the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita. Among the races to be run opening weekend are the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile, the Grade 1 Spinster, the Grade 2 WinStar Galaxy, the Grade 2 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity, and the Grade 2 Darley Alcibiades, formerly the Walmac Intl. Alcibiades.

The third Grade 1 race of the meet, the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, will be run Oct. 11.

In addition to Darley Stud, new race sponsors at the meet also include Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital and Budweiser. Rood and Riddle will sponsor the $150,000 Dowager on Oct. 19, and Budweiser will present the $100,000 Perryville on Oct. 9. In all, seven of Keeneland's fall meet stakes are sponsored by outside enterprises.

Four stakes - the A.P. Indy, the Nureyev, the Green River, and the Hopemont - have been renamed after counties in the Lexington area - Clark, Woodford, Jessamine, and Bourbon, respectively.

At least one stakes will be run on 14 of the 17 race days.