Keeneland’s 2016 Fall Meet opens October 7 with the start of Fall Stars Weekend, which features nine graded stakes worth $3.7 million over three days. Five Fall Stars stakes are Grade 1 events: $400,000 Darley Alcibiades on October 7; $1,000,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and $400,000 First Lady on October 8; and the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster on October 9.
Seven stakes during Fall Stars Weekend are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge, which awards the winning horse a spot in the starting gate for the corresponding race during the Breeders Cup World Championships on Nov. 4-5 at Santa Anita. The races are the Darley Alcibiades, which sends the winner to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), and the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (Breeders’ Cup Sprint-G1) on October 7; Shadwell Turf Mile (Breeders’ Cup Mile-G1), Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-G1) and Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) (Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint-G1) on October 8; and the Juddmonte Spinster (Breeders’ Cup Distaff-G1) and Dixiana Bourbon (G3) (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf-G1) on October 9.
Keeneland’s fall stakes have been a springboard to success for a number of Breeders’ Cup winners. In the fall of 2012, Keeneland-based Wise Dan romped to a 2¼-length win in the Shadwell Turf Mile as a prelude to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and Horse of the Year honors. Three 2014 Breeders' Cup race winners ran their previous race during Keeneland's Fall Stars Weekend: Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) winner Work All Week (Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix-G3), Filly and Mare Turf (G1) winner Dayatthespa (First Lady-G1) and Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Take Charge Brandi (Darley Alcibiades-G1). In 2015, the Breeders' Cup came to Keeneland and two Breeders' Cup race winners returned after winning stakes during the fall meet: Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) winner Tepin (First Lady-G1) and Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) winner Runhappy (Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix-G3).