Opening Fall Stars Weekend showcases Breeders’ Cup Challenge races; Race Day mobile app, enhancements to The Hill and Wagering Central among new initiatives
LEXINGTON, KY (Sept. 27, 2013) – Keeneland kicks off its 2013 fall race meet on Friday, Oct. 4, with the goal to make each and every fan’s experience a memorable one while featuring world-class racing, enhanced hospitality and customer service, expanded options for placing wagers and delivery of handicapping information, and a diverse special events calendar designed to appeal to fans of all ages.
The fall meet runs through Saturday, Oct. 26, with live racing Wednesday through Sunday. Gates open at 11 a.m. ET; post time for the first race is 1:05 p.m.
Breeders’ Cup-Bound Horses Showcased on Opening Fall Stars Weekend
Seventeen stakes worth $4.625 million highlight the fall meet, attracting many of the nation’s top trainers and jockeys. Keeneland opens with its signature Fall Stars Weekend (Oct. 4-6), highlighted by nine graded stakes, seven of which are Breeders’ Cup Challenge races that provide the winner automatic qualification for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita Park. The JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3), a Breeders’ Cup Challenge stakes for the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), will be run Wednesday, Oct. 9.
The centerpiece of Fall Stars Weekend remains the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), won last year by Keeneland-based Wise Dan as a prelude to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and eventual Horse of the Year honors. Wise Dan is slated to defend his title in the 2013 Shadwell Turf Mile on Oct. 5 as a prep for another return to the Breeders’ Cup.
Fans can follow the horses competing during Fall Stars Weekend and training at Keeneland in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships via its new microsite, www.Keeneland.com/fallstars, which features probable race fields, photos and video, news and contests. Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #fallstars on Twitter.
In conjunction with Fall Stars Weekend, fans will have the opportunity to win a VIP trip for two to the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita. The fan that picks the most winners from the weekend’s Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In Challenge Races will win a Breeders’ Cup prize package that includes clubhouse seating for two, airfare, three-night stay and Breeders’ Cup merchandise. The prize package is courtesy of Keeneland, Breeders’ Cup and Blue Grass Airport. Fans may register atwww.Keeneland.com/fallstars/contest.
Enhanced Customer Service
This fall, Keeneland is introducing its Keeneland Cares initiative, with the goal to provide the highest-quality customer service to every guest it hosts during the race meet. Among the new amenities are expanded hospitality and concierge staffing at the gates; on-track “Hospitality Hubs” and opportunities for patrons to submit comments and feedback online. These new features are yet another step Keeneland has undertaken to ensure fans enjoy a unique, memorable racing experience.
Exciting Wagering Opportunities
Keeneland has given its popular Wagering Central, the hub for all things wagering, a new look this fall, repositioning its location on the first floor grandstand and decking it out with colorful signage. Wagering Central staff, known as BETologists, are available to answer betting questions, offer free daily selections and help patrons register accounts for Keeneland’s Bet From Your Phone and Keeneland Select, the advance deposit wagering (ADW) site that allows fans to wager on Keeneland’s races when they are away from the track.
Additionally, Keeneland has increased the number of its popular BETologists this fall. BETologists will be based at Wagering Central, roam throughout the grandstand, and be on The Hill on Fridays and Saturdays.
Once again, Keeneland will offer two popular wagering opportunities during the fall meet – the Friday Pick 4 presented by TVG takes place the first three Fridays of the meet, with a guaranteed pool of $200,000. The $250,000 All Stakes Pick 4 presented by TVG, on Saturday, Oct. 5, challenges patrons to handicap the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), First Lady (G1), Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1), and Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).
Keeneland has also made a number of enhancements to the Wednesday Handicapping Contest, now known as the WINS-day Contest sponsored by the Daily Racing Form and Drake’s. Entry fee is $10; 100% of fees are returned in prizes. Players place a mythical $2 win bet on Keeneland races 3 through 8 with a guaranteed $2,500 pool. First-, second- and third-place winners will also receive gift cards from Drake’s. The first 200 to register will receive a Daily Racing Form and free appetizer from Drake’s.
New Race Day App
Fans have a wealth of information directly at their fingertips in the Keeneland Race Day App, a newly developed free app for mobile devices, including iPads, iPhones and Android. Essential race-day information such as entries and real-time results, expert tips for bettors, a betting calculator and events calendar are easily accessible. An interactive map provides information on locations of services and allows fans to mark where they’re at on the grounds and share that location with friends. Download the app in iTunes or Google.
As Keeneland’s social media presence continues to grow, fans can also follow on Twitter (@keeneland and @keenelandracing) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/keeneland).
Fun-Filled Special Events Calendar
In addition to spectacular racing, Keeneland has scheduled a special events calendar which offers something for everyone:
Sunrise Trackside (Oct. 5, 12, 19, 16) – Experience an insider’s view of Keeneland on Saturday mornings before the gates open for racing. Activities include Breakfast With the Works, Kids Club activities, tours of the racetrack, a handicapping seminar and a Q&A session with a jockey.
Craft Beer Tent (Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 4-26) – A craft beer tent in the North Terrace will feature local and popular craft beers on Fridays and Saturdays. Local musicians 64 West will perform after the races on Friday, Oct. 4.
Tailgating on The Hill (Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 4-26) – The popular free tailgating spot introduced in the spring is back and better than ever. A jumbo screen will show live racing and college football; wagering is available; food trucks from the Bluegrass Food Truck Association will offer a variety of menus; and live Bluegrass music will entertain patrons. The America’s Best Racing Brand Ambassadors and Keeneland BETologists will also team up to offer betting tips and tutorials. A complimentary shuttle will take fans to the grandstand.
Opening Day and Tribute to Bucky Sallee (Oct. 4) – The public is invited to join Keeneland in honoring Bugler Emeritus Bucky Sallee, retiring after more than 50 years as Keeneland’s horn blower. Special commemorations are planned prior to the first race, and Bucky will sign autographs during the afternoon. Fans will be able to share their memories of Bucky online, or drop a letter in the “Bucky Mailbox,” which will be located adjacent to the paddock on opening day.
Make-A-Wish-Day (Oct. 10) – Local Thoroughbred farms team up with Keeneland to provide nine deserving children with the race day of their dreams. The children and their families will be treated to a VIP race day experience. Come out and support the Make-A-Wish Foundation and make these kids’ day as they present the trophies for all nine races.
See Blue Day (Oct. 11) – Kick off Kentucky’s home football weekend versus two-time defending national champion Alabama by tailgating on The Hill for Friday’s racing action. Kentucky students, alumni and faculty receive free general admission and access to reserved grandstand seating with their IDs. Fans can also cheer on a handicapping challenge between the two schools, with all proceeds benefiting each school’s dance marathon philanthropies.
Jockey Signing (Oct. 17) – Fans can meet retired and active jockeys. New commemorative jockey autograph books will be sold for $5 each to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
College Scholarship Day (Oct. 18) – Full-time college students receive free general admission and the chance to win one of ten $1,000 scholarships awarded after each race. Registration will take place in Keeneland’s College Zone in the North Terrace, which features music, free snacks and prize drawings. The Drake’s Handicapping Challenge will offer registered students the chance to win a $500 win-bet for the feature race and LexScene will take photos to be featured in the magazine and online.
Heroes Day (Oct. 20) – All military, police officers, firefighters, EMTs and their families will receive free general admission.
Keeneland Fan Appreciation Day (Oct. 26) – To show its appreciation to fans, Keeneland will offer free bread pudding samples in the North Terrace.