Keeneland opens this weekend, Oct. 5-7, with its “Fall Stars” theme, with many of the nation’s most talented Thoroughbreds, trainers and jockeys set to compete in nine graded stakes worth more than $3 million.
Seven Fall Stars stakes are Breeders’ Cup Challenge races, in which the winners automatically qualify for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita Park.
Community stars are honored during the meet’s second week, which opens with Make-A-Wish Day on Wednesday, Oct. 10, when local Thoroughbred farms team up with Keeneland to grant wishes for nine children. Full-time college students receive free general admission and the chance to win one of ten $1,000 scholarships during the track’s popular College Scholarship Day on Friday, Oct. 12, and Keeneland salutes one of the community’s beloved and iconic figures, Keeneland bugler Bucky Sallee, on Saturday, Oct. 13.
Hunter and jockey Manoel Cruz at Keeneland's 2011 Make-A-Wish Day. (Photo by Kailie Kirven, Keeneland)
Keeneland will salute 2011 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Plum Pretty on Sunday, Oct. 14, as part of a week celebrating athletes and the military. Fans can meet retired and current riding stars during a Jockey Autograph Session to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund on Thursday, Oct.18, and kick off the University of Kentucky’s football homecoming weekend as the track hosts See Blue Day on Friday, Oct. 19. Military members and their families are the stars on Military Family Day, Sunday, Oct. 21, with free general admission, food and activities on the North Terrace in the Military Family Zone.
The focus is on Fans and Fashion closing weekend when Keeneland will offer free servings of its famous bread pudding on Fan Appreciation Day, Friday, Oct. 26. On Saturday, Oct. 27, Keeneland will become the first North American racetrack to host Fashions on the Field. Stylish patrons will compete for the award of best-dressed male and female before a panel of celebrity judges.
Keeneland 2012 Fall Events Calendar
Friday, Oct. 5-Sunday, Oct. 7:
• Fall Stars Weekend. Nine graded stakes worth more than $3 million will be run during Keeneland’s three-day opening weekend. Winners of seven races will automatically qualify for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita.
Friday, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26:
• Friday Pick 4, presented by TVG. Guaranteed pool of $200,000.
Friday Happy Hour. The fun doesn’t end with the last race. Start the weekend with live music and simulcast wagering in the Paddock.
Saturday, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27:
• Sunrise Trackside at Keeneland. Fans can experience the sights and sounds of Keeneland even before the gates open for the race day. It’s a morning filled with fun for family or out-of-town guests, featuring Breakfast with the Works, Kids Club activities, self-guided tours of the racetrack, pictures taken with Bucky the Bugler, handicapping seminars, jockey Q&A, and more.
Saturday, Oct. 6:
• $250,000 All Stakes Pick 4, presented by TVG. Covers the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), First Lady (G1), Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).
Wednesdays, Oct. 10, 17 and 24:
• Keeneland Handicapping Contest. Place a $2 win and place wager on Keeneland races 3-9. Entry fee is $10 with a guaranteed $2,500 pool. Limit three entries per person. First 200 participants receive a free Daily Racing Form.
Wednesday, Oct. 10:
• Make-A-Wish Day. Local Thoroughbred farms team up with Keeneland to grant wishes for nine area children. Children and their families are treated to a VIP afternoon at the races, and will make a trophy presentation following each of the day’s races.
• Wine, Women and Shoes. The Lexington Cancer Foundation offers a fundraising evening of shopping, sipping and swirling select wines, and celebrating fashion at the Keeneland Entertainment Center.
Friday, Oct. 12:
• College Scholarship Day. Full-time college students receive free general admission and the chance to win one of 10 $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 first 1,000 students to register for a scholarship receive a Keeneland College Scholarship Day t-shirt courtesy of Kennedy Book Store and a hat from Vineyard Vines.
• Buffalo Trace Distillery Sweepstakes. Patrons can enter to win a VIP Distillery Experience. The first 1,500 fans who register will receive a Buffalo Trace Distillery drawstring backpack.
Saturday, Oct. 13:
• Lexus Test Drive. Patrons may test-drive a Lexus car in the Clubhouse parking area from 6:30-9 a.m.
• Saddle Up SAFELY Charity Tailgate Brunch. Saddle Up SAFELY promotes safe practices for those who ride or work around horses through a broad-based, multi-media educational campaign developed in partnership with community, state, and national organizations.
• Bucky Sallee Salute – Celebrate one of the community’s most beloved and iconic figures, Keeneland bugler Bucky Sallee. Bucky will be on hand to sign a specially designed program and other memorabilia before the races, and take pictures with fans in the paddock area.
Sunday, Oct. 14:
• Keeneland Salutes 2011 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Plum Pretty.
• Chase Bank Customer Day. Patrons who present their JPMorgan/Chase logoed debit or credit card at the South or East Gates will receive free admission.
Thursday, Oct. 18:
• Jockey Autograph Signing. Meet active and retired jockeys from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
• Charity Day for the Hindman Settlement School. Keeneland recognizes the historic Kentucky institution that offers education and service programs that address critical needs of the region’s youth and adults, promote cultural awareness and build upon Appalachia’s rich cultural heritage.
Friday, Oct. 19:
• See Blue Day. Kick off the University of Kentucky’s football homecoming weekend at Keeneland. Free general admission for UK students, alumni and faculty; activities for all Wildcat fans! Enjoy fan fun on the North Terrace from noon-3 p.m. with special UK alumni autograph signings featuring Denver Bronco Jacob Tamme, UK cheerleaders and more.
• Charity Day for the Woodford Humane Society. Patrons who visit the organization’s information table receive a free gift and can enter to win a Keeneland Experience, which includes a table for four in the Phoenix Room during the 2013 spring meet.
Friday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 20:
• The Keeneland Gift Shop presents the Southern Proper Trunk Show
Sunday, Oct. 21:
• Military Family Day. All active and inactive members of the military, including family members, with military ID will receive free general admission. The North Terrace will be transformed into Military Family Zone with free food and activities.
Friday, Oct. 26:
• Fan Appreciation Day. Patrons will be treated to a sample of Keeneland’s famous bread pudding in the North Terrace from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 27:
• Fashions on the Field. Stylish patrons are encouraged to enter Keeneland’s inaugural Fashions on the Field event. Patrons can have some fun and strut their stuff in their race-day outfits before a panel of celebrity judges. The competition will begin in a heat format with a final competition to name the top dressed male and female.