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Keeneland Spring Meet, featuring Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, out of starting gate today

Keeneland's Spring Meet runs April 4-25.

Keeneland’s Spring Meet runs April 4-25.


Keeneland kicks off its 2014 Spring Meet today, marking the start of 15 days of racing and headlined by the 90th running of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1), a prominent prep for contenders pointing toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).

In addition to racing, a special events calendar and new amenities for fans of all ages highlight the Spring Meet, which runs through Friday, April 25.

Keeneland will conduct racing on Wednesday through Sunday with post time for the first race each day at 1:05 p.m., except for Toyota Blue Grass Day, Saturday, April 12, when first post is 12:35 p.m. There will be no live racing on Easter Sunday, April 20.

Racing will be featured on the cable network TVG beginning at 1 p.m. each race day. Fans can also watch every race live – at no charge – on the track’s website, Keeneland.com.

The Spring Meet features 16 stakes, including five Grade 1 events, worth a total of $3.775 million. The competitive jockey colony is set to include Joel Rosario, who set a Spring Meet record with 38 victories in 2013, and 2013 Eclipse Award winner Javier Castellano, who currently leads North America in victories and set a single-season earnings record in 2013 with more than $26.2 million.

Keeneland’s signature race, the Toyota Blue Grass, is worth 100 points to the winner on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.Keeneland, in collaboration with The Jockey Club and FOX Sports 1, will provide live coverage of the race on Saturday, April 12, from 4:30–6 p.m. as part of the The Jockey Club Tour on FOX series.

The Toyota Blue Grass, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, has been the springboard for 19 horses that have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby. The race helped draw 37,161 fans to the track on April 13, 2013, marking the second-largest crowd in Keeneland history, while the all-sources mutuel handle exceeded $21.1 million, the second-highest total ever for a Keeneland race day.

The $500,000 Central Bank Ashland, for 3-year-old fillies racing 1 1/16 miles, will be held opening Saturday, April 5. The Central Bank Ashland is a major steppingstone on the Road to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), awarding 100 points to the winner as part of the point system for classic contenders. Thirty-one fillies have used the Central Bank Ashland as a prep to victory in the Oaks.

Other prominent stakes slated for this spring are the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1), a one-mile race on the turf for older horses on April 11, and the $200,000 Coolmore Lexington (G3), a 1 1/16-mile race on April 19 for 3-year-olds with Triple Crown aspirations.

From Keeneland

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