(Keeneland / Photos by Holly M. Smith)
From the Keeneland Media Team:
Keeneland celebrates its 85th anniversary of racing when the 2021 Fall Meet kicks off Friday, Oct. 8. The 17-day meet which runs through Oct. 30 promises excitement from start to finish, highlighted by a race meet record $6 million in stakes purses and an expanded stakes schedule of 22 races; wagering options for handicappers at all levels, among them the new Keeneland Turf Pick 3; and the return of tailgating and family-friendly on-track special events. Post time for the first race each day this fall is 1 p.m. ET.
Racing at its best
The Fall Meet breaks from the gate with its signature Fall Stars Weekend, Oct. 8-10, featuring many of racing’s stars making their final preps for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar on Nov. 4-5. Ten Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races will be held at Keeneland this fall, nine of which are slated for Fall Stars Weekend.
Keeneland features a deep turf schedule this fall, with 12 of its 22 stakes held on the grass, three of which are Grade 1 events – the $750,000 Keeneland Turf Mile, $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Dixiana and the $400,000 First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare.
The stakes program has been elevated throughout the Fall Meet to broaden Keeneland’s appeal to horsemen and fans. To enhance the final days of the season, Keeneland has introduced two new $150,000 juvenile stakes, the Myrtlewood and Bowman Mill; revived the Perryville and Bryan Station, both fixtures for 3-year-olds, and scheduled the Valley View (G3) and Hagyard Fayette (G2) to create multiple stakes cards.
Know before you go – Fall Meet ticketing policy
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Keeneland made adjustments to its race-day operations and streamlined admission procedures to provide the highest quality on-site guest experience. As the safety and well-being of fans and staff remain a top priority, Keeneland is continuing the following policies for the Fall Meet:
- All General Admission, Reserved Seat and Dining tickets must be pre-purchased online at tickets.Keeneland.com or on the Keeneland Race Day app. To expedite entry at Keeneland, walk-up cash purchase will not be available at admission gates. Online advance-purchase General Admission tickets are $7; online day-of General Admission tickets are $10. Tickets will be sent via email or text directly to your phone and can be scanned at the gate.
- To give patrons the most enjoyable experience possible, Keeneland will limit admission to ensure an optimal daily capacity. This optimal capacity on large race days should average 20,000+ fans.
- General Admission tickets are not required to watch and wager on The Hill (available Fridays and Saturdays).
In addition to General Admission, Grandstand Reserved Seat are still available on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the Fall Meet. Seats may be purchased at tickets.Keeneland.com.
Because ticket purchasers may return General Admission, Reserved Seat and dining tickets up to 48 hours in advance of their race day, fans are encouraged to check tickets.Keeneland.com regularly for new ticket availability. Ticket inventory will be automatically updated and available for purchase online or via the Keeneland Race Day App.
Tailgating on The Hill returns
Keeneland’s popular tailgating on The Hill makes a comeback on Fridays and Saturdays for another way to take in the Fall Meet. Fans can watch and wager while enjoying the action from the Jumbotron and wagering tent, while food trucks and live music presented by The Burl create a festive atmosphere. No ticket or reservation is required for The Hill. Fans who wish to elevate their tailgating experience can purchase a package with Tailgate Guys, which includes tent, tables, amenities, reserved area for the day and much more. Visit Keeneland.com/tailgating for full details.
New concession offerings, food trucks, continued partnership with Black Soil
Fans will enjoy new concession offerings, featuring local businesses and products such as Lexington-based Sav’s Gourmet Ice Cream, Down the Stretch Pizza and hot chicken complemented by a variety of local food trucks that will serve fresh offerings every Friday and Saturday near the North Terrace. All dining rooms again will incorporate locally sourced ingredients procured through Keeneland’s partnership with Black Soil, an agritourism enterprise that promotes products and ingredients from Black farmers in Central Kentucky.
Fall Meet Racing – How to watch
“Today at Keeneland” – A 30-minute preview show with handicapping picks and discussion of horses of interest. Racing analysts Gabby Gaudet and Scott Hazelton host the program, which airs live on Keeneland.com, Keeneland Race Day App, Keeneland Select and CWKYT.
TVG – Live, extensive coverage of every Keeneland race begins at 1 p.m. daily.
NBCSN – During Fall Stars Weekend, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will provide live coverage of several of Keeneland’s Breeders’ Cup Challenge races as part of its “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In Presented by America’s Best Racing.”
Air times are Friday, Oct. 8: 5-6 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 9: 5-6 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 10: 4:30-6 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 13: 4-5 p.m.
Keeneland Turf Pick 3 wager debuts
Keeneland will offer a new wager, the Keeneland Turf Pick 3, on the final three turf races each race day of the season. The minimum wager is $3, and the wager will follow the same rules as the traditional Pick 3.
Special Pick 4, 5 and 6 opportunities will be available Friday, Oct. 8, 15 ($200,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 Presented by TVG); Saturday, Oct. 9, 10 (Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Pick 6, featuring races from Belmont Park and Keeneland); Saturday, Oct. 9 ($300,000 Guaranteed All-Stakes Pick 5, $400,000 Guaranteed All-Stakes Pick 4); Saturday, Oct. 16, 23, 30 (NYRA-Keeneland Cross Country wagers, featuring races from Belmont Park and Keeneland) and Saturday, Oct. 16, 23 ($300,000 Guaranteed Pick 4).
Keeneland will offer several handicapping contests during the Fall Meet in which fans both seasoned and casual can test their betting skills:
- Sport of Kings, the free horse racing contest website, has a new free online handicapping contest, the Keeneland Select Fall Handicapping Challenge. The contest requires participants to make mythical selections on two Keeneland races for each day of the meet. Two seats to the 2022 NTRA National Horseplayers Championship will be awarded. To sign up, clickhere.
- Wednesday, Oct. 13, 20, 27: WINS-Day Challenge Sponsored by Malone’s. An inexpensive way for beginner handicappers to give contests a try. The contest has a $2,500-guaranteed pool. Enter for $10 at Wagering Central on the first floor Grandstand and place a mythical $2 win and place wager – no actual money required – on Keeneland races 3-8.
- Saturday, Oct. 16: Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge. Registration is open for in-person and remote participation in this contest, which awards berths in the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge and the NHC Challenge. The live-money contest is held in cooperation with XpressBet, NYRA Bets, 4NJ Bets and TVG. Click here for details and to register.
- Sunday, Oct. 17: Fall $400 Challenge. Registration is open for Keeneland’s live bankroll handicapping tournament, which has a $400 buy-in with a live bankroll of $250 and $150 prize fund fee. Players will be able to wager any amount on any race at Keeneland with no minimum wagers or minimum number of races. The tournament is only available at Keeneland. Click here for more information and to register.
Popular special events complement spectacular racing
Saturday, Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30: Sunrise Trackside. This Saturday morning program is geared toward families and offers a unique view of Thoroughbreds during training hours. Children’s activities from 8-10 a.m. include a meet and greet with Keeneland’s mascot, Buckles, along with face painting, games and more. Fans can enjoy coffee and donuts at Clockers Corner while watching horses train. A 30-minute Paddock demonstration by an equine-related organization takes place at 10 a.m. Mini tours will be available at the Welcome Stand in the Paddock.
Oct. 9: Jockey Autograph Signing. Fans will meet active and retired Keeneland riders and Hall of Famers in an event that benefits the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Signing takes place 11 a.m.-noon.
Thursday, Oct. 14: Make-A-Wish Day. Local Thoroughbred farms and organizations team up with Keeneland to grant wishes for a special group of children, who with families will be treated to a VIP experience, complete with presenting a trophy after each race, meeting jockeys and experiencing all the excitement of a day at the races. Fans are encouraged to cheer on these children and support Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana by placing a donation into the “Wishing Well” near the Keeneland Paddock.
Friday, Oct. 15: College Scholarship Day Presented by Lane’s End. Full-time college students can enjoy a day at the races and the chance to win scholarships and prize packages provided by local businesses. Any student who pre-registers is eligible to win one of ten $2,000 scholarships provided by Keeneland and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association. Students present at Keeneland that day can win one of two $10,000 scholarships provided by Lane’s End. Pre-register online at www.Keeneland.com/csd. Admission is free with a college ID.
Sunday, Oct. 17: Keeneland Kids Club Family Day Presented by Kentucky Children’s Hospital. The Keeneland Kids Club is the Official Kids Club for Keeneland fans 12 and younger. Kids Club members and their families are invited to enjoy this special day at the races by receiving free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seating. Children’s activities will take place in the North Terrace from noon to 4 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 24: Heroes Day. Heroes Day honors members of the military (active duty and veterans) and first responders (law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and health care workers) and their families with free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seats. The Family Zone will offer free lunch provided by City BBQ and children’s activities for those families in the North Terrace from noon to 4 p.m. Keeneland will showcase a POW-MIA Chair of Honor in the Paddock. This program brings awareness to past and current POW-MIA military members through a partnership with The Rolling Thunder Kentucky Chapter 5. Heroes Day also will feature a spectacular flag unfurling on the main track between races.
Saturday, Oct. 30: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, which sponsors the day’s $200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2), is supporting Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA), a non-profit that benefits Thoroughbred aftercare organizations, all this month through its “Race to Give” campaign. To help, visit racetogive.org. At Keeneland on Oct. 30, fans may donate wagering tickets by dropping them in the “Race to Give” donation box inside the Grandstand East Gate entrance. Funds will go directly to TCA.
Fall Meet COVID-19 protocols
While we welcome many racing fans back to Keeneland for the Fall Meet, please know Keeneland remains committed to the safety of our guests and employees. Consistent with current CDC guidelines, Keeneland strongly recommends that all guests, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask when indoors. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the grounds. For more information please visit keeneland.com/covid19.
Keeneland 2021 Fall Meet at a Glance
Schedule: 17 days from Oct. 8-30. No racing Mondays and Tuesdays.
Gates open: 11 a.m. First race: 1 p.m.
Social: @keeneland on Facebook and Instagram and @keenelandracing on Twitter. Use hashtag #Keeneland
Drive-thru wagering: Open every race day at 8 a.m. until feature race.
Official Keeneland Tours: Visit keeneland.com/tours for availability and to purchase.
The Keeneland Shop: Located near the Grandstand South entrance, The Keeneland Shop is open on race days from 9 a.m. to 30 minutes after the final race and on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Keeneland Shop will offer a gift with purchase on closing day, Oct. 30.