Breeders’ Cup preparations reach a crescendo with Fall Stars Weekend at Keeneland

To the world of horse racing, Keeneland is Disneyland. Everything about the Keeneland experience tells you that you are in a special place where the world revolves around thoroughbred racing and livestock.

Take Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, for example. Despite being in a relatively small market, the 747 can handle a jet, as wealthy owners who participate in horse sales often come with a jumbo jet with a large girth. When you leave the airport, you are at the intersection of Man o’War Boulevard and Versailles Road. You are across from Gate 1 of Keeneland Race Course. Keeneland, by the way, is adjacent to the legendary Calumet Farm. Heading down various side streets, you’ll come across some of the world’s most famous livestock facilities. It is common to see mares and their foals frolicking in the meadows of these farms, it looks like a scene from a movie.

Keeneland is unique because its elegance and racing coexist with its primary purpose: a place where millions of dollars regularly change hands in the sale pavilion. The careers of countless legendary horses began by being purchased in that pavilion. Unlike places like New York and California where races are held almost year-round, Keeneland races are held for three weeks in the spring and three weeks in the fall.

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The fall meeting is perfectly placed to provide the final preparation races for many horses that are tipped for an appearance in the Breeders’ Cup. For 3 days, from October 7c to 9c, Fall Stars Weekend will feature 9 different “Winner and You’re There” races in nine different Breeders’ Cup divisions. Normally these would be very attractive races with big purses, but when you add in the fact that this year the Breeders’ Cup will be held at Keeneland, they become even more attractive. These races offer the prospect of a horse undergoing final training at Keeneland, being stabled in the Lexington area, and then competing in the Breeders’ Cup over a four-week period. For those who live at Keeneland, that means they’ll have to take a short walk through the spectacular stables to get to where they’re going to race.

History of the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland

The first Breeders’ Cup held at Keeneland was held in 2015, and the decision to hold the event there was controversial. Many in the racing world thought the facility was too small because it couldn’t hold the large crowds of Churchill Downs and Santa Anita. Brilliant management at Keeneland led to limited attendance in the main building, with satellite venues managing the overflow crowd of about 40,000 in the general building. It was a comfortable event to attend, and it helped in no small way that the star of the show was the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. American Pharaoh In the final race of his career, he lived up to his billing with an outstanding performance to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The event returned to Keeneland in 2020, but attendance was limited due to the pandemic. However, once again the star of the show was the Kentucky Derby winner Original He ended his career with a victory in the Classic.

Fall Stars Weekend will be featured in two broadcasts on CNBC on Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m. There will be two live races each day, along with highlights from some of the other “Win and You Are” races from the weekend.

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Saturday stories at Fall Stars Weekend

The Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity will be shown live on Saturday. The winner will earn entry into the Juvenile Breeders’ Cup. Will be the likely favorite Todd Pletcher– trained ForteA dominant winner of the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga. Pletcher has another interesting perspective Lost Ark2-for-2 lifetime, including a runaway victory in the Fidan Stakes at Monmouth in his last start. Bob Baffert Two juveniles will be sent for a possible start in the Breeders’ Futurity. The most notable of these Carmel Road, took the first race by 8 ½ lengths at Del Mar in his last start. Another possible start is Baffert National Treasure, he quickly captured the 6 ½ furlong Maiden at Del Mar in his only career start. Another young man who points to this race A frosty ridefrom storage Ken McPeek. It won by 9 ¼ lengths last time out at Churchill Downs.

The other live race on Saturday is the Coolmore Turf Mile, a “Win and You’re There” race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile. It’s always a hotly contested race, and some veteran campaigners who haven’t lost a beat are highlighting this year’s field. One of those vets Bill Mott– trained Casa Creed, who won the Fourstardave Stakes at Saratoga in his last start. Major turf races are often held at this time of year Chad Brown cadets and this race is no exception. Here are his top two odds Emaraatywho won the Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga in his last start and Masenwho won the Poker Stakes at Belmont earlier this year. Paulo Lobo will return with In love, who won this race last year. How about a horse that has finally become 1?St or 2n.d 10 out of 12 lifetimes starts at 1 mile on grass? This is the coach Michael McCarthy’s veteran Smooth as a throat. This is definitely an open job with some worthy candidates.

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Sunday stories at Fall Stars Weekend

The first live race to be televised Sunday from Keeneland will be the Bourbon Stakes for 2-year-olds. This is a “Win and You’re in” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Some major trainers favor the storyline in this race. Mark Casse has won Bourbon Stakes in 4 of last 7 runnings and will run Boppy O, winner of the Waiting Stakes at Saratoga in his last start. McPeek is Bourbon’s other 4-time winner. won last year with Bomb Tizthen went on to finish 2ndn.d In the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He has 2 possibilities for the race Rarified Flair (2n.d Kentucky Downs Juvenile last) and B Small (won maiden race on dirt at Churchill Downs in last start). It should also be noted that North America’s all-time winningest coach, Steve Asmussentwo possibilities will be included Red route one and Giant. Red Route One won a maiden at Kentucky Downs last time out, while Gigante won the Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Colonial Downs in his last appearance. Finally, there is Brendan Walsh, always seems to be a factor in Kentucky and especially in beach races. He submits Computing Powerhe won the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile in his last outing.

Sunday’s show-topper is the venerable Juddmonte Spinster Stakes. Back in 1984 Prince Rooney He won the Spinster as his final preparation before winning the first race of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Other notables who won this race in their final preparations before winning the Distaff include Bayacoa, Paseana, Internal Information and Blue Award.

This year’s Juddmonte Spinster features a matchup between two of the best women of the past few years. Letruska and Malathaat. Letruska won Spinster last year on her way to the Eclipse Award as the oldest female dirt horse. This year he has 2 wins and a third in 4 starts. Malathaat won the 2021 Kentucky Oaks and was 3rd in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. He enters this race having won the Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga.

This weekend features the latest North American “Win and You’re In” opportunities for the Breeders’ Cup. 14 horses will enter the “Big Dance” of Thoroughbred Racing in New York, California and Kentucky. Many of us will be experiencing Breeders’ Cup Fever this weekend as the reality of the races on the first weekend of November draws ever closer.

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