Stage set for track to host Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 4-5
Keeneland concluded its 2022 Fall Meet on Saturday with a season record all-sources handle of $208.9 million, which was boosted by record purses, full race fields and championship-caliber competition provided by the nation’s best horses and riders. The 17-day season was enhanced by picture-perfect fall weather and a special events schedule that offered family fun and philanthropy, all conducted in a unique setting as the track prepares to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 4-5.
Held Oct. 7-29, the Fall Meet marks the fourth consecutive season of record handle at the track to reflect the continuing elevation of Keeneland’s racing program.
“This Fall Meet embodied everything our founders envisioned for Keeneland – a place where families and friends could gather and enjoy great horse racing – all heightened by anticipation for the Breeders’ Cup,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “The race meet was special in every way: idyllic weather, terrific racing and special events like Make-A-Wish Day, Heroes Day and Teacher Appreciation Day that celebrated many deserving people. We thank everyone involved in making the Fall Meet a success and look forward to the fun continuing as we host the World Championships next weekend.”
All-sources wagering (not including whole-card simulcasting at Keeneland) this fall totaled $208,907,655, up 15.41 percent over last year’s Fall Meet record of $181,009,626.
Wagering was boosted when on Fall Stars Saturday, Oct. 8, Keeneland set records for Fall Meet single-day all-sources and Pick 5 wagering, besting previous records set on Fall Stars Saturday in 2021. All-sources handle on Fall Stars Saturday, which featured five graded stakes on the 11-race card, was $21,695,896, surpassing the $20,926,640 on Oct. 9, 2021. Wagering on the All-Stakes Pick 5 totaled $1,431,736 to exceed last year’s $1,255,080.
Additionally, a Keeneland record payoff of $72,863.72 for a 10-cent superfecta wager occurred in the seventh race on Oct. 20. The ticket, which swept the entire pool, was placed through NYRA Bets and cost only $18. Keeneland’s previous record high superfecta payoff for a dime was $27,228.80 established in the seventh race on Oct. 18, 2014.
On-track wagering for the Fall Meet totaled $15,351,232, up slightly from last year’s $15,162,221.
Fall Meet Racing Highlights
Average daily purses at Keeneland climbed to a record $1,168,120, up 32.66 percent from $880,511 per day during the 2021 Fall Meet. Average starters per race was 9.2.
Keeneland awarded a record $8.9 million for 22 stakes this fall. The season opened with the track’s signature Fall Stars Weekend, which featured 11 stakes. Nine stakes were “Win and You’re In” events part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Presented by America’s Best Racing with total purses of $5.45 million.
Among those winners pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup following victories in Fall Stars “Win and You’re In” races are Castle & Key Bourbon (G2) winner Andthewinneris (Juvenile Turf-G1), Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Forte (FanDuel Juvenile-G1 Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance), Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) winner Annapolis (FanDuel Mile-G1), Darley Alcibiades (G1) winner Wonder Wheel (NetJets Juvenile Fillies-G1), Indian Summer (L) Presented by Keeneland Select winner Private Creed (Juvenile Turf Sprint-G1), JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) winner Delight (Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1), Juddmonte Spinster (G1) winner Malathaat (Distaff-G1), Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) winner Manny Wah (Qatar Racing Sprint-G1) and Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) winner Slammed (Filly and Mare Sprint-G1).
“Fans were treated to thrilling performances from start to finish this fall, and our sincere thanks go to the owners, trainers and jockeys who always bring their very best to Keeneland,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing Gatewood Bell said. “We are proud of our elevated racing program, which when coupled with the excitement surrounding Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland, produced a Fall Meet unmatched in competition and quality.”
Six stakes records fell this fall. Five were on the turf course: Golden Pal (1:01.39 for 5½ furlongs in the Woodford-G2 Presented by FanDuel), Annapolis (1:33.29 in the Coolmore Turf Mile), Private Creed (1:02.30 for 5½ furlongs in the Indian Summer), Andthewinneris (1:41.27 for 1 1/16 miles in the Castle & Key Bourbon) and Temple City Terror (2:27.98 for 1½ miles in the Rood & Riddle Dowager-G3). Gunite set a stakes record in the Perryville (L) going 7 furlongs on the dirt in 1:23.21.
Fall Meet Leaders
The races for Fall Meet leading honors, which featured the country’s top owners, trainers and jockeys proved as exciting as those contests among the four-legged stars, and all were decided on the final day of racing.
Gary and Mary West won their first Keeneland leading owner title, coming from behind to capture two races on closing day, led by the Hagyard Fayette (G2) with West Will Power, for a total of four meet wins.
West Will Power’s victory also wrapped up leading training honors for Brad Cox, who with 11 wins earned his third consecutive fall training title and fourth Keeneland title overall. In addition to the Hagyard Fayette, Cox sent out Caravel to win the Franklin (G3) and Key of Life to win the Myrtlewood.
Todd Pletcher and Wesley Ward finished in a tie for second with 10 wins each. Pletcher won three stakes: Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity with Forte, Coolmore Turf Mile with Annapolis and Juddmonte Spinster with Malathaat. Ward sent out Golden Pal to win the Woodford.
The jockeys’ title race turned into a seesaw battle between Tyler Gaffalione and Luis Saez. Winner of three races on closing day, Saez won the final race of the meet to edge Gaffalione 21-20 and clinch his second Keeneland riding title.
Saez also won the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine with Delight. Gaffalione tallied six stakes wins, one shy of Pat Day’s single-season record of seven stakes wins: Wonder Wheel (Darley Alcibiades), Caravel (Franklin), Gunite (Perryville), Wicked Halo (Lexus Raven Run-G2), Temple City Terror (Rood & Riddle Dowager) and Balnikhov (IRE) (Bryan Station-G3).
Other prominent riders to win multiple stakes during the Fall Meet were Joel Rosario, who teamed with owner Peter Brant and trainer Chad Brown to capture the First Lady (G1) Presented by UK Healthcare with In Italian (GB) and Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana with Gina Romantica; and Irad Ortiz Jr., who counted the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity with Forte and Coolmore Turf Mile with Annapolis among his victories. Both Rosario and Ortiz also had three-win race days.
Fall Meet Special Events Further Keeneland’s Philanthropic Mission
Keeneland joined sponsors and horse industry partners during the Fall Meet on popular special events that exemplified the track’s mission to support the Central Kentucky community and horse industry.
Among the philanthropic initiatives at Keeneland this fall were:
- On Oct. 13, Keeneland celebrated the 15th Make-A-Wish Day, when local Thoroughbred farms and organizations team up with Keeneland to grant wishes for 11 children, who with their families are treated to a VIP experience, complete with presenting a trophy after each race, meeting jockeys and experiencing the excitement of a day at the races.
- The following day, Keeneland hosted College Scholarship Day Presented by Lane’s End. Full-time college students were eligible to win one of 10 $2,000 scholarships provided by Keeneland and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and one of two $10,000 scholarships provided by Lane’s End.
- Current members of the Keeneland jockey colony joined retired riders for an autograph session on Oct. 21 that raised $5,798 for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).
- Heroes Day Presented by Rubicon on Oct. 23 honored members of the military and first responders and their families with free general admission, lunch provided by City BBQ, children’s activities, a spectacular flag unfurling on the main track and special recognitions and remembrances throughout the day. Keeneland and Rubicon donated $5,000 to Lady Veterans Connect, an organization that assists female veterans.
- On closing day, Keeneland honored educators and staff with free admission as part of Teacher Appreciation Day Presented by Coca-Cola.
- Keeneland partnered with valued race sponsors to support horse industry and community initiatives. Keeneland and Juddmonte donated $10,000 to the Kentucky Equine Management Internship program, which provides opportunities to college students interested in careers in equine management. Keeneland and Lexus of Lexington donated $5,000 to the MAP Foundation, Inc. to benefit the Woodhill Community Center.
- Keeneland contributed $50,000 to the Ed Brown Society to become an official Ed Brown Partner. This multifaceted partnership will further opportunities for young people of color to gain exposure, experience and professional job placements in the Thoroughbred industry.
- Keeneland and Country Boy Brewing of Lexington again collaborated to create the Keeneland Fall Ale. Country Boy Brewing, Kentucky Eagle and other distributor partners donated $1 per case to Blue Grass Farms Charities (BGFC) to support its Back-to-School Backpack Program, which provides school supplies for nearly 1,000 children whose parents work in Keeneland’s stable area and on Central Kentucky farms.
- Keeneland was again honored to host the annual Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, sponsored by Godolphin, on Oct. 14. These awards recognize and reward the outstanding talent, diligence and commitment of the farm and racing stable staff who are at the heart of Thoroughbred industry.
Though Saturday marks the conclusion of Keeneland’s Fall Meet, it is the beginning of an exciting Breeders’ Cup Week at the historic race track. From Sunday through Thursday, Oct. 30-Nov. 3, fans are invited to visit the track to watch Breeders’ Cup horses during morning training at Breakfast at the Breeders’ Cup. Keeneland will host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 4-5.
Since its first race meet more than 85 years ago, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. The world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland conducts four sales a year, in January, April, September and November. Graduates of Keeneland sales dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015 and 2020 and is holding the event again on Nov. 4-5, 2022. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a privately held company with a not-for-profit mission that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses and millions of dollars donated in support of horse industry initiatives and charitable contributions for education, research, and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. Keeneland also maintains the Keeneland Library, a world-renowned public research institution with the mission of preserving information about the Thoroughbred industry. To learn more, visit Keeneland.com.
For more information contact:
Amy Gregory at 859 361-3490
Amy Owens at 859 421-2566