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The sun will shine bright on the old Kentucky home of Keeneland this weekend as the premier racetrack will continue its 74th anniversary celebration by opening its fall meet on Friday. With weather forecasts in the high 70’s and low 80’s, record crowds are expected to turn out for what looks to be a beautiful opening weekend.

The fall meet will run 17 days and include several top-notch graded stakes races as well as other special events for patrons. In total, the fall meet will contain 18 graded stakes with 7 of them being Breeder’s Cup Challenge races.

It all kicks off with FallStars Weekend this Friday and begins with the $175,000 Grade 3 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix for 3-year-olds and up and the $400,000 Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades for 2-year-old fillies. Both races are Breeder’s Cup Challenge races with the winner of the the Alcibiades earning a berth into the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and the winner of the Phoenix going to the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Saturday, October 8th, will showcase 5 stakes races and is highlighted by the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile providing the winner with a spot in the Breeder’s Cup Mile. Sunday concludes opening weekend with the $500,000 Grade 1 Juddmonte Spinster, a prep race for the Breeder’s Cup Ladies’ Classic, and the $150,000 Grade 3 Bourbon.

While the horse races are the premier attraction at Keeneland, the distinguished racecourse will also provide plenty of other attractions over the 17-day fall meet. Keeneland will be sponsoring “Post Time with the Pops,” a musical salute to Keeneland, on Saturday, Oct. 15. The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra will combine with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra in a performance at Rupp Arena with proceeds going towards the Lee T. Todd Jr. and Patricia B. Todd Music Outreach Endowment. Other non-racing highlights include a See Blue Day kicking off University of Kentucky’s homecoming week, a Military Family Day honoring veterans and their families with free admission, a Make-A-Wish day, and Saturday mornings will feature Breakfast with the Works giving patrons a chance to see horses train and access to paddock related activities.

If you can’t make it out to beautiful Keeneland in person, you can still be a part of the 74th anniversary celebration by catching live racing on TVG as well as tuning in for “Autumn at Keeneland” presented by NBC and Versus.