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Keeneland Spring Meet Opens Friday

The Keeneland Spring meeting opens on Friday. (Photo credit: Keeneland).

Keeneland’s 2023 Spring Meet, which features the 99th running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1) and the 86th running of the $600,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), will mark the return of spring to Central Kentucky when the 15-day season opens Friday, April 7. The Spring Meet will present 19 stakes, including five Grade 1 events, worth a season record $8.05 million and has added Sundays to the schedule for the popular tailgating area known as The Hill.

The Spring Meet’s first two days will offer eight stakes worth a total of $4.05 million. Opening day will card 10 races with the Central Bank Ashland, the year’s first Grade 1 race for 3-year-old fillies, leading three stakes for sophomores. The following day, Keeneland will run 11 races headed by the prestigious Toyota Blue Grass for 3-year-olds along with four other graded stakes worth a combined $2.65 million. NBC will televise the Toyota Blue Grass and another Keeneland stakes from 4:30-6 p.m.

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“For Central Kentucky and fans of Thoroughbred racing around the world, April means Keeneland,” said Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin. “We are excited once again to offer world-class racing to horsemen, horsewomen, horseplayers and fans and to present a fantastic experience for our guests that is centered around outstanding hospitality and the best in Thoroughbred racing.”

Spring Meet Runs Until April 28

The Spring Meet runs through Friday, April 28. Racing will be conducted Wednesdays through Sundays, excluding Easter Sunday, April 9. Post time for the first race is 1 p.m. daily, except April 8 when the first race is at 12:30 p.m.

The Spring Meet will offer special wagers and competitions for casual to experienced handicappers. The popular Keeneland Turf Pick 3, which requires a $3 minimum, again will be offered on the final three turf races of the day’s card.

On opening day, the Lafayette, Kentucky Utilities Transylvania (G3) and Central Bank Ashland will be included in late Pick 4 and late Pick 5 wagers. The Kentucky Utilities Transylvania will be part of the Keeneland Turf Pick 3.

The next day, the All-Stakes Pick 4 and All Stakes Pick 5 will conclude with the Toyota Blue Grass.

Keeneland 2023 Spring Meet at a Glance

Schedule: 15 days from April 7-28. No racing Mondays, Tuesdays and Easter Sunday, April 9.

Gates open: 11 a.m.

First race: 1 p.m. except for April 8 when first post is 12:30 p.m.

Five Grade 1 stakes: $600,000 Central Bank Ashland on April 7, $1 million Toyota Blue Grass and $600,000 Madison on April 8, $600,000 Maker’s Mark Mile on April 14 and $600,000 Jenny Wiley on April 15.

Watch races: Thanks to the Keeneland Livestream, fans can watch all Spring Meet races live and at no charge on Keeneland.comKeeneland Race Day AppKeeneland Select and Keeneland’s YouTube channel.

Website: Keeneland.com