Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Keeneland’s Vinery Madison Stakes Awarded Grade 1 Status; Three Other Stakes Upgraded

Lexington, KY (November 25, 2008) – The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association has elevated the graded status of Keeneland’s Vinery Madison, Thoroughbred Club of America, Fayette and Woodford Stakes for 2009.

“Stakes achieve upgrades because of the quality of the horses who participate in them. On behalf of Keeneland, I want to thank all the horsemen who support our racing program,” said Rogers Beasley, Keeneland’s director of racing.

The Vinery Madison, a seven-furlong stakes for older fillies and mares, was promoted from Grade 2 to Grade 1 status. It becomes Keeneland’s tenth Grade 1 stakes, and fourth Grade 1 event on the spring racing calendar, joining the Toyota Blue Grass, Ashland and Maker’s Mark Mile.

The fall meet’s Thoroughbred Club of America and Fayette Stakes, each formerly Grade 3, were awarded Grade 2 status. The Thoroughbred Club of America – for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up, at six furlongs – has become an important fixture on Keeneland’s opening FallStars Weekend. In turn, the Fayette, a 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-olds and up, anchors closing Saturday in the fall.

A third fall meet stakes, the Woodford, was elevated from listed to Grade 3 status. The Woodford is held for 3-year-olds and up at 5 ½ furlongs on the turf.

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