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Changes To Red Mile's Grand Circuit Meet

Published: September 29, 2011 10:54 am ET

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For many fans of harness racing, the most wonderful time of the year begins on Thursday, September 29 with the start of Grand Circuit racing at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky.

The 2011 season will see a change, as the races will be contested under the lights with a 7:00 p.m. first-race post time utilized for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday cards each week. Sunday afternoon racing is another new addition in 2011, with the meet’s marquee races carded as Sunday matinees at 1 PM. This schedule will serve for both weeks of the track's Grand Circuit racing for 2011.

Opening day of the Grand Circuit meet will feature the $326,000 Norman Woolworth Memorial / Bluegrass Stakes Two-Year-Old Filly Trot, which required three divisions to accommodate the 29 fillies declared to the race. A solid slate of Late Closing events featuring two-year-old trotting colts and two-year-old pacing fillies will fill out a very attractive 12-race program.

Friday’s 13 race extravaganza is headlined by two divisions of the $270,000 Bluegrass Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies and a four-way split of the $340,000 Walnut Hall, LTD Cup / Bluegrass Stakes Two-Year-Old Colt Trot.

The action will heat up seriously on Saturday when the free-for-allers will invade Lexington for the Allerage Farms Series. The very finest older pacing and trotting horses are scheduled to race over the famed red clay for purses estimated at $200,000 for each division. The Western Ideal / Bluegrass Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts required four divisions, each for a purse of nearly $100,000. The ten best three-year-old pacing fillies currently racing will assemble for a single division of the $153,000 Bluegrass Stakes named for the great pacing mare Darlins Delight.

The 119th Kentucky Futurity three-year-old colt trot will be raced on the Sunday, October 2 card for an estimated purse of $700,000. The $400,000 (estimated) Kentucky Filly Futurity, the $200,000 (estimated) Bluegrass Stakes three-year-old colt pace and the $85,000 (estimated) Allerage free-for-all mare races support the jewel of the meet on what promises to be a remarkable day of racing.

The 2011 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 3 with evening sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and an 11:30 a.m. start on Thursday and Friday.

(With files from the Red Mile)


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