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Keeneland Blue Grass Stakes


Photos by Grace Clark, Univ. of Ky.

Keeneland’s traditional Blue Grass Stakes was run at the track in Lexington, Kentucky on April 3, 2021 as part of Keeneland’s Spring Meet. The Blue Grass Stakes is one of the main qualifying races on the road to the Kentucky Derby.  Started in 1911 and housed at Keeneland since 1937, this year marked the 97th running of the $800,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2), cancelled last April because of COVID-19. Keeneland’s 2021 Spring Meet presented 18 stakes, also including the 84th running of the Central Bank Ashland stakes.

The Toyota Blue Grass, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, and the Central Bank Ashland, for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles, are each worth 170 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Road to the Kentucky Oaks, respectively. The winners of each stakes earn 100 qualifying points to the respective races.

First in the Blue Grass was Essential Quality, 3-year-old grey colt, son of Tapit, trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Luis Saez.
Second was Highly Motivated, 3-year-old bay colt, trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Javier Castellano.

Finishing the trifecta was Rombauer, 3-year-old bay colt, trained by Michael McCarthy and ridden by Florent Geroux.

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