Keeneland will sponsor the 2018 Princess Margaret Stakes (G3), a prestigious juvenile event on the British summer racing calendar, as part of a new association with Ascot Racecourse.
The Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes, a 6-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies, will be held Saturday, July 28, at Ascot.
Many of the outstanding U.S.-trained winners at Royal Ascot in recent years, including Cartier Award winner Lady Aurelia, No Nay Never, Undrafted and Hootenanny, all Keeneland sales graduates based at the Lexington, Kentucky, track with trainer Wesley Ward, prepped for their British victories during Keeneland's Spring Meet. Multiple Eclipse Award winner Tepin, trained by Mark Casse, won Keeneland's Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) two months before her victory in the Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot.
Keeneland seeks to further promote the global success of U.S.-bred and -trained horses through its support of the Princess Margaret Stakes. As part of the new affiliation, Ascot's Chief Executive Guy Henderson will attend Keeneland's upcoming Spring Meet in April.
"We are excited to sponsor the Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes, and to work with Ascot to encourage the international participation of horses bred and trained in the United States," Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. "As a major race track, sales company and training centre constantly looking forward, we feel this new arrangement fits perfectly with our ethos. We hope for more successes from the likes of European champion Lady Aurelia, who raced, trained and was sold at Keeneland."
Guy Henderson, Chief Executive of Ascot Racecourse, added: "We are delighted to be beginning this relationship with Keeneland, which celebrates the tremendous record of Keeneland graduates at Royal Ascot and indeed the more recent successes on the respective tracks by an ever increasing number of dual winners."
Keeneland's 2018 Spring Meet, to be held April 6-27, will offer 16 stakes worth a season record $4.4 million in purse money. Fifteen stakes are graded events, headlined by the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), both nationally prominent classic preps; Madison (G1), Maker's 46 Mile (G1) and Coolmore Jenny Wiley.