In recent years, the Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes has become one of the most important prep races for the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The Keeneland fall meet staple offers not only a hefty purse but the winner gets an expenses-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs, enough incentive to attract a competitive field for Saturday’s race.
Get ready for this year’s race with the 12 fun facts below.
1. This year is the 33rd edition of the race, which has been sponsored by Shadwell Stable since 1999. It was previously known as the Keeneland Breeders’ Cup Mile.
2. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has a record three wins in the race, conditioning Dumaani to wins in 1995 and ’96 and Altibr in 2000. Seven other trainers have two wins apiece.
3. The Turf Mile hasn’t always been run at a mile. It was first contested at 1 1/8 miles until being shortened to a mile in 1994.
4. After starting with a $50,000 purse in 1986, this year the race will carry a $1 million purse for the fifth straight year. The winner gets $600,000 of that.
8. The Shadwell Turf Mile betting favorite has had a 28 percent success rate, winning the race nine times in 32 editions.
9. Miss Temple City is the only filly to win the race. She defeated 10 males in 2016.
10. Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan is one of three horses to have won the Shadwell more than once. He won it in 2012 and 2014, Gio Ponti in 2010-11, and Dumaani in 1995-96.
11. Robby Albarado has won four editions of the race, more than any other jockey. He rode the winner in 2013 (Silver Max), 2009 (Court Vision), 2008 (Thorn Song), and 2004 (Nothing to Lose).
12. In 2017 French-bred Suedois was the first foreign-bred horse to win the race since 2005, becoming the seventh foreign-bred horse to win overall. This year three are expected to be among the field: British-bred Almanaar and Forge and Irish-bred Great Wide Open.