The group I Phoenix Stakes is the most acclaimed six-furlong juvenile stakes of Europe’s group I and kicks off its racing season each year. This year’s Phoenix Stakes was won by Air Force Blue, who is a graduate of Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale. Other past notable winners include: Holy Roman Emperor, Zoffany, George Washington, Mastercraftsman, Johannesburg, and Saoirse Abu.
Keeneland’s sponsorship deal with the Phoenix Stakes began in 2010, with the current extension carrying through the Irish racecourse’s redevelopment, which is expected to be done by 2018.
“Keeneland greatly appreciates the long-standing participation of clients from Ireland in our sales and racing,” said Keeneland president and CEO Bill Thomason. “We are especially delighted about the success of Keeneland September Yearling Sale graduate Air Force Blue, who won this year’s Keeneland Phoenix Stakes during his championship campaign. With the changes to come for The Curragh, we look forward to many exciting times ahead.”
The Curragh Commercial Manager, Evan Arkwright, highlighted Keeneland’s role in helping to establish a successful venture in the form of the family race day theme, and the latest sponsorship extension deal will play a large role in the racecourse’s aforementioned redevelopment.
“Keeneland’s extension to the contract will ensure they will be part of the redeveloped racecourse which, all being well, will be completed in 2018,” said Arkwright.