It was announced on January 17 by Keeneland that Stonestreet is the new signature sponsor of the Lexington Stakes (gr. III). The Lexington Stakes will take place on April 15, is one of the last prep races prior to the Kentucky Derby, and will see this year’s purse increase by $50,000, from $150,000 to $200,000.
“I am very pleased to be launching this partnership with Keeneland at such an exciting time for the historic Lexington,” said Barbara Banke of Stonestreet. “I hope to see it develop into a significant route to the Kentucky Derby. It would be a thrill to see a colt we bred and sold at Keeneland’s sales pavilion return here for a spot in the starting gate.”
The Lexington Stakes is one of Keeneland’s most storied races. It has been won by notable names such as Risen Star, Hansel, and Charismatic over the years. In 1984, Swale won the Lexington Stakes and followed that up with a Kentucky Derby win. It began in 1936 as an event for two-year-olds and ran as an overnight three-year-olds handicap race from 1938 to 1941. In 1984 it would return to the stakes schedule.
“Stonestreet is synonymous with innovation and leadership in the Thoroughbred industry, and we look forward to further enhancing the Lexington through this exciting partnership,” said Keeneland Vice-President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston.
Banke and her late husband Jess Jackson opened Stonestreet in 2005 and it is now made up of three farms in Central Kentucky. They are also a leading consignor and buyer at Keeneland auctions.