One of the most interesting horse races in the U.S. this weekend will take place at Keeneland, as a star-studded field of runners will line up in the Makers’ Mark Mile Stakes. This race will cover a distance of a mile, and it is one of the standout races to be staged across the opening weeks of the Spring Meeting at Keeneland.

Race Information & Records

The Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes has been staged annually since 1989, with the race previously known as the Fort Harrod Stakes. It is run on the turf, with a purse of $600,000 available to winning connections. It has been a Grade One affair since 2008, with a number of winners throughout history later landing massive prizes. Opening Verse won the 1991 edition of the race, before later claiming the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Meanwhile, Artie Schiller and Miesque’s Approval also achieved the feat. Miss Temple City is the only mare to have won the race. Chez Pierre showcased the international prestige of this race 12 months ago when winning in a speed record time for trainer Arnaud Delacour.

Leading Contenders

Master Of The Seas

There could be further international success in the race this year, with Charlie Appleby’s Master of the Seas likely to be a very short price favorite. William Buick travels over to take the ride on the Godolphin runner.

He was sensational at the end of last season to land the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile, and he has plenty of international experience already in the book, which includes a second in the G1 Turf Mile Stakes at Keeneland last year. Has the right profile to dominate this field, and connections will be hopeful of a very bold showing.

Du Jour

Du Jour is a runner from the Bob Baffert yard that will line up in the Maker’s Mark Mile this weekend. This five-year-old returned to action with a very impressive display last month, landing the G1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes with a speed rating of 115.

That performance certainly puts him in the frame in this company. However, he does have form to find on Master of the Seas after finishing well behind his reappearing rival when tenth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile last November. But, he could have a fitness edge this weekend.


Emmanuel is another hope for the home team this weekend, with Irad Ortiz taking the ride on the Todd Pletcher-trained runner.

It was hard not to have been impressed by his return to the track last month, as he breezed clear of the field to land the G3 Canadian Turf Stakes with a speed figure of 115 at Gulfstream Park. That was a fourth victory in Grade Three company, but he is yet to make a breakthrough at the top level.

Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes Prediction

If returning at the same level as last season, Master of the Seas is very much the runner to beat this weekend. However, a chance could be taken on Appleby’s Naval Power, who could be the team’s Breeders’ Cup contender this year.

The four-year-old has already won this season after scoring in Meydan, while he has suffered just one defeat in seven career starts, and there was no shame in that loss in the G1 Dewhurst at the start of October 2022.