A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Keeneland announces Spring Meet will open on April 2 without spectators; cancels April 7 sales event

After detailed consultations with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Department for Public Health and with Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Keeneland is taking the following steps out of an abundance of caution to do its part in containing the spread of COVID-19 while upholding its commitments to the local community, the Thoroughbred industry...

Keeneland, Churchill Downs reinforce commitment to safety with racing and training reforms

Keeneland and Churchill Downs have jointly announced major changes in racing and training policies to strengthen safety protocols at both race tracks. Reforms include mandatory veterinary inspections prior to workouts and race entry and enhanced reporting and transparency requirements for trainers and attending veterinarians with regard to the fitness of horses to work and race. These reforms also...

Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale yields brisk trade, solid results; sales totaled $42,480,500

The Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale, which featured the dams of 2019 Eclipse Award finalists, graded stakes-caliber fillies and yearlings by exciting young sires, concluded Friday with healthy results that reflect a competitive market for quality individuals. Gross sales for the five-day auction, held Jan. 13-17, totaled $42,480,500 compared to $48,280,100 from the four-day sale last year...

Keeneland Spring Meet stakes worth season-record $4.8 million; Maker’s 46 Mile increased to $400,000

Keeneland has announced its 2020 Spring Meet stakes schedule, which features 18 stakes anchored by the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) and is worth a season-record $4.8 million in purse money. Purse increases highlight the Spring Meet, to be held April 2-26, with the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) boosted by $100,000 to $400,000, and Baird Doubledogdare (G3) and Giant’s...

Kentucky racetracks applaud KHRC’s adoption of medication reforms in show of unprecedented unity

Kentucky’s Thoroughbred racetracks – Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Turfway Park, Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs – united in their support of the medication reforms adopted Monday by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC). Their passage demonstrates an unprecedented unity among Kentucky’s Thoroughbred racing associations and a commitment to continue moving forward on initiatives that further...

Churchill Downs, Keeneland among leading horse racing organizations to launch safety coalition

KyForward staff The nation’s leading Thoroughbred racing organizations on Tuesday announced the creation of an industry-led effort to unify and enhance existing protections and work together to develop new reforms to ensure the safety of the sport’s equine and human athletes. Partnering together under the name Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, the group seeks to create and implement a series of significant...

Keeneland reports brisk commerce in 2019 Breeding Stock Sale: 2,667 horses sold for $200,139,400

Keeneland’s 2019 November Breeding Stock Sale concluded Sunday after 12 days of competitive trade fueled by a deep domestic and foreign buying bench. Kicking off the sale was the premier Book 1 catalog of stakes-producing mares, stakes-winning fillies and exceptional weanlings, which delivered 14 seven-figure horses led by the sale of champion Take Charge Brandi, in foal to 2018 Triple Crown winner...

Keeneland’s November Sale to begin a day later (Nov. 6) to accommodate buyers traveling to Kentucky

Keeneland has announced that its 2019 November Breeding Stock Sale will begin on Nov. 6 at noon and run through Nov. 17. The November Sale, originally scheduled to begin Nov. 5, was moved back a day to allow buyers more time to travel to Kentucky from the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita in Southern California and inspect horses at the sale. “In keeping with Keeneland’s...

Keeneland Library launches Life’s Work Oral History Project; first installment features Seth Hancock

The Keeneland Library is creating the Life’s Work Oral History Project, a new initiative designed to capture treasured stories from the Thoroughbred industry and preserve and promote them for future generations. Life’s Work represents a unique collaboration of the Keeneland Library, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, along with the University of Kentucky Libraries’ Louie B....

Keeneland to host fifth graders for educational experience about region’s Thoroughbred industry

Keeneland will welcome approximately 2,900 fifth-grade students from 33 area public and private schools each day this week for a two-hour interactive tour designed to expand their knowledge of Keeneland and the Thoroughbred industry in Central Kentucky. More than 23,000 fifth-grade students have participated in the program, now in its ninth year. “These tours are fun experiences for students that...

Keeneland to hold Hiring Center, Job Fair in September to recruit workers for Fall Meet

Keeneland is preparing for its 2019 Fall Meet, to be held Oct. 4-26, by conducting a Hiring Center and Job Fair in September to recruit more than 2,000 seasonal workers. Staffing offers a variety of opportunities, including Keeneland Hospitality’s food and beverage services, Parking and Security, The Keeneland Shop, Admissions, Programs, Track Maintenance and Guest Services. Seasonal employees are...

Keeneland to sponsor 13th annual Bluegrass International Cup at Mt. Brilliant Farm on Sept. 6

Keeneland will be the title sponsor of the 13th annual Bluegrass International Cup, a polo match and dinner benefiting the Fayette Alliance Foundation and the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation, on Sept. 6 at historic Mt. Brilliant Farm near Lexington. “Keeneland is delighted to become the title sponsor of the Bluegrass International Cup, which is three days before the start of our world-renowned...

Keeneland announces Christa Marrillia and Marc Therrien have joined executive leadership team

Keeneland officials have announced two additions to the executive leadership team as Christa Marrillia is Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, while Marc Therrien is Managing Director of Keeneland Hospitality.  Christa Marrillia “Our world-class marketing efforts and the hospitality we extend to our guests are critical to the success of our core business,” said Keeneland President and CEO...

Ag commissioner praises signing of new agreement to resume live equine exports to China

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles praised the resumption of live equine exports to China at a signing ceremony in Beijing Monday. The agreement, signed by United States Ambassador to China Terry Branstad and Minister Zhi Shuping of the People’s Republic of China, clears the way for the importation of all breeds of U.S. horses, including high-quality Thoroughbred racing horses, to China, where...

Keeneland offering tours for fifth-graders to give hands-on horse industry experience

Keeneland will host 2,900 fifth-graders from 31 area public and private schools this week as part of its commitment to educate the community about its historical significance and the integral economic and cultural role the Thoroughbred industry plays in Central Kentucky. Now in its seventh year, the program has given more than 18,000 students the opportunity to see the inner workings of Keeneland and...

Keeneland announces lucrative rewards program, format change for Book 1 of 2017 September Sale

Keeneland, the world’s leading Thoroughbred auction house, Wednesday introduced enhancements to its September Yearling Sale, to be held Sept. 11-23. Highlighting the new features is the Book 1 Bonus, which offers lucrative cash rewards to sellers and owners of yearlings sold in the premier Book 1 sale that win Grade/Group 1 stakes during their 2- or 3-year-old campaigns. Sellers and owners of yearlings...

Keeneland’s fifth-grade tours educate local students about state’s thoroughbred industry

Keeneland hosted over 2,800 fifth-graders from 31 area public and private schools this week as part of its commitment to educate the community about its historical significance and the integral economic and cultural role the Thoroughbred industry plays in Central Kentucky. Now in its sixth year, the program has given more than 17,000 students the opportunity to see the inner workings of Keeneland and...

Keeneland wraps up 2016 Spring Meet with gains in attendance and wagering

Keeneland concluded its 2016 Spring Meet on Friday with robust increases in attendance and on-track and all-sources wagering. Healthy results, which included an all-time single-day handle record on Toyota Blue Grass Day, were driven by top-quality racing that featured the return of a number of horses who competed in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland last fall; unique special events...

Keeneland Association among winners of Best Places to Work in 2016 by Chamber of Commerce

Keeneland Association, Inc. has been announced as a winner of the 2016 Best Places to Work in Kentucky by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management (KYSHRM). “Keeneland is often regarded as a world leader in Thoroughbred racing and sales, and that standing is thanks to the Keeneland family of employees,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said....

Spectacle of Breeders’ Cup extravaganza turns casual observers into avid horse racing fans

    By Liane Crossley KyForward correspondent   The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is to Thoroughbred racing what the Super Bowl is to football and what the World Series is to baseball—a year-end championship that transcends the sport. Casual fans suddenly have rooting interests, out-of-towners travel for the showdown and everyone seems to know at least a little something about...