A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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 catalogs 4,644 yearlings for 2019 September Sale; Book 1 will cover first three days

Keeneland has announced that 4,644 yearlings have been cataloged for the 76th annual Keeneland September Yearling Sale to be held Sept. 9-22. The auction, which attracts the Thoroughbred industry’s most prominent domestic and international buyers to purchase horses to compete at the highest levels of racing globally, features a revised format for Books 1 and 2 among the changes and enhancements to...

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 to award record $5.675 million in stakes purses during 17-day Fall Meet in October

Keeneland will offer a record $5.675 million in stakes purses during its 17-day Fall Meet from Oct. 4-26, which opens with the prestigious Fall Stars Weekend. Eighteen stakes, 10 of which are Breeders’ Cup Challenge races led by the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), are on tap with $50,000 purse increases slated for the Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) and Sycamore (G3) to increase the value...

Keeneland mourns death of longtime starter and track ambassador Robert Lee “Spec” Alexander

Lifelong horseman and longtime Keeneland Starter Robert Lee “Spec” Alexander, widely respected for his skill with Thoroughbred racehorses and a beloved ambassador of Keeneland, died Monday. He was 80 years old. Alexander at Keeneland’s 2018 Fall meet (provided photo). “Spec was a Keeneland institution, an unquestioned master of his craft,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said....

Preakness a testament to Kentucky’s horse industry as top five finishers based as Churchill, Keeneland

The Preakness Stakes is staged at Maryland’s Pimlico Race Course, but Saturday’s results proved a Kentucky landslide. Keyed by War of Will’s 1 1/4-length victory over Everfast, the top five finishers are all based at Churchill Downs or Keeneland. At left: War of Will, in pink silks on rail, keyed an all-Kentucky top five, with Everfast, black and gold silks with yellow cap, Owendale, outside...

Julie Cauthen, Gabby Gaudet to support Keeneland sales inspection and recruitment efforts

Keeneland has announced that prominent bloodstock agent Julie Cauthen has joined the company’s September Yearling Sale inspection team. Additionally, Gabby Gaudet, a TVG racing analyst and Keeneland expert commentator, is expanding her role at Keeneland to include U.S. sales representation. “We are excited to welcome Julie and Gabby to the Keeneland sales team,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing...

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...

Keeneland, Churchill Downs each commit $100,000 to Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

Keeneland and Churchill Downs Incorporated jointly announced last week that the two industry icons have each committed $100,000 in contributions to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. This contribution will enable the sponsorship of two Grayson-approved projects. For the initial two years, 2019 and 2020, the funds will sponsor Dr. Sue Stover’s Grayson-funded research project, “Training...

Churchill Downs and Keeneland break ground on $150 Million racing venue in Oak Grove

Churchill Downs Incorporated, in partnership with Keeneland Association (“Keeneland”), broke ground Tuesday on a $150 million, state-of-the-art, live and historical horse racing venue in Oak Grove. Exterior rendering of Oak Grove Racing and Gaming (Image provided) CDI and Keeneland also unveiled the name and branding for the venue, which will be called Oak Grove Racing and Gaming. The new facility...

TVG, Jockeys’ Guild announce telethon For Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund Sunday

Hall of Fame jockeys and TVG talent will team up Sunday, April 7, as they host the second annual telethon to raise money for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) live on TVG, America’s Horse Racing Network. Last year was a great success with nearly $230,000 raised. “2018 was an amazing success and we’re looking forward to beating that total” said Kip Levin, CEO of TVG. “The recent...

Keeneland to preview 167 horses catalogued to April sale Monday; sale set for Tuesday afternoon, April 9

A total of 167 horses, including 73 juveniles and 94 horses of racing age, are cataloged for Keeneland’s April Sale, to be held Tuesday, April 9, at 2 p.m. ET. Two 3-year-old fillies, Crafty’s Dream and Sass Machine, were recent supplements to the April Sale. Crafty’s Dream, by Bodemeister, was a two-time winner last year at 2. At 3, she finished second in the Beyond the Wire Stakes and third...

Fields set for Saturday’s Toyota Blue Grass, Central Bank Ashland; favorites Vekoma, King’s Jaywalk

Gatsas Stable and R.A. Hill Stable’s Vekoma has been installed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite in a field of 14 entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 95th running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2). The 1 1/8-mile main track test serves as a major steppingstone for the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) to be run May 4 at Churchill Downs. The Toyota Blue Grass offers...

Partnership with Maker’s Mark, Keeneland makes impact for CATS, UK student-athletes’ success

The Center for Academic Tutorial Services (CATS) is the first center of its kind in America. Now in its fifth and final year, the partnership that has helped CATS ensure University of Kentucky student-athletes have the resources necessary for success in the classroom continues to make an impact. “Education is at the heart of everything we do as an athletics department,” UK athletics director Mitch...

BCTC brings in expert ‘Ubercapper’ Ellis Starr to teach horse racing Handicapping 101 on April 19

Bluegrass Community & Technical College is helping Central Kentucky prepare for the spring horse racing season by bringing handicapping expert Ellis Starr to the Bluegrass. Starr will conduct Handicapping 101, the basics of picking the winners, at the Thoroughbred Center in Lexington on April 19. Starr, racing analyst, handicapper, fan educator, and known as the “Ubercapper,” has...

Keeneland catalogues 81 horses of racing age, 72 juveniles for first April sale since 2014

Keeneland has cataloged 81 horses of racing age as part of its April Two-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale, to be held Tuesday, April 9, beginning at 2 p.m. The digital Horses of Racing Age Sale catalog is available online. The digital catalog features Daily Racing Form past performances, and Thorograph and Ragozin sheets. Sellers also have the opportunity to submit professional...

Keeneland appoints owner, breeder Everett Dobson to succeed William S. Farish as trustee

Prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder Everett Dobson, who serves on the boards of several Thoroughbred industry organizations, has been appointed a Keeneland Trustee. Dobson succeeds Lane’s End Farm owner William S. Farish, who has been a Keeneland Trustee since 2006. Farish will remain on Keeneland’s Board of Directors. Dobson was named to Keeneland’s Board in September 2018. He joins Claiborne...

Gaudet, Hazelton to host ‘Today at Keeneland’ as racetrack, TVG broaden racing, sales relationships

Keeneland and TVG officials have introduced several new initiatives on the racing and sales fronts that further enhance the long partnership enjoyed by the race track and racing network. Beginning with the April 4 opening day of the Spring Meet, TVG racing analysts Gabby Gaudet and Scott Hazelton will host “Today at Keeneland,” the track’s live, on-site preview show, and provide expert commentary...

Central Bank Thursday Night Live at Keeneland highlights Spring Meet opening day on April 4

Keeneland kicks off its 2019 Spring Meet on April 4 with a community-wide celebration headlined by an afternoon of racing starting at 3 p.m., followed by the popular Central Bank Thursday Night Live, to be held in the track’s scenic Paddock area. “Keeneland is an iconic gathering place for the community – it’s a rite of spring,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “Hosting Central...

Keeneland to feature AC Entertainment’s Railbird Festival, meshing music festival with horse racing

A new event will join Keeneland’s calendar in 2019, bringing with it significant economic and tourism impacts for Lexington. And, it isn’t a horse race. Nationally renowned festival producer AC Entertainment – of Bonnaroo, Forecastle, High Water, Moon River and other top music festivals – is introducing Railbird Festival, taking place on The Grounds at Keeneland this summer Aug. 10-11. “With...