A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Keeneland sponsor’s Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation virtual tour of Lexington’s East End

Keeneland on Thursday announced sponsorship of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation’s (BGT) virtual tour of the historic East End of Lexington, the site of the old Kentucky Association Race Track and an area rich in the history of African American horsemen such as Isaac Murphy, Ed Brown and Jimmy Winkfield. “Lexington’s East End Walking Tour” may be taken either physically or virtually...

Keeneland cataloged 66 horses for its April Horses of Racing Age Sale on April 26

Keeneland has cataloged 66 horses for its April Horses of Racing Age Sale, to be held Monday, April 26. The sale, which will begin at 1 p.m. ET and be livestreamed on Keeneland.com, will be conducted as an integrated event, with live auctioneers at Keeneland and with horses presented for sale both physically at Keeneland and at off-site locations. Keeneland also will provide online bidding for buyers...

Keeneland to build six new barns, make additional enhancements at The Thoroughbred Center

Keeneland has announced plans to build six new barns and make other enhancements at The Thoroughbred Center (TTC), its 245-acre, year-round training facility on Paris Pike on the northeast side of Lexington. Home to 900-1,000 horses, TTC is within a six-hour drive to 10 race tracks. Plans call for two existing concrete barns to be demolished and replaced with six state-of-the-art barns. Improvements...

Keeneland busy stakes day is big day for the track — $22.7 million handle is third largest single-day ever

Godolphin’s undefeated homebred Essential Quality prevailed by a neck after a prolonged stretch duel with Highly Motivated to win the 97th running of the $800,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) for 3-year-olds Saturday afternoon at Keeneland. The Toyota Blue Grass was the final event of the day’s 11-race card, which featured six stakes worth $2.1 million. The Pick 5 handled a record $1,485,090, eclipsing...

Undefeated Essential Quality headlines field of nine for Saturday’s 87th Toyota Blue Grass at Keeneland

Godolphin’s undefeated homebred Essential Quality, the champion 2-year-old male of 2020, is the 3-5 morning line choice in a field of nine 3-year-olds entered Tuesday for Saturday’s 97th running of the $800,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. A major steppingstone for the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) to be run May 1 at Churchill Downs,...

Proceeds from 2021 Keeneland bottles to benefit LexArts’ Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden

Hall of Fame jockey Isaac Burns Murphy accomplished a level of success in the late 1800s that, by many measures, has never been equaled. So, it is only fitting that an effort to celebrate his remarkable legacy is, itself, also unique. This year, the annual release of a commemorative Maker’s Mark Bourbon bottle in partnership with Keeneland will, for the first time, be three distinct bottles, each...

William ‘Bill’ Farish to serve as Keeneland trustee following retirement of Seth Hancock

Lane’s End Farm’s William “Bill” Farish, who serves on the boards of numerous Thoroughbred industry and Central Kentucky organizations, has been appointed a Keeneland Trustee. Farish succeeds Claiborne Farm co-owner Seth Hancock, who is retiring as a Keeneland Trustee after having served since 2015. “I am thankful for the opportunity to have served as a Keeneland Trustee for the past several...

Keeneland releases Spring Meet ticketing plan; table reservations, grandstand packages available March 8

Keeneland has released plans to offer fans a limited number of ticket packages for dining, reserved grandstand seating and general admission for the 2021 Spring Meet, to be held April 2-23. All ticket packages have been designed in accordance with COVID-19 safety protocols and will be pre-sold online in two phases. Fans are encouraged to visit Keeneland.com for information on Spring Meet ticket options...

Keeneland announces plan for limited number of fans during upcoming Spring Meet April 2-23

Keeneland has announced plans to allow a limited number of fans to attend its 2021 Spring Meet, to be held April 2-23. The COVID-19 pandemic forced Keeneland to cancel the 2020 Spring Meet and hold an unprecedented five-day Summer Meet in July. The 2020 Summer and Fall Meets and Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland were closed to fans. For this year’s Spring Meet, Keeneland will make...

State’s travel, tourism industry hit hard by COVID crisis, adds a priority to big plan: RECOVERY

Staff report The Kentucky Travel Industry Association (KTIA) has released a plan containing over 40 recommendations designed to contribute to the recovery of Kentucky’s travel and tourism industry. The Recovery Actions for Tourism (RAFT) plan includes recommendations pertaining to the General Assembly, Governor, state agencies and with many directed to the travel and tourism industry, itself. A...

Central Kentucky bloodstock advisor Gatewood Bell named Keeneland’s vice president of racing

Keeneland on Thursday announced Central Kentucky horseman and bloodstock adviser Gatewood Bell will join the historic track as Vice President of Racing later this month. Bell in 2011 founded Cromwell Bloodstock, a respected full-service bloodstock agency and consulting firm named after a company owned by his grandfather, John A. Bell, and has served as its president for the past decade. Known for his...

Rex Chapman launches grassroots campaign ‘Pass the Hat with Rex’ to benefit Nourish Lexington

The Rex Chapman Foundation is launching “Pass the Hat with Rex,” a grassroots social campaign to benefit Nourish Lexington. is committing $25,000 in matching funds from his foundation. The Lexington community and beyond will have the opportunity to join Chapman in this campaign by either creating their own TikTok/”Pass the Hat” video or simply donating at NourishLexington.org. Use the hashtag...

Keeneland’s 15-day Spring Meet to feature 18 stakes, including 97th running of Toyota Blue Grass

Keeneland will present 18 stakes, featuring the 97th running of the $800,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and the 84th running of the $400,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), worth a total of $4.1 million during its 2021 Spring Meet from April 2-23. Post time for the first race during the 15-day season will be 1:05 p.m. ET. Keeneland will be closed Easter Sunday, April 4. “Keeneland is excited to welcome racing...

Sen. Schickel to introduce a bill to rescue historical racing after Supreme Court decision on its illegality

Staff report Kentucky State Senator John Schickel plans to introduce a bill in the legislature on Monday to preserve historical racing in the state. Schickel says he means to keep the gaming alive in Kentucky and that Senate President Robert Stivers will be a co-sponsor. Sen. John Schickel The bill will address the recent Kentucky Supreme Court decision on pari-mutuel wagering and assure that the “historical...

Market for quality thoroughbreds remains steady as Keeneland January Sale comes to a close Thursday

Keeneland’s January Horses of All Ages Sale came to a close Thursday with gross sales of more than $45 million, boosted by a number of prominent dispersals: 21 in-foal broodmares from Canada’s acclaimed Sam-Son Farm; 39 mares, yearlings and horses of racing age from Lane’s End, agent for the Complete Dispersal of the Estate of Paul Pompa Jr.; and 41 mares, yearlings and horses of racing age from...

Yearling colt by Munnings brings $475,000 to top first session of Keeneland’s four-day January sale

A newly turned yearling colt by Munnings sold to Larry Best’s OXO Equine for $475,000 to record the highest price of Monday’s Book 1 opening session of the four-day Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale. Hunter Valley Farm, agent, consigned the colt, who is out of stakes winner Sea Shadow, by Jump Start. For the session, Keeneland sold ­­­­­­­207 horses for $12,155,400, for an average...

Keeneland catalogs 1,588 horses for 2021 January Sale; to feature Sam-Son, Pompa, Spry dispersals

Keeneland has cataloged 1,588 horses for its 2021 January Horses of All Ages Sale, which will include dispersals of Sam-Son Farm, Paul Pompa Jr. and Spry Family Farm during the four sessions of the sale, to be held Jan. 11-14. Keeneland will continue to offer online and phone bidding to enable buyers to participate in the January Sale remotely while employing onsite COVID-19 protocols similar to those...

Award-winning Director of Broadcast Services G.D. Hieronymus to retire from Keeneland on Feb. 1

G.D. Hieronymus, who has served as Keeneland’s Eclipse Award-winning Director of Broadcast Services since 2000, has announced his retirement effective Feb. 1, 2021. Hieronymus will continue to work during Keeneland’s spring and fall race meets and on special projects for the track and its industry and philanthropic partners. G.D. Hieronymus “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this...

Andrew Wyeth’s Over the Hill commands $109,250 to top Sunday’s virtual Sporting Art Auction

Andrew Wyeth’s Over the Hill, a watercolor painted by Wyeth in 1973 that remained in his personal collection until 2006, brought $109,250, including buyer premium, to headline Sunday’s eighth annual Sporting Art Auction, a collaboration between Keeneland and Cross Gate Gallery of Lexington held virtually on Sunday afternoon. Over the Hill, Andrew Wyeth Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bidding on this...

Keeneland wraps 10-day November Breeding Stock Sale; signs indicate stable thoroughbred market

Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale ended Wednesday following 10 days of competitive trade for quality broodmares, broodmare and stallion prospects, weanlings and horses of racing age, including nine horses sold for $1 million or more, while recording strong participation from many prominent domestic and foreign horsemen who make up the sale company’s deep buying bench. “Keeneland ends this...