Keeneland

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For the town, see Keeneland, Kentucky.
Keeneland
Keeneland Racecourse (logo).png
Location Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Coordinates 38°2′44″N 84°36′38″W / 38.04556°N 84.61056°W / 38.04556; -84.61056Coordinates: 38°2′44″N 84°36′38″W / 38.04556°N 84.61056°W / 38.04556; -84.61056
Owned by Keeneland Association Inc.
Date opened 1936
Course type Flat / Thoroughbred
Notable races

Blue Grass Stakes (G1)
Ashland Stakes (G1)
Turf Mile Stakes (G1)
Breeders' Futurity (G1)

Keeneland
Keeneland Race Course.jpg
A view of Keeneland's grandstand at dawn, taken from the last turn leading into the home stretch
Built 1936
NRHP Reference # 86003467[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP September 4, 1986
Designated NHL September 4, 1986
Official website

Keeneland includes the Keeneland Racecourse, a Thoroughbred horse racing facility, and a sales complex, both in Lexington, Kentucky, USA.[2] Operated by the Keeneland Association, Inc., it is also known for its reference library.

In 2009, the Horseplayers Association of North America introduced a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in North America. Keeneland was ranked #1 of the top ten tracks. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

History[edit]

Keeneland was founded in 1936[3] as a nonprofit racing–auction entity on 147 acres (0.59 km2) of farmland west of Lexington, which had been owned by Jack Keene, a driving force behind the building of the facility. It has used proceeds from races and its auctions to further the thoroughbred industry as well as to contribute to the surrounding community. The racing side of Keeneland, Keeneland Race Course, has conducted live race meets in April and October since 1936. It added a grass course in 1985. The spring meet contains several preps for the Kentucky Derby,[citation needed] the most notable of which is the Blue Grass Stakes.[4] The fall meet features several Breeders' Cup preps.[5]

Keeneland takes pride in maintaining racing traditions; it was the last track in North America to broadcast race calls over its public-address system, not doing so until 1997. Most of the racing scenes of the 2003 movie Seabiscuit were shot at Keeneland, because its appearance has changed relatively little in the last several decades.[citation needed]

Nonetheless, Keeneland has adopted several innovations. It reshaped the main track and replaced the dirt surface with the proprietary Polytrack surface over the summer of 2006 in time for its fall race meeting.[6] The track was restored to a dirt racing surface during the summer of 2014.[7]

Keeneland was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.[8]

Keeneland will host the Breeders' Cup for the first time in 2015.

Keeneland Sales[edit]

Main article: Keeneland Sales

Keeneland is the world's largest Thoroughbred auction house, conducting three sales annually: The September Yearling Sale, November Breeding Stock Sale, and January Horses of All Ages Sale)[9] Horses sold at Keeneland sales include 82 horses that won 88 Breeders' Cup World Championship races; 19 Kentucky Derby winners; 21 Preakness winners; 18 Belmont winners; 11 recipients of the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year; and five Epsom Derby winners. Graduates of Keeneland sales[10]

Layout[edit]

The track has a 1 116 miles (1,700 m) dirt oval and a seven and one-half furlong (0.875 miles (1,408 m)) turf oval. The turf course uses two configurations: the Keeneland Course setup has a temporary rail set 15 feet (4.6 m) out, while the Haggin Course has no temporary rail.[11]

TV personalities[edit]

  • Mike Battaglia (1974–present)
  • Katie Mikolay Gensler (2013–present)

Racing[edit]

Outside view of Keeneland

Keeneland has two racing seasons: a Spring Meeting in April and a Fall Meeting in October. The following stakes races have been run at Keeneland, some with changing names and sponsorships over the years.

Grade I races:

Grade II races:

A race at Keeneland

Grade III races:

Non-graded stakes races:

  • Buffalo Trace Franklin County
  • Giant's Causeway Stakes
  • Rood and Riddle Dowager

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  2. ^ Keeneland Magazine - Blood-Horse Publications designation approved by Keeneland Association, Inc.
  3. ^ "Keeneland History". keeneland.com. 
  4. ^ "Toyota Blue Grass Website". keeneland.com. 
  5. ^ "Breeders' Cup Challenge". breederscup.com. 
  6. ^ "Rogers Beasley Keeneland Director of Racing". Bloodhorse.com. 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  7. ^ "Keeneland Dirt Track Debut". Courier-Journal.com. The Courier-Journal. 
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  9. ^ "About Keeneland Sales". keeneland.com. Keeneland Sales. 
  10. ^ "Keeneland Classic Winners". Keeneland.com. Keeneland. 
  11. ^ "Keeneland Track Configuration". keeneland.com. Keeneland Racing. 
  12. ^ Blood Horse: 2011 Graded Stakes: 13 Fewer Than '10

External links[edit]