Keeneland Race Course is located in Lexington, Kentucky. Declared a National Historic Landmark, it has two tracks that feature thoroughbred racing. Keeneland runs two short race meetings a year, lasting about three weeks in the spring (April) and fall (October).
The spring meeting is highlighted by the Blue Grass Stakes, a popular prep race for the Kentucky Derby. The fall meeting on the other hand, is showcased by the Spinster Stakes which has served as a launching pad to success in the Breeders' Cup championship program.
The track boasts one of the richest traditions of any race track in America. Since its first meeting in the fall of 1936, Keeneland has attracted such famous racehorses as Johnstown, Whirlaway, Round Table, Northern Dancer, Forego, Alydar, Spectacular Bid, Alysheba, Bayakoa, and Lure.
Many well-known trainers have saddled horses at Keeneland, including Ben A. Jones, Henry Forrest, Harry Trotsek, W.C. "Woody" Stephens and D. Wayne Lucas.
Aside from live horse racing, it also offers thoroughbred sales and simulcasting. Keeneland conducts sales in January, April, July, September and November while simulcast wagering is offered year round.
Keeneland Race Course Track Facts
Keeneland has two tracks - a dirt and a turf course. The dirt track is a mile and a sixteenth oval while the turf course is a 7-furlong oval. The dirt track has been there since Keeneland's inaugural season in 1936; the turf course was added in 1985, making Keeneland the first race track in Kentucky to offer grass racing.
Keeneland offers dirt races at distances from 4½ furlongs to a mile and five-eighths, depending on where the starting gate is placed and whether the chutes are used. The chutes, which are extensions off the main track, allow races to be run which otherwise would have undesirable starting locations.
Most races on the dirt course end at the finish line in front of the grandstand. Races at a mile and a sixteenth, however, start and finish at the sixteenth pole, which is a sixteenth of a mile from the finish of the other dirt races. This finish line is located in front of the clubhouse.
Races over the turf course range from 5½ furlongs to a mile and five-eighths.
Headley Course (4½ furlongs)
|Highest Alp||2||122||4/3/1965||:52 1/5||Fast|
|Quick Swoon||2||117||4/12/1966||:51 2/5||Sloppy|
|Bend the Times||2||117||4/8/1980||:51||Sloppy|
One mile and one-sixteenth
|Star Bud||5||108||10/16/1936||1:48 2/5||Sloppy|
|Le Miserable||5||109||10/21/1936||1:46 1/5||Fast|
|Bull Lea||3||112 1/2||4/21/1938||1:44||Fast|
|Tiger Rebel||4||117||10/15/1946||1:42 4/5||Fast|
|Times Roman||4||119||4/13/1963||1:41 3/5||Fast|
|Silver Series||4||121||10/28/1978||1:41 1/5||Fast|
|Never Better||3||115||10/15/1987||1:41 1/5||Fast|
|Din's Dancer||5||123||10/9/1990||1:40 4/5||Fast|
One mile and one-eighth
|Butter Beans||7||108||10/15/1936||1:53 1/5||Fast|
|Dandy Jay||4||106||10/23/1936||1:52 3/5||Good|
|Bull Lea||3||121||4/28/1938||1:49 3/5||Fast|
|Round Table||3||126||4/25/1957||1:47 2/5||Fast|
|Numbered Account||3||119||10/27/1972||1:47 2/5||Fast|
|Star Choice||5||112||10/6/1984||1:47 2/5||Fast|
|Good Command||4||118||10/10/1987||1:46 4/5||Fast|
|1||24||Claiborne Farm (includes partnerships)|
|3||15||Farish, William S. (includes partnerships)|
|4||12||Bwamazon Farm (Millard Waldheim)|
|5||12||Paulson, Allen E. (includes living trust)|
|6||12||Overbrook Farm (includes partnerships)|
|1||248||Lukas, D. Wayne|
|2||180||Arnold, George R. II|
|3||174||Mott, William I.|
|4||160||Davis, Doug, Jr.|
|5||155||Stevens, Thomas H., Sr.|
|1||48||Lukas, D. Wayne|
|2||22||Mott, William I.|
|3||20||Walden, W. Elliott|
- Articles of incorporation were filed for Keeneland Association on April 17. Hal Price Headley was the first elected president of the Association.
- Keeneland Association purchased 147 1/2 acres of Fayette County sportsman J.O. "Jack" Keene's property on the Versailles Pike on August 29. The price was $130,000 in cash and $10,000 in preferred stock at par value.
- More than 15,000 people attended an open house at the race track on October 11. The open house was held to introduce the public to the new totalizator, the first to be installed in Kentucky.
- Keeneland held its inaugural card on October 15. Paid attendance for the nine-day fall meeting (Oct. 15-24) totaled 25,337.
- During the Fall meeting, Keeneland enlarged and extended its grandstand, adding 1,542 seats and increasing the structure's capacity to 3,849.
- During the spring meeting the alpha-numeric message board located at ground level in front of the infield tote board was introduced.
- During the fall meeting, Keeneland became the first thoroughbred track in America to use the Visumatic Timer (which posted the various fractions and final clocking on the tote board).
- The Blue Grass Stakes marked the first million-dollar day of wagering in Keeneland's history - $1,052,866.
- Queen Elizabeth II attended the races at Keeneland on October 11 for the inaugural running of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.
- Ending a longtime tradition of no public-address system, Keeneland uses an announcer to call the races for the first time during the spring meeting.
- Total wagering topped $100 million for the first time during the 16-day spring meeting.
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