Race Track

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Keeneland

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.

Important Records

Headley Course (4½ furlongs)

HORSE AGE WGT DATE TIME TRACK
Duc D'Eclair 2 122 4/3/1965 :53 Fast
Highest Alp 2 122 4/3/1965 :52 1/5 Fast
Inyala 2 117 4/10/1965 :51 4/5 Fast
Quick Swoon 2 117 4/12/1966 :51 2/5 Sloppy
Quick Swoon 2 121 4/20/1966 :51 Fast
Royality Note 2 114 4/23/1968 :51 Fast
Bend the Times 2 117 4/8/1980 :51 Sloppy
City Street 2 118 4/20/2001 :51.04 Sloppy
Heckle 2 118 4/18/2003 :51.04 Sloppy

One mile and one-sixteenth

HORSE AGE WGT DATE TIME TRACK
Hook It 2 107 10/16/1936 1:55 Sloppy
Star Bud 5 108 10/16/1936 1:48 2/5 Sloppy
Revelstone 3 110 10/21/1936 1:46 3/5 Fast
Le Miserable 5 109 10/21/1936 1:46 1/5 Fast
Bandalore 4 104 10/22/1936 1:45 3/5 Fast
Stocks 6 100 4/17/1937 1:45 Fast
Visigoth 6 110 10/7/1937 1:44 4/5 Fast
Bull Lea 3 112 1/2 4/21/1938 1:44 Fast
Torchy 3 111 10/11/1938 1:43 1/5 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
Decidedly 4 121 4/20/1963 1:41 2/5 Fast
Choker 3 114 10/5/1963 1:41 2/5 Fast
Piave 7 116 4/11/1964 1:41 1/5 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

HORSE AGE WGT DATE TIME TRACK
Butter Beans 7 108 10/15/1936 1:53 1/5 Fast
Dandy Jay 4 106 10/23/1936 1:52 3/5 Good
Whatway 3 106 10/24/1936 1:52 1/5 Fast
Bull Lea 3 121 4/28/1938 1:49 3/5 Fast
Tunica 3 114 10/15/1938 1:49 2/5 Fast
Coaltown 3 123 4/22/1948 1:49 1/5 Fast
Correspondent 3 121 4/23/1953 1:49 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
Grand Jewel 3 120 10/10/1993 1:46.87 Fast

Jockey

All

Rank Wins Jockey
1 877 Day, Pat
2 716 Brumfield, Don
3 383 Sellers, Shane
4 264 Fires, Earlie
5 247 Romero, Randy

Stakes

Rank Wins Jockey
1 90 Day, Pat
2 50 Sellers, Shane
3 44 Bailey, Jerry
4 32 Brumfield, Don
5 31 Perret, Craig

Owner

Stakes

Rank Wins Owner
1 24 Claiborne Farm (includes partnerships)
2 20 Calumet Farm
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)

Trainer

Rank Wins Trainer
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.

Stakes

Rank Wins Trainer
1 48 Lukas, D. Wayne
2 22 Mott, William I.
3 20 Walden, W. Elliott
4 19 Stephens, W.C.
5 18 Nafzger, Carl

Milestones

1935

  • 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.

1936

  • 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.

1953

  • 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).

1971

  • The Blue Grass Stakes marked the first million-dollar day of wagering in Keeneland's history - $1,052,866.

1984

  • Queen Elizabeth II attended the races at Keeneland on October 11 for the inaugural running of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.

1997

  • 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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