Keeneland

Keeneland

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Encyclopedia
Keeneland is a Thoroughbred horse racing facility and sales complex in Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

, USA. Operated by the Keeneland Association, Inc., it is also known for its reference library
Library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

 on the sport, which contains more than 10,000 volumes, an extensive videocassette collection, and a substantial assemblage of photo negatives and newspaper clippings.

In 2009, the Horseplayers Association of North America introduced a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred
Thoroughbred
The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed...

 racetracks in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

. Keeneland was ranked #1 of the top ten tracks. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 and designated a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 in 1986.

History


Keeneland was founded in 1935 as a nonprofit racing–auction entity on 147 acre (0.59488842 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
Thoroughbred horse race
Thoroughbred horse racing is a worldwide sport and industry involving the racing of Thoroughbred horses. It is governed by different national bodies. There are two forms of the sport: Flat racing and National Hunt 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
Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is one and a quarter mile at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry...

 (held the first Saturday in May), the most notable of which is the Blue Grass Stakes
Blue Grass Stakes
The Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, currently sponsored by the Toyota Motor Corporation, is an American Grade 1 horse race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds held annually in mid April at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky....

. The fall meet features several Breeders' Cup
Breeders' Cup
The Breeders' Cup World Championships is an annual series of Thoroughbred horse races, most but not all Grade I, operated by Breeders' Cup Limited, a company formed in 1982. From its inception in 1984 through 2006, it was a single-day event; starting in 2007, it expanded to two days. The location...

 preps.

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.

Lately, Keeneland has adopted several innovations. It reshaped the main track and replaced the dirt surface with the proprietary Polytrack
Polytrack
A synthetic racetrack surface is any kind of surface substance that replaces grass, dirt or sand as the racing surface on a horse racing track. Synthetic surfaces may be desirable over traditional surfaces for several reasons, most prominently the reduction of injuries and possible deaths to horses...

 surface over the summer of 2006 in time for its fall race meeting. Rogers Beasley, director of racing at Keeneland since 2006, describes the track as "selectively conservative."
Keeneland was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

Keeneland Sales


In the thoroughbred racing world, Keeneland is equally famous for its other side—its sales operation. It holds four (previously five) annual horse auctions that attract buyers worldwide.

Keeneland Association, Inc. also owns half interest in Turfway Park
Turfway Park
Turfway Park is an American horse racing track located just outside the city limits to the north of Florence, Kentucky, about 10 miles south of the Ohio River at Cincinnati...

 at Florence, Kentucky
Florence, Kentucky
Florence is a city in Boone County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 29,951 at the 2010 census.-History:The Florence area was originally known as Crossroads, because of the convergence of several roads from Burlington and Union at Ridge Road...

; casino
Casino
In modern English, a casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions...

 and race track giant Harrah's Entertainment
Harrah's Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment Corporation is a private gaming corporation that owns and operates over 50 casinos, hotels, and seven golf courses under several brands. The company, based in Paradise, Nevada, is the largest gaming company in the world, with yearly revenues $8.9 billion...

 owns the other half interest. Through Turfway, Keeneland also owns a part of Kentucky Downs
Kentucky Downs
Kentucky Downs is a Thoroughbred horse racing track located on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee, near the city of Franklin and just off Interstate 65...

, near Franklin, Kentucky
Franklin, Kentucky
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,996 people, 3,251 households, and 2,174 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,074.7 people per square mile . There were 3,609 housing units at an average density of 485.1 per square mile...

.

Keeneland Association's influence is felt throughout the industry and in Kentucky politics. In recent years, its opposition to allowing slot machine
Slot machine
A slot machine , informally fruit machine , the slots , poker machine or "pokies" or simply slot is a casino gambling machine with three or more reels which spin when a button is pushed...

s at race tracks in the Commonwealth has largely squelched the issue on the floor of the General Assembly. Competition from riverboat casinos (and Keeneland's "strange bedfellows" partnership with Harrah's at Turfway) is starting to reduce that opposition by the association's members. This ownership arrangement partially explains Keeneland's fondness for tradition.

Physical attributes


The track has a one and one-sixteenth mile (1710 m) Polytrack oval and a seven and one-half furlong (1509 m) turf oval. As noted earlier, the Polytrack surface was added between the 2006 April and October meetings. The turf course uses two configurations: the Keeneland Course setup has a temporary rail set fifteen feet out, while the Haggin Course has no temporary rail.

Racing



Keeneland has two racing seasons: a Spring Meeting in April and a Fall Meeting in October. The following stakes races are run at Keeneland:

Grade I races:
  • Alcibiades Stakes
  • Ashland Stakes
    Ashland Stakes
    The Ashland Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race held annually in early April at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, United States. It and the Ashland Oaks, the Kentucky Association racetrack's predecessor race, were named for Ashland, the homestead and breeding farm of statesman...

  • Blue Grass Stakes
    Blue Grass Stakes
    The Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, currently sponsored by the Toyota Motor Corporation, is an American Grade 1 horse race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds held annually in mid April at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky....

  • Breeders' Futurity Stakes
  • First Lady Stakes
    First Lady Stakes
    The First Lady Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. A one mile race on turf, it is open to Fillies & Mares, age three and older. Run in mid October, it offers a purse of $400,000.The race was first run in 1998 as the First Lady...

  • Maker's Mark Mile Stakes
    Maker's Mark Mile Stakes
    The Maker's Mark Mile Stakes is an American Grade I Thoroughbred horse race run annually during the second week of April at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky...

  • Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes
    Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes
    The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup is an American Thoroughbred horse race race for three-year-old fillies held annually since 1984 at Keeneland Race Course near Lexington, Kentucky. Run at a distance of one and one-eighth miles on the turf, the Grade I race currently offers a purse of $500,000...

  • Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings
  • Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes
    Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes
    The Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes is a Grade I American thoroughbred horse race run annually since 1986 at Keeneland Race Course near Lexington, Kentucky. Open to horses three-year-old and up, it is raced on turf over a distance of one mile....

  • Spinster Stakes
  • Vinery Madison Stakes
    Vinery Madison Stakes
    The Vinery Madison Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually in early April at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Contested on Polytrack synthetic dirt over a distance of seven furlongs, it is open to fillies and mares, age four and older.Inaugurated in 2002 as the...



Grade II races:
  • Beaumont Stakes
  • Commonwealth Stakes
  • Elkhorn Stakes
    Elkhorn Stakes
    The Elkhorn Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. The race is open to horses age four and older. Run in late April, it is contested on turf over a distance of 1½ miles and currently offers a purse of $200,000...

  • Fayette Stakes
    Fayette Stakes
    The Fayette Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually in late October at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. A Grade III event, it is open to horses age three and older. It is contested on Polytrack synthetic dirt and offers a purse of $150,000.The Fayette Stakes is named...

  • Raven Run Stakes
    Raven Run Stakes
    The Raven Run Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run at Keeneland during the third week of October as part of the race course's annual Fall Meet...

  • Jenny Wiley Stakes
    Jenny Wiley Stakes
    The Jenny Wiley Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race held annually during the second week of April at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky...

  • Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes
    Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes
    The Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually in early October at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. A six furlong sprint raced on Polytrack synthetic dirt, it is open to fillies and mares, age three and older.Inaugurated in 1981, it was a...



Grade III races:
  • Appalachian Stakes
    Appalachian Stakes
    The Appalachian Stakes is an American Grade III Thoroughbred horse race run annually in April at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky. Open to three-year-old fillies, it is contested on turf over a distance of one mile...

  • Ben Ali Stakes
    Ben Ali Stakes
    The Ben Ali Stakes is an American race for thoroughbred horses run in the Spring of each year at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. For 4-year-olds and up, it is a Grade III event set at a distance of one mile and one eighth mile on the dirt...

  • Bewitch Stakes
    Bewitch Stakes
    The Bewitch Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually during the second half of April at the Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Contested on turf over a distance of 1½ miles , it is open to fillies and mares age four and older...

  • Bourbon Stakes
    Bourbon Stakes
    The Bourbon Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually during the first part of October at the Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Contested on turf at a distance of 1 1/16 miles , it is open to two-year-old horses. Elevated to Grade III status for 2008, the race offers a...

  • Bryan Station Stakes
    Bryan Station Stakes
    The Bryan Station Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually during October at the Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Contested on turf over a distance of 8 furlongs, the race is open to three-year-old horses...

  • Doubledogdare Stakes
    Doubledogdare Stakes
    The Doubledogdare Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. A Grade III event since 2007, it is open to fillies and mares, age four and older...

  • Lexington Stakes
  • Perryville Stakes
    Perryville Stakes
    The Perryville Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually during October at the Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. The race is open to three-year-old horses. Currently a Grade III event, it offers a purse of $150,000....

  • Phoenix Stakes
    Phoenix Stakes (United States)
    The Phoenix Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race held annually at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Open to horses age three and older, it is contested on dirt over a distance of six furlongs and currently offers a purse of $250,000...

  • Shakertown Stakes
    Shakertown Stakes
    The Shakertown Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually in mid April at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Raced on turf over a sprint distance of 5.5 furlongs, it is open to horses three years of age and older...

  • Sycamore Stakes
    Sycamore Stakes
    The Sycamore Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race held annually at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. A Grade III event open to horses age three and older, it is contested on turf over a distance of 1½ miles....

  • Transylvania Stakes
    Transylvania Stakes
    The Transylvania Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually in early April at Keeneland Race Course near Lexington, Kentucky. The Grade III event is the first race of the year in Kentucky for three-year-olds and is contested on turf over a distance of one mile...

  • Valley View Stakes
    Valley View Stakes
    The Pin Oak Valley View Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually in October at the Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Contested on turf over a distance of 8.5 furlongs, it is open to three year old fillies. Currently a Grade IIIT event, it offers a purse of...

  • Woodford Stakes
    Woodford Stakes
    The Woodford Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race held annually at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Run in early October, the race is open to horses age three and older...



Non-graded stakes races:
  • Buffalo Trace Franklin County
  • Clark County Stakes
  • Forerunner Stakes
    Forerunner Stakes
    The Forerunner Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually during the third week of April at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Open to three-year-old horses, it is contested on turf over a distance of one and one-eighth miles .Inaugurated in 1950, the Forerunner Stakes...

  • Fort Harrod Stakes
    Fort Harrod Stakes
    The $100,000 Fort Harrod Stakes was an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually in mid April at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. A Listed Race open to horses age four and older, the 1⅝-mile event is contested on Polytrack synthetic dirt and is the longest stakes race run at...

  • Jessamine County Stakes
    Jessamine County Stakes
    The Jessamine Stakes is an American flat Thoroughbred horse race for two-year-old filles held annually at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. It is currently a Grade IIT stakes race run over a distance of 8.5 furlongs on turf....

  • Lafayette Stakes
    Lafayette Stakes
    The Lafayette Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Open to three-year-old horses, it is contested on Polytrack synthetic dirt over a distance of seven furlongs....

  • Palisades Stakes
  • Rood and Riddle Dowager
  • Storm Cat Stakes
  • Stravinsky Stakes
  • Warfield Stakes

External links