Countdown to Keeneland!
As a Lexington-based business, we feel a special kinship with Keeneland, the famed racetrack just around the circle from our feed mill. So we’re thrilled that Keeneland’s plans for a Summer Meet have been approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC).
Racing at the Summer Meet
The five-day event is scheduled for July 8-12, with nine to ten races planned each day. Included in those races are ten graded stakes that would have been run during Keeneland’s Spring Meet, had the pandemic not canceled that much-anticipated event.
Fortunately, the graded stakes include the two biggest races from the spring schedule: the Ashland Stakes and Blue Grass Stakes. The Ashland Stakes is a Grade I prep for the Kentucky Oaks, and the Blue Grass Stakes is a Grade II prep for the Kentucky Derby. The top four finishers in both the Ashland Stakes and Blue Grass Stakes will earn points towards a coveted spot in the Oaks or Derby, rescheduled for September 4th and 5th. Both the Ashland and Blue Grass will be run on July 11, so be sure to mark your calendar and tune in.
With ten graded stakes and around $4.7 million in purse money, officials are expecting horses from around the country to join us here in Lexington for a chance to compete. These five days will show us high-caliber athletes and exciting finishes.
Safety First and Foremost
With horses coming from so many places, it’s important to note that Keeneland has strict safety protocols in place, mirroring those of Churchill Downs and other racing venues. These protocols include allowing only trainers, exercise riders, vets, grooms and blacksmiths in the stable area and racetrack, and following a phased approach for when horses and their teams can settle in at Keeneland.
Following the Races
While spectators won’t be allowed to cheer the horses on in person, Keeneland is making arrangements for fans to watch the races online. After the wild ride, we’ve all been on since spring; we’ll take it! We’re excited to watch some of our favorite horses show what they’ve been training so hard for, and see who’s able to get a little bit closer to qualifying for September’s Oaks or Derby.