It’s the week of the Kentucky Derby and everyone knows about Churchill Downs Racetrack, however, there is another beauty just down the road in Lexington — Keeneland.
Keeneland Racetrack not only focuses on horse racing, but also horse breeding. It is the world’s leading Thoroughbred auction company having sold the most champions and stakes winners of any sales company. Breeders come from all around the country (and world) to bid on a chance to own the best of the best. The fun part is that even smaller breeders can participate — maybe not in the “high rollers” league, but wherever they feel comfortable.
Keeneland offers tours in the early morning when the horses are training for their next race. It is clear to see from the moment you step onto the Keeneland grounds, these horses are revered. The owners, jockeys, trainers, everyone involved with the horses lovingly care for them and speak of them as if they were a favored child.
The racing window for Keeneland is short. The live races are only in April and October, but the racetrack is open year round. In fact, they are hosting a party to watch the Kentucky Derby this weekend with wagering, food and many huge screen televisions to watch the Run for the Roses.
Although we could not stay, Keeneland’s Track Kitchen is the place for breakfast if you want good food and the chance to meet the jockeys, owners, and trainers after workouts are finished — what a treat for horseracing enthusiasts!
The cost for the tour is minimal at $8.00 per person and worth every penny. The guides are knowledgeable (ours were retired jockeys!), friendly and happy to share/answer any horse-related information/questions. If you do not want a guided tour, Keeneland is open and free to come in and watch the morning workouts. Y’all need to get there (love that word)!