Home » Keeneland spring meet special events offer fun and philanthropic support

Keeneland spring meet special events offer fun and philanthropic support

One of the most highly anticipated events of the season in Lexington — the Keeneland spring meet. (David Coyle)
One of the most highly anticipated events of the season in Lexington — the Keeneland spring meet. (David Coyle)

LEXINGTON (April 5, 2017) – College Scholarship Day, tailgating on The Hill, Sunrise Trackside, an appearance by the Budweiser Clydesdales and Military Day at the Races Presented by Marathon are among the popular special events scheduled for Keeneland’s 2017 spring meet, which opens Friday, April 7.

The 15-day spring meet offers racing on Wednesdays through Sundays. Post time for the first race each day is 1:05 p.m. ET. Keeneland will be closed on Easter Sunday, April 16.

The spring meet special events calendar is designed to provide fun for all ages and reflect the track’s mission of giving back to the Central Kentucky community. Click here for a list of special events that include these fan favorites:

College Scholarship Day – Friday, April 7
The spring meet opens by welcoming college and university students to a complimentary day at the races and a chance to go home with one of ten $1,000 scholarships presented by Keeneland and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association. Students with a valid college ID will receive free general admission and may register for the scholarship drawings. One scholarship will be presented after each race. Registration is available online and in Keeneland’s College Zone in the North Terrace, where students will enjoy music, free snacks and other prize drawings from local vendors. For the second consecutive year, Jim and Linda McIngvale will award the $10,000 Runhappy Scholarship, named for their champion purchased at Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale, to one lucky full-time student through a random drawing.

Kids Club Family Day – Sunday, April 9
The Keeneland Kids Club encourages its more than 9,000 members to take an interest in Keeneland and the horse industry and offers philanthropic opportunities for them to support deserving organizations in Central Kentucky. On Kids Club Family Day, members and their families will receive free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seating. The North Terrace will host special activities for children, including crafts, face painting and more from noon to 3 p.m. ET.

Horses and Hope Pink Day – Wednesday, April 12
Patrons are invited to wear pink to Keeneland, which presents this event in conjunction with Kentucky’s former first lady Jane Beshear’s Horses and Hope program to promote breast cancer awareness and raise money for the cause. Prior to the races, Mrs. Beshear and the Kentucky Cancer Program will host a luncheon for survivors in Keeneland’s Keene Barn & Entertainment Center. The afternoon will feature a Horses and Hope race honoring breast cancer survivors and a commemorative photo.

Maker’s Mark Bottle Signing – Friday, April 14
The wildly popular Maker’s Mark commemorative bottle signing will be held in the Keene Barn & Entertainment Center. Sales of the bottle will benefit the University of Kentucky Athletic Association’s Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (CATS). Watch Keeneland.com for more details on the bottle signing.

Budweiser Clydesdales – April 12-15
The famous Budweiser Clydesdales return to Keeneland to perform on the race track and be available for photo opportunities with fans. A single Budweiser Clydesdale will appear at the East Gate on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, April 15, the Budweiser Clydesdales hitch will make an on-track appearance.

Jockey Autograph Signing – Friday, April 21
Benefiting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, the Jockey Autograph Signing enables fans to meet members of Keeneland’s current riding colony and retired jockeys from Hall of Famers to history makers to Keeneland favorites.

Military Day at the Races Presented by Marathon – Sunday, April 23
Keeneland honors men and women who serve our country with a day at the races. All active-duty, reserve, veterans and military families will receive free general admission with a military I.D., DD214, veteran I.D. or other form of Military I.D. at any gate. The Military Family Zone in the North Terrace will offer free food, live music and more from noon to 4 p.m. Keeneland will celebrate the Month of the Military Child with children’s activities throughout the afternoon.

Herald-Leader Day at the Races – Thursday, April 27
All Lexington Herald-Leader subscribers will receive free general admission with the coupon found on the front page of the Thursday, April 27, edition of the newspaper. Fans can win prizes and meet some of the Herald-Leader personalities.


Official Keeneland Tours
Keeneland offers several ways for fans to learn more about Keeneland’s racing and sales operations and about Thoroughbred racing. During the spring meet, guided tours of Keeneland are offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays beginning at 8:30 a.m. On Saturdays during Sunrise Trackside, free guided tours begin every 20 minutes from the Paddock starting at 7:30 a.m. Fans can get an insider view of racing via the Behind-the-Scenes Racing Tours and a Backstretch Tour & Day at the Races. Click here for more tour information and to purchase tickets.

The Hill – Fridays and Saturdays
At Keeneland’s official tailgating area, fans not only set up their own elaborate spreads but also have access to local food trucks, a jumbo television screen to watch racing, wireless wagering and wagering terminals, race-day programs and free shuttle rides to the track. On Saturdays, Central Kentucky’s favorite Bluegrass bands will perform from 12 to 4 p.m.

Sunrise Trackside – Saturday mornings
This free, family-friendly event invites fans to experience the unique nature of morning workouts, enjoy breakfast and participate in tours, children’s activities, an equine-related Paddock demonstration, a handicapping seminar and a question-and-answer session with a Keeneland jockey.


All-Stakes Pick 4 and All-Stakes Pick 5 Presented by TVG – Saturday, April 8
Play the $400,000-guaranteed All Stakes Pick Four on races 7-10: Shakertown (G2), Madison (G1), Central Bank Ashland (G1) and Toyota Blue Grass (G2). A $300,000-guaranteed All Stakes Pick Five will be offered on races 6-10, which kicks off with the Commonwealth (G3) and includes the aforementioned stakes.

Keeneland also will offer a $300,000-guaranteed All-Stakes Pick 4 on Saturday, April 15 – day of the Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G2), Stonestreet Lexington (G3), Ben Ali (G3) and Giant’s Causeway (L) – and on Saturday, April 22, when the featured race is the Dixiana Elkhorn (G2).

WINS-Day Challenge – Wednesdays
Each Wednesday, contestants sign up at Wagering Central with a $10 entry fee and make a mythical $2 win and place wager on Keeneland races 3-8. The contest offers a guaranteed $2,500 pool. The first 200 participants receive a free Daily Racing Form and a card for a free appetizer at Malone’s.

Friday Pick Four Presented by TVG – Friday, April 7, 14 and 21
Play the Pick Four on Keeneland’s final four races of the day to win the $200,000-guaraunteed pool.

Keeneland Spring Challenge – Saturday, April 22
Keeneland’s new live bankroll handicapping tournament is a $400 buy-in with a live bankroll of $250 and $150 prize fund fee. Players will be able to wager any amount on any race at Keeneland with no minimum wagers or minimum number of races. The tournament can be played from anywhere at the track; all tickets and admissions must be handled separately by the player. Click here to register online and to access a complete set of rules.


Following the spring meet, Keeneland will welcome fans to celebrate the May 5 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) as well as all the racing action from Churchill Downs other major Thoroughbred tracks.

Oaks Day – Friday, May 5
Fans will receive free parking and general admission. Gates open at 9 a.m. Post time for the first race is 10:30 a.m. Post time for the Kentucky Oaks is approximately 5:49 p.m. Keeneland will hold a Paddock Party with live music from 4-7 p.m. Click here for more information.

Derby Day and Derby Bash – Saturday, May 6
Last year, more than 19,000 people spent Kentucky Derby Day at Keeneland. Activities throughout the day include live music in the Paddock from 1-6 p.m., a hat contest in the Paddock at approximately 3 p.m. and Keeneland Kids Club activities in the Lower Clubhouse from 1-5 p.m.

General admission is $5, and parking is free. Post time for the first Churchill race is 10:30 a.m. Approximate post time for the Kentucky Derby is 6:34 p.m.

The Hill also will be open for tailgating and simulcast wagering on Derby Day.

Fans looking for a more formal Derby affair are invited to Keeneland’s Derby Bash in the Keene Barn & Entertainment Center. Tickets are $60 each for the open-air Keene Barn venue and $70 each for the temperature-controlled Entertainment Center. Tickets for both venues include a buffet lunch, souvenir program and live music.

Click here for more information. Red Mile will be open for wagering on the same schedule as Keeneland.

Keeneland 2017 Spring Meet at a Glance

First Post: 1:05 p.m. Gates open at 11 a.m. No racing on Mondays, Tuesdays and Easter Saturday, April 16.

Admission: $5. Free for children 12 and under.

Parking: Free (shuttles available throughout the grounds).

The Hill: Official Tailgating Lot. Open Fridays and Saturdays. Adjacent to the Keene Barn & Entertainment Center. Enter Gate 1 across from Man o’ War Blvd or via Van Meter Road entrance.

Simulcasting: Major Thoroughbred tracks in North America.

Website: Keeneland.com. Includes free live streaming of races.

Keeneland Race Day App: Free app offers a complete guide to a day at Keeneland.

Social Media: Facebook @Keeneland, Instagram @Keeneland, Twitter @KeenelandRacing, Periscope @KeenelandRacing and Snapchat @KeenelandRacing.