Keeneland making changes to prepare for Saturday snow

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)-While it might feel like winter, it’s time for one of the hallmarks of spring in Kentucky.

Keeneland’s spring meet starts this weekend, a weekend that could be cold, and possibly snowy. Opening day is supposed to be beautiful with a high near 60, but even with buds on the trees, meteorologists say we could get one to four inches of snow Friday night into Saturday morning.

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“We’re preparing, though, for nothing and we’re preparing for more than that,” Bill Thomason, Keeneland President and CEO said.

Thomason says he wants the grounds to be safe. To give crews time to accomplish that, he says gates will open about an hour later Saturday and morning activities will be cancelled.

It’s not stopping Marty Egan who came all the way from Connecticut to see some racing.

“We’re gonna have to bundle up a little more than we would’ve hoped for, but that’s all,” Egan said.

Thomason says he expects fewer people outside the gates on Saturday, but reserved seats have been booked for months. Plus, there are plenty of indoor spaces around the track.

“Our fans don’t get dissuaded by bad weather so they’re going to be here, they’re going to be dressed, they’re going to be enjoying the day,” Thomason said.

You can’t plow a track, but Thomason says his staff is ready to keep horses and jockeys safe, his first priority.

Belmont and Derby winning trainer Michael Matz is already thinking about how the conditions will impact his horses.

“Whether it snows or rain, we never know how that impacts the footing so some horses will like a soft turf. Some horses won’t. Some horses will like a sloppy track. Some won’t,” Matz said.

You should be prepared too. Dress warmly.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!