LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Keeneland kicks off its 2019 Spring Meet on Thursday, April 4, with a community-wide celebration headlined by an afternoon of racing starting at 3 p.m., followed by the popular Central Bank Thursday Night Live, to be held in the track’s scenic Paddock area.
Keeneland is teaming with the Downtown Lexington Partnership to host Central Bank Thursday Night Live for the first time at the track.
On April 4, music provided in partnership with The Burl, a popular live music venue in Lexington, will be featured in the Paddock during the race day. Drink specials also will be offered.
Information on reserved seating and dining reservations for opening day is available on Keeneland.com. Race-day parking is free and General Admission to the track is $5.
In celebration of opening day, Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton has proclaimed Thursday, April 4, as “Keeneland Day in the Bluegrass!”
Keeneland’s Spring and Fall race meets represent $123 million in direct spending and $200 million in total economic impact to Fayette County. The Thursday opening offers an additional day of racing, benefiting horsemen and generating more area tourism dollars and spending at local restaurants, bars, hotels and retail shops.
Keeneland will open its Spring Meet on Thursday for the first time since 1959, marking the start of a blockbuster weekend of racing with nine stakes anchored by the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), major preps for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively, on Saturday, April 6.
Gates open at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, with the first race slated for 3 p.m. Among the eight races on the card, which concludes at approximately 6:55 p.m., is the inaugural running of the $100,000 Palisades Turf Sprint for 3-year-olds at 5½ furlongs on the grass.