Keeneland’s spring meet comes to a close

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Sixteen days of racing came to an end at Keeneland’s Spring Meet on a sunny Friday afternoon.

According to Kara Heissenbuttel of Keeneland, mother nature has been their best friend and she’s been good to them this month. They’ve had lots of great weather days and sunshine and wonderful crowds. The community has really come out and has been supportive. She says It’s just been a really great experience.

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It all kicked off on a Thursday this year with a day of racing and an evening of music, food, and fun with Thursday Night Live. Attendance and wagering records were broken the first Saturday of the meet, and that same day, Vacoma won the Toyota Bluegrass Stakes to become a contender in the Kentucky Derby.

Over the course of the meet, students were awarded scholarships, fans lined up for the Maker’s Mark signing, there were betology classes, plenty of betting, and it was a winning experience all around.

Even though live racing is on hiatus here until October, fans are invited to come on out to the track and watch two of Kentucky’s most famous races.

Heissenbuttel says Keeneland is the place to be on Oaks and Derby Day. On Oaks Day, they have a party in the paddock. And then on Derby Day, she says that they have the world’s largest derby party. There’s music, a hat contest, and fun games for the kids throughout the day.

Keeneland is open year round for tours and other various events, but it’s the racing that holds the hearts of many here in the bluegrass, and keeps them coming back for more.
You can hear the crowd is still super excited, right until the very ends. It’s been a great 2019 spring meet.

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Amber grew up on the beaches of the Space Coast of Florida, but comes to Lexington from the Western Slope of Colorado, where she was the evening news anchor for the CBS affiliate in town. The change from flip flops to snow boots was a major culture shock, but she fell in love with the mountains, beautiful scenery, amazing people and endless opportunities to explore the western terrain. However, as a Gator and graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, she’s excited to be in Kentucky and back in SEC territory. She feels fortunate to have spent almost two decades working in various aspects all across the country in the world of television. From news to film, TV, and commercials, Amber has always loved the close connection the industry provides with the community and enjoys bringing breaking news to viewer’s homes, helping keep everyone aware of what’s happening. Telling people’s stories is her passion, and she’s learned everyone has something interesting to contribute, and many of the best lessons come from the most unlikely sources. While in Colorado, she covered a variety of stories, including the major changes, issues and solutions as medicinal and recreational marijuana are introduced across America. Like many Lexington residents, horses are Amber’s first love, and she’s so happy to be living in the Horse Capital of the World. Equine Science was actually her initial college major, with the intentions of becoming a veterinarian, so she has the utmost respect for everyone in the industry. She was a member of the University of Florida’s Equestrian team, Block and Bridle Club, and grew up riding and showing horses. She was extremely active in the 4-H Equine Horse Judging and Hippology programs and even competed at the Kentucky Horse Park on various occasions. Amber can’t wait to get involved in anything and everything horse related in the area. Her other hobbies include running, dancing, traveling, hiking, exploring, reading and art. She loves sports and can’t wait to attend games here in town. Amber loves meeting new people and trying new things. Traveling the world has inspired a list of what to do, where to go next, and what adventures await. She’s hoping to jump right into the Lexington lifestyle! Please send any and all ideas and thoughts for stories, things to do and try, etc etc and connect with her on both Facebook and Twitter: @AmberFreemanTV or email at Afreeman@wtvq.com.