Keeneland requests five-day summer meet in July

Keeneland has submitted a request to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s Race Dates Committee for a five-day Summer Meet, to be held Wednesday, July 8 through Sunday, July 12.

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Courtesy: Keeneland

LEXINGTON, KY (May 22, 2020) – Keeneland has submitted a request to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s Race Dates Committee for a five-day Summer Meet, to be held Wednesday, July 8 through Sunday, July 12. Under the current safety protocols, the Summer Meet would be held without spectators. The summer dates accommodate a portion of the 16-day Spring Meet that Keeneland was forced to cancel due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Keeneland also will share return to racing protocols with Gov. Andy Beshear’s office and local health officials for their approval. To ensure the safety of staff, horsemen and others on its grounds with regard to COVID-19, Keeneland, along with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and other Kentucky race tracks, has developed strict protocols for stabling and racing. Keeneland’s COVID-19 protocols will mirror those currently in place at Churchill Downs.

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“We are excited about the return of racing to Keeneland and know this will be welcome news for our horsemen, fans and the Central Kentucky community,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “This purse money represents significant income for horsemen, and while the races will be spectator-free, the Keeneland team is hard at work on creative ways to involve fans watching at home and to enhance our simulcast product for handicappers.”

Keeneland plans to host full cards of 9-10 races each day of the Summer Meet. Ten graded stakes traditionally run during the track’s Spring Meet highlight the Summer Meet schedule, among them the $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and $400,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), preps for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively; $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1), $300,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) and $250,000 Madison (G1). (See a full stakes schedule at the conclusion of this release.)

“These stakes races are important targets on the racing calendar for owners and breeders alike, and we are very happy to have the opportunity to conduct them,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. “The purses of some stakes, as well as maiden special weight and allowance races, are reduced from planned 2020 Spring Meet levels. Keeneland is unique in that during the course of a race meet, we put every bit of revenue we generate – from wagering, dining, concessions, gate, seating and sponsorships – back into purse money. The Summer Meet purse projections are based on current Association cash and Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.”

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com