April and October bring the thrill of thoroughbred racing to Keeneland, but there’s so much more to do and enjoy at the track.
Behind the Scenes Tours
In the warmer months, you can take tours that will give you behind the scenes look at racing and the training of thoroughbreds. The Backstretch Tour takes you through the barns and you can also watch trackside during the morning workouts. This is a great tour to peak into the racing office and get inside the restricted jockey’s quarters. Tours are offered from April through August.
Visit the Library
Did you know Keeneland has a library? Check out the exhibits that show the impact horses have had throughout history on our culture. NOTE: due to COVID, the library is currently closed.
Attend an Auction
If you’re going to attend one of the auctions, start with the Yearling sale in September. The hustle and bustle of the sale will get your heart pumping. Head to the viewing circle to see the horses before they head to the “auction block” and rub elbows with the buyers that are willing to drop some serious money on these future hopefuls. Sit in the gallery and watch the bidding process – it’s fast and furious. The yearling sale offers horses that are only a year old. Who knows, you may be looking at a future Derby winner.
There’s another sale in November. While at the sales pavilion take a stroll through the building and check out the paintings and sculptures. Many of these will be on sale during the Sporting Art Auction which is held in the later part of November. NOTE: due to COVID, auctions are currently held online only.
In 2019, Keeneland hosted the first Railbird Festival. Railbird brought big name music stars into tow for two days. Music was performed, bourbon consumed and amazing food offered.
While it’s racing, know that it’s something special that Keeneland will be hosting the Breeder’s Cup in 2022.
Picnic with the Pops
In late August, the Lexington Philharmonic along with a special guest artist supply a magnificent concert event in the Keene Meadow. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy the atmosphere and the music. Locals create festive centerpieces to display on their blankets and tables. Dress and decorate for the theme and be part of this Lexington tradition.
Tailgating in Lexington isn’t just for UK Football. Gather your friends, load up a tent, the grill, cornhole and the music and head over to The Hill for tailgating during the spring and fall meets.