Monday, April 4, 2011

April Showers, April Flowers

Ok, ok, ok. Soldat is now '7 of 8' in the money. He certainly looked disinterested in the Florida Derby on Saturday. Maybe he just needs some of that Kentucky Bluegrass!

Speaking of beautiful days in the bluegrass. Opening day at Keeneland is Friday, April 8. Sunny and 72 degrees. It just doesn't get any better than that!

Here are a few things you might want to know so that your day at Keeneland is as enjoyable as possible.

Gates open at 11 a.m.
General admission is $5 per person; children 12 and under admitted free
Post time for the first race is 1:05 p.m.; races are run approximately every half hour
Mutuel windows in the grandstand areas open at around 12:30 p.m.; drive-thru wagering opens at 8 a.m.
Lawnchairs and umbrellas are permitted
Alcohol, coolers, food, grills and tents are not permitted inside the admission gates
All bags are subject to inspection at the admission gate.
Parking is free in the tailgating lot. Preferred parking is $5. Valet parking is $10. Bus parking is $10.

The Transylvania is a Grade III race for 3yo going 1 1/16 miles over Keeneland's Turf Course. Purse is $100,000.

See you in the paddock area.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Its That Time of Year!

The Kentucky Horse Park has established its Calendar of Events for the 2011 season that is set to begin Apr 1. As the park returns to its regular hours, 9am to 5pm daily through Oct 31, the calendar reveals a season jam-packed with horse shows every weekend, special events and art exhibitions, most of which are included with park admission.

The season kicks off with the Bluegrass Classic Arabian Horse Show, Apr 1-3. The same month, the park's most highly attended horse show will take place, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Apr 28 - May 1, which will be bigger and better than ever with the inclusion of the Kentucky Reining Cup, Apr 29-30. College students from across the nation will arrive at the park to compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championship, May 5-8, and after a year's hiatus, one of Kentucky's most popular social events will resume, the High Hope Steeplechase, May 22

Other season highlights will include the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championship, May 5-8; Pyramid Society Egyptian Arabian Event, Jun 6-11; Festival of the Bluegrass, Jun 8-12; Silverama Region 14 Arabian Championship, Jun 28 - Jul 3; Miniature Horse Julep Cup Show, Jul 8-10; BreyerFest, Jul 15-17; United States Pony Club Festival, Jul 18-26; Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, Jul 27-31; Kentucky Summer Classic Hunter Jumper Show, Aug 3-7; United States Equestrian Federation Pony Finals, Aug 9-4; Bluegrass Classic Cluster Dog Show Sept 1-5; and many more events throughout the season.

In addition to shows and live equine presentations, the park's museums will host three special exhibitions this season:

•Vavra's Vision: The Equine Images of Robert Vavra, Now - May 30 in the International Museum of the Horse - a Smithsonian Affiliate. This 60-year retrospective exhibition of the world's premiere photographer of horses will delve into the world that Vavra has created through his lens while circling the globe. In photographs, in film and in print, his images capture the strength, beauty and wisdom of the horse.

•Ancient Bronzes of the Asian Grasslands, Jun 24 - Oct 9 in the International Museum of the Horse. Eighty-five works illustrate the personal decorations and equipment of the horse-riding steppe dwellers of the late 2nd and 1st millennia BCE. Ornate, technically sophisticated, and richly patterned, the bronze belt buckles, plaques, and weapons of these ancient horsemen are striking examples of the nomad culture that flourished across the Asian grasslands from Central Asia to Mongolia and northern China.

•Celebrities: Saddlebreds and Personalities from the Silver Screen, Cinema and History, Now - Jan 31, 2012 in the American Saddlebred Museum - The Showplace for Saddlebreds. This exhibition features many of the horses from television and movies, such as My Friend Flicka and Fury, which were American Saddlebreds. It also features popular celebrities who own Saddlebreds.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Who is Your Derby Favorite?

Soldat is mine.
He just won the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Saturday. In seven starts he has won three times and placed 4 times. '7 for 7' in the money.

That's why!

Keeneland: 75 Years of Racing As It Was Meant to Be

“We want a place where those who love horses can come and picnic with us and thrill to the sport of the Bluegrass. We are not running a race plant to hear the click of the mutuel machines. We want them to come out here to enjoy God’s sunshine, the fresh air and to watch the horses.”

-Hal Price Headley, Keeneland Founder and President, 1936

Those words still ring as true today as they did 75 years ago, when Keeneland, the venerable Thoroughbred race course located in Lexington, Kentucky was founded by a group of horsemen lead by Headley. It was an unlikely time to begin an ambitious new venture, with the country still in the throes of the Great Depression.

But, Keeneland’s founders were no ordinary men and Keeneland was no ordinary race track.


More important than the numbers, however, was the fact that Keeneland succeeded despite its rather unconventional ways. The founders had boldly envisioned creating Keeneland as a “model” race course where Thoroughbred racing was showcased at the highest level and profits were not given back to shareholders, but instead, plowed back into the racing program, the facility and the community in the form of charitable contributions. Their unusual concept, they hoped, would make the track immune to economic ills.

Their vision has resulted in creating a place that now ranks among venues such as Augusta Golf Course, Wrigley Field and Madison Square Garden as one of the finest sporting locales in the world.


Much of the original vision outlined by its founders in 1936 remains intact, including an unwavering adherence to tradition while embracing innovation.

Each April and October, Thoroughbred racing continues to be showcased at the highest level, drawing the world’s best horses and horsemen. A National Historic Landmark, Keeneland’s facility and grounds are breathtaking in both their timelessness and beauty. And, though the years, Keeneland has contributed more than $18 million to the community and to the industry in the form of charitable contributions.

However, important changes have occurred over the years. Keeneland is a leader in the Thoroughbred industry in both technology and safety. The home of four sales annually, Keeneland is now the world’s largest Thoroughbred auction company, with annual gross sales of about $400 million.

Unfamiliar with Keeneland? Respond to this post and we will take a little trip!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's a Whole New Year

Well, now what?
The games are over but our lives are much richer for it. Thank you, everyone!

The first Commission meeting of the year was this morning and we welome our newest members. It should prove to be an interesting year with David's retirement and his subsequent replacement. New bosses always cause chaos.

So, what do you want me to write about? What do you need to know about Lexington? Bourbon? Horses? History?

Next week I will start anew and I commit to all I will be dillegent in my posts and timely with the content. Today I read "37 Reasons to Blog" and I am fired up.

Stay tuned!