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!