LEXINGTON, KY – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) Race Dates Committee announced Wednesday that Keeneland has received approval for its requested five-day summer meet that will be held July 8-12.
Keeneland officially submitted its request on May 22 after its annual April meet was canceled due to the pandemic. Keeneland reportedly struck an undisclosed revenue-share agreement with Ellis Park, the Henderson, Kentucky-based track that had previously been granted Keeneland’s desired race dates.
“Keeneland appreciates the quick response of the Commission to our request, and we applaud all their work on behalf of Kentucky racing during these unprecedented times,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We also thank Ellis Park for their cooperation in this process and for making these non-traditional dates available to Keeneland. We look forward to sharing more details about the Summer Meet in the coming weeks.”
Though nothing official has been announced, Keeneland will reportedly hold 9-10 races each of the five days, including 10 graded stakes that are traditionally held during its April meet. Expected to headline the stakes calendar once released are the $600,000 Blue Grass Stakes (G2) and the $400,000 Ashland Stakes (G1), which are prep races for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and the Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively.
“We are all in this together, and Ellis Park is pleased to work with Keeneland on a plan that benefits our horsemen and Kentucky racing,” Ellis Park General Manager Jeffrey Inman said.