f planning a trip to Lexington, KY then a visit to the Keeneland is a must! Keeneland represents the soul of what makes Kentucky, Kentucky. Not only is this track great for first-timers but also for seasoned racetrack veterans as well. For the first-timers, we created a quick guide to help you navigate your way through, so you can make the most out of your experience. Come out and enjoy a sunny day at Keeneland and all the excitement that comes with it!
First,you will need to look at the Keeneland schedule of races and events to see what is coming up next. Races happen frequently but they also have a wide variety of events ranging from ground tours to jockey autograph signing days.
If it’s your first time visiting Keeneland then beat the crowds and head out early to catch a glimpse of the historic grounds and watch as trainers, jockeys, and horses head out for their morning practice runs.
Meet at The Hill
“The Hill” is the official tailgating area, where fans gather every Friday and Saturday during the races to celebrate Thoroughbred racing at its best. This is the premier social meeting point and a great way to enjoy the races and those who have come out to enjoy it with you! The Hill is located is next to the Keene Barn and is accessible via Gate 4.
If you want to see the jockeys as they head out for their race or snag an autograph, the best place to be is near the jockey’s quarters. Enter the track from the south gate entrance and look for the walking ring. To the right of the walking ring is the jockey’s quarters, where you can catch them before or after a race.
Head to the Paddock
The paddock offers spectators a firsthand look at the horses before making their bets. It is a great spot to gather before and in between races. As a common meeting ground for social gatherings and a chance to see horses paraded one by one for interested spectators, it is a place to see and be seen by all.
Place Your Bets
Don’t know where or how to place your bets? Keeneland offers an easy guide to help answer all of your questions. You can actually place your bets even from the comfort of your hotel room! And insider tip, if you are placing your bets at the track, is to head to the betting windows, which are the windows closest to the paddock. The lines usually are a bit shorter.
Drive Through Betting
As most of us always seem to be running late, Keeneland has made it easy for you to place your bets at the drive-through betting booths before you park. They take bets starting at 8 a.m. on race day. So, don’t miss out on your best bet in the first race!
Where to Watch
The most popular viewing post is near the winner’s circle, this is also where the horses enter the track. There is also the finish line viewing area, which tends to be a little less crowded.
Grab a Bite
Heading out to Keeneland will most likely be an all-day event so check out some of these spots to eat, like the Mane Street Deli, Paddock Carvery, and if you are there early try breakfast at Track Kitchen. There is enough here to satisfy all taste buds!
Take advantage of all what Lexington, KY has to offer and reference Bluegrass Extended Stay’s list of activities and event