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Keeneland attracting an international horse racing audience this weekend for the main event

Stu Johnson

For the third time in seven years, Keeneland is playing host to the world championships of Thoroughbred racing. The Breeders’ Cup event runs Friday and Saturday at the historic track in Lexington. Drew Fleming is C-E-O of the Breeders’ Cup Limited. Fleming said coronavirus carried a significant impact for the second stop at Keeneland two years ago.

“Unfortunately we weren’t able to have fans in 2020. So, we made the commitment to the city, the horse capital of the world, the local hotels and the businesses, that we would return as soon as we could. And we’re honoring that commitment this weekend,” said Fleming.

Fleming said a ten-million-dollar investment in temporary infrastructure was made to accommodate the expected 45-thousand fans each day.

Fleming noted Keeneland is a smaller racetrack facility than traditionally found at the early November event. However, he added that hasn’t been a drawback.

“The Breeders’ Cup was so successful in 2015. Our fans, our breeders, our owners had such a wonderful time here in Lexington, that’s when we said we were coming back in very short order. I think the moment you get off the plane in Lexington you can just feel horse racing in the air. Everybody talks breeding, everybody talks racing and what better place to have the world championships.”

Post time for the Breeders’ Cup Classic is set for 5:40 Saturday afternoon.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years.
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