5 Things You Should Know Before Travelling To Keeneland


Most people decide to go to Keeneland just because of its rich history with horse racing, but Keeneland offers much more than that.

One of the best things about Keeneland is that it offers a piece of Southern history, with high-end class and apparel, especially for the races, and of course bourbon.

So, before you visit this city next November for the Breeders Cup Classic, it is important to learn more about its history just so you can prepare yourself on what to expect.

Keeneland History

Keeneland’s serene farm is located inside the rolling green hills of Kentucky’s second-biggest town: Lexington. Originally a non-profit racing organization and horse public sale center, Keeneland became a horse farm owned by Jack Keene. In 1933 after the Great Depression generation, Keeneland was sold to the Kentucky Association.

From 1933 to 1984, Keeneland went through a lot of overhauls. Extending the racetrack, inclusive of enlarging the grandstand, adding a library, and building The Paddock as we know it nowadays!

That’s why in 1984 Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom visited Keeneland.

The original President of the Keeneland Association, Hal Price Headley, mentioned what the project behind Keeneland changed into which is what they’ve always imagined it to be.

Keeneland is notable for the biggest libraries in the state, a lot of horse racing throughout a couple of months, and many local events that offer you a piece of history.

Also, the movie ‘Seabiscuit’ about the underdog horse that managed to become the triple crown winner in 1937 was filmed at Keeneland.

With that out of the way, let’s focus on some tips that can help you have a pleasant time at Keeneland.

Things to Know Before Going to Keeneland

1. What to Wear

After you’ve decided about your trip to Keeneland and invited your friends to hang out at the tailgate – the next step is selecting your outfit.

If you’re the people-looking kind – Keeneland will be a really perfect day for you. Whether it’s Keeneland’s spring or fall meeting, it’s the sort of occasion people visit to see and be seen.

When considering what to wear to Keeneland, whether or not you’re a guy or a gal – recollect that this isn’t Derby or Oaks at Churchill Downs. Think of your day at Keeneland as a garden birthday party in which playing corn-hole is recommended and shades are really vital!

Dress Code: There isn’t a get-dressed code for everyday racetrack consumers – but you’ll need to dress up a bit so you don’t stand out as too underdressed.

Keeneland Club Members: Race-goers appreciate the lifestyle of Keeneland with the aid of sporting ‘appropriate apparel’ like slacks, modest clothes, and so on. Anyone not deemed dressed correctly (slacks, recreation coats, dresses, pantsuits, and so forth) will now not be authorized entry.

You’ll have to be dressed up in a fun way for a couple of hours and snap some memorable photos together with your buddies!

2. Bag Policy

It is really important to know that your bag will be inspected at entry, so make sure you don’t have something that isn’t allowed at Keeneland. Also, even though there isn’t a dress code for the races, this is still a classy event, and backpacks and such are not allowed.

So, make sure to pack fewer things in the bag, and avoid bringing food and beverage with you at the races.

3. Learn How to Bet

Since horse racing is really important for Keeneland, and horse racing doesn’t go anywhere without betting, it is great if you get your mind in the game and learn how to bet just so you can have more fun.

Hitting it large at some stage in an afternoon on the races is continually amusing, and Keeneland is right here to help! During live race meets, you may chat with Keeneland’s BETologists (they’ll be wearing sweet fedoras) for pointers on every race and helpful hints about a way to study the program, a way to bet, and lots extra.

4. Short Racing Season

Horse racing at Keeneland is a Lexington tradition that goes back decades. However, even though horse racing is crucial for the state, it has a rather short racing season so you need to be careful about picking the right date, especially if you are a horse racing enthusiast.

For example, visiting this city at the start of November this year is a great idea just because one of the biggest horse races, The Breeders’ Cup will be happening here in the first weekend of November. You can find more about it here:

This is however an extension to their racing season which usually lasts from the month of April in the Spring, to October in the fall.

Keeneland generates the majority of its income through its Thoroughbred auction house, which has sold more champions and stakes winners than any other sales company.

Since they generate such a high income from selling horses, they can afford to have a shorter racing season.

5. Parking

If you decide to go on this lovely trip in a car, you don’t have to worry about parking. Even though there is both free and paid parking at Keeneland, you won’t have trouble finding a free space even in the top season.

With that said, it is important to consider that even though free parking is available in the grassy areas, it is usually far from the entrance. The walk shouldn’t be a problem if you are not wearing high heels, but if your outfit doesn’t allow longer distance walking, you can always park at the paid parking really close to the gate.

Final Words

It is a lovely place that is located in the Horse Capital of the world. It is an internationally renowned racecourse and the industry-leading Thoroughbred auction house in the world.

This is why visiting this city should be at the top of every horse enthusiast’s bucket list, especially when there is a big race lined up like the Breeders’ Cup.

In most cases, there are no specific rules at Keeneland and the most important thing is to have fun and not stress about not important things. We are sure that you’ll have an amazing time at the racetrack, even if you don’t have a clue about Keeneland and its history.

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]