Breeders Cup Allegedly Headed to Keeneland

Jun 18, 2014

Credit Jason Phillips, Wikimedia Commons

Two Kentucky newspapers are reporting Keeneland will host the 2015 Breeders Cup World Championships.  Although not confirmed by the track or the Breeders Cup, reports in the Lousiville Courier Journal and Lexington Herald Leader cite sources indicating a formal announcement is expected later this month.  Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Director David Metsger said Keeneland is a good fit for the Breeders Cup.

"The Breeders Cup has a history of rotating the event around the country, much like the Super Bowl has done for years, and most, if not everybody in thoroughbred racing fully appreciates and understands Keeneland's and Lexington's place in the thoroughbred world,” Metsger said.

The chance to host the Breeders Cup would mean a great deal to area horse farm operators.

“This is their home territory,” Metsger said. “ All you have to do is look at the Keeneland grandstand, and you can see horse farms in the background. When you fly into Central Kentucky, you start off—you fly over Calumet, one of the most historic farms in the world.”

Lexington could be considered the birthplace of the Breeders Cup according to Metsger.

"Keeneland, or perhaps more specifically Lexington, is really the birthplace of the Breeders Cup,” Metsger said. “It was conceived by John Gaines, or Gainesway Farm here in Lexington.  The early financial support was essentially everything from thoroughbred breeders."

Although the fall date for the 2015 Breeders Cup has not been announced, it falls right in the heart of the college football season.  The University of Kentucky could also have a home football game that particular fall weekend.  Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Director David Switzer said the Breeders Cup also would occur in line with the Keeneland breeding stock sale and would bring with it thousands of racing fans. 

"The economic impact will be tremendous,” Switzer said. “It's gonna be a big sporting weekend.  I'm not sure what the dates are, but it will be a big sporting weekend."

The daylong racing event has made a stop several times at Louisville's Churchill Downs, but never at Keeneland.