It’s a few minutes past 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning in Lexington, Kentucky; it’s still pretty much dark out, and the temperature is a few ticks north of 40 degrees.
But it’s opening weekend at Keeneland Race Course, and the ground floor of the grandstand is bustling. The horses have been on the track for hours for morning workouts, and Keeneland invites patrons in to watch, offering breakfast for $7, activities for children, and tours of the grounds. The hundreds in attendance are undeterred by the fact that the sun hasn’t yet come up and that we’re going to need gloves if we’re going to spend more than a few minutes outside.
Keeneland hosted its first horse race in 1936 and nearly 70 years later, it sets an industry standard for Thoroughbred racing. In an era in which nearly every critic of the sport points to “too much racing,” Keeneland is open for racing for less than two months a year; its current fall meet runs just 17 racing days between October 5 and 27, offering 15 graded stakes race and for many horses, the final prep before the Breeders’ Cup next month. For the month of October, the nation’s finest racing happens at Keeneland.
Read more at Forbes.com…