Keeneland concluded its 2013 spring race meeting Friday with a number
of records, including all-sources handle, as well as most wins by an
owner, trainer and jockey.
All-sources wagering on Keeneland’s 16-day meeting was a record
$158,640,589, with a daily average of $9,915,037, compared to the
previous record of $158,368,309 set during the 15-day 2007 spring
meeting that averaged $10,557,887 per day.
The construction along US 60/Versailles Road, the main corridor into
Keeneland, did not deter fans as the spring meeting also set an
attendance record of 278,415 over 16 days, for an average 17,401 per
day. This figure bests the previous record of 269,292 set at the 15-day
2012 spring meeting, as well as the previous record for a 16-day spring
meeting of 243,606 set in 2008.
Each of Keeneland’s three Saturday cards drew more than 30,000 fans,
with Toyota Blue Grass Day, April 13, drawing the second-largest crowd
in track history when 37,161 saw Java’s War win the $750,000 Toyota Blue
Grass Stakes (G1). On opening Saturday, April 6, 32,564 patrons watched
Emollient win the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1), and 32,325
were on hand for Winning Cause’s victory in the $200,000 Coolmore
Lexington Stakes (G3) on April 20.
Buoyed by a strong Toyota Blue Grass Day card, Keeneland established
spring meet records for Pick Three ($215,478 vs. $212,378 in 2008) and
Pick Four ($683,827 vs. $617,685 in 2009) wagering. Coolmore Lexington
Day established the all-time Keeneland record for a Pick Five wager of
$653,827, surpassing the previous record of $476,039 set on October 6,
“This was an amazing meet from so many aspects – wagering, attendance
and quality of racing,” Keeneland President & CEO Bill Thomason
said. “Our horses, horsemen and jockeys remain second to none, as do our
“We are extremely grateful for the tremendous community support we
have seen over the last month,” Thomason continued. “Especially give the
construction on Versailles Road, with the outstanding cooperation we
received from state and local officials, the project contractor and our
patrons, we were able to accommodate all of our fans in and around the
facility, even on our biggest days.”
Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, trainer Mike Maker and jockey Joel Rosario
joined forces to set records and earn spring meet titles as owner,
trainer and jockey, respectively.
The Ramseys’ 25 wins during the spring meet shattered the previous
record of 12 wins by an owner during a single race meeting. The Ramseys
won a total of 12 races last fall, which tied Calumet Farm, which
achieved that mark in the spring of 1941, and Mr. and Mrs. Robert F.
Roberts, who won 12 races during the 1968 fall race meeting.
Winners of the Eclipse Award as leading owner in 2011, the Ramseys
have earned 12 titles as Keeneland’s leading owner, including a sweep of
last year’s spring and fall race meets. They currently rank second
behind T.A. Grissom, who leads all owners with 14 meet titles.
The Ramseys’ win in the closing-day Elkhorn Stakes (G2) marked their
eighth graded stakes victory, for which they earned a gold tray as part
of Keeneland’s signature graded stakes trophy program. Only 17 other
owners in Keeneland history have such an accomplishment.
Leading trainer honors went to Mike Maker, who won 25 races this
meet, the most by a trainer in a single Keeneland race meet. The
previous record of 22 was set by D. Wayne Lukas in the fall of 1989. It
is the second Keeneland training title for Maker, who topped the
rankings in the fall of 2008. Maker trained Elkhorn winner Dark Cove.
Wesley Ward finished second in the trainer standings with 10 wins.
Rosario captured the leading rider title during his first full meet
at Keeneland, compiling 38 victories to set a record for most wins by a
jockey in a spring meet. The previous record of 32 wins was set by Randy
Romero in the spring of 1990. Pat Day holds the overall record of 45
wins set during the fall of 1991.
Rosario boosted his spring totals with five-win days on April 18 and
April 25, and four-win days on April 7, April 20 and April 24. He won
the Beaumont Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select (G2) aboard Ciao Bella
Luna, the Appalachian Stakes Presented by Japan Racing Association (G2)
with Unbelievable Dream, the Bewitch Stakes (G3) with Strathnaver (GB)
and the Elkhorn on Dark Cove.
Julien Leparoux ranked second in the jockey standings with 17 wins, while Rosie Napravnik finished third with 13 victories.
“We’d like to thank our horsemen and the betting public for
supporting our meet once again,” said Vice President of Racing Rogers
Beasley. “By boosting purses for our overnight races, we were able to
attract full fields throughout the meet and draw some of the
highest-caliber trainers and stables each and every day.”
The Hill, Special Events and Fan Education
The Hill, Keeneland’s enhanced tailgating experience, which featured
food trucks, Bluegrass concerts and a variety of wagering options for
fans, was a success, attracting thousands of fans each Saturday of the
meet. Several signature events, such as College Scholarship Day on
Friday, April 6, and Military Appreciation Day on Sunday, April 21, also
drew large numbers of young fans and families to the track.
Keeneland’s new wagering initiatives also proved to be a hit,
particularly the addition of roaming Betologists, handicapping experts
who were deployed around the facility to answer fans’ betting questions,
and the addition of paddock analysis by handicappers Mike Battaglia and
“We are committed to giving our more experienced fans the quality
racing and top-notch analysis that they have come to expect while
educating our newest customers in a way that helps them become lifelong
fans,” Thomason said.