McLean: KHRC approves Keeneland's Summer Meet dates

McLean: KHRC approves Keeneland's Summer Meet dates
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

According to several sources close to the situation, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission was expected to on Wednesday approve Keeneland’s application for a 5-day race meet in July.

And that's what happened when the Race Dates Committee unanimously gave the green light.

Keeneland — which cancelled its annual April race meeting at the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak — last week submitted its request to race in Lexington from Wednesday, July 8 through Sunday, July 12.

The track plans host full race cards and rescheduled 10 graded stakes traditionally held during the Spring Meet, such as the Blue Grass (G2) and Ashland (G1), key stops on the Kentucky Derby and Oaks trails.

“These Stakes races are important targets on the racing calendar for owners and breeders alike,” said Bob Elliston, Keeneland’s vice president for racing and sales, in a news release last week. “The purses of some stakes, as well as maiden special weight and allowance races, are reduced from planned 2020 Spring Meet levels.

"Keeneland is unique in that during the course of a race meet, we put every bit of revenue we generate — from wagering, dining, concessions, gate, seating, and sponsorships — back into purse money. The Summer Meet purse projections are based on current Association cash and Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.”

Keeneland will run without spectators and in accordance with all safety protocols approved and required by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s office and local health officials. The measures will mirror what Churchill Downs has in place two weekends into its postponed Spring Meet.

Sources told The Pressbox the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission asked that Keeneland reach an agreement with all the impacted parties and that all would need to support the change in race dates.

These are dates that have been previously awarded to Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky.

“We are all in this together, and Ellis Park is pleased to work with Keeneland on a plan that benefits our horsemen and Kentucky racing,” Ellis Park General Manager Jeffrey Inman said.

Ellis Park has also notably ceded dates in early September to Churchill Downs for Kentucky Derby week.

An agreement was reached with Ellis Park late last week, per sources, and subsequently with the Kentucky horsemen groups. We understand that a revenue sharing plan has ben agreed on so that all parties can and will benefit from the change in dates.

When reached Tuesday night and asked if the KHRC is expected to approve the new request at its Wednesday dates meeting, a source replied, simply: “Yes.”

Keeneland 2020 Summer Stakes Schedule

Date

Stakes

Division

Distance

July 10

$300,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1)

4YOs & Up

1 Mile (T)

July 10

$100,000 Beaumont (G3)

3YO Fillies

7 Furlongs, 184’

July 11

$600,000 Blue Grass (G2)

3YOs 

1 1/8 Miles

July 11

$400,000 Ashland (G1)

3YO Fillies

1 1/16 Miles

July 11

$350,000 Jenny Wiley (G1)

4YOs & Up, F&M

1 1/16 Miles (T) 

July 11

$250,000 Madison (G1) 

4YOs & Up, F&M

7 Furlongs

July 11

$150,000 Shakertown (G2)

3YOs & Up

5½ Furlongs (T)

July 11

$150,000 Appalachian (G2)

3YO Fillies 

1 Mile (T)

July 12

$175,000 TVG Elkhorn (G2)

4YOs & Up

1½ Miles (T)

July 12

$100,000 Transylvania (G3)

3YOs

1 1/16 Miles (T)


 
Meet Gene McLean

The Pressbox is your source for news, handicapping and interviews with the industry's biggest stars. Gene McLean is the Founder of The Pressbox and The Louisville Thoroughbred Society. No one in this industry has more talent in reviewing, forecasting and handicapping.




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