Keeneland Magazine


Keeneland, Investing in Racing's Future since 1936.

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12 WINTER 2014 K KEENELAND.COM WINTER 2014 president's message Keeneland loves to celebrate, and all of the exciting accomplishments of 2014 for our in- dustry, community, and great fans have certainly given us many opportunities. From record-break- ing race meets to the announcement of the Breeders' Cup World Championships coming to Keeneland in 2015 and so much in between — your Keeneland never stops working to make this the fnest racing venue for Thoroughbred owners, trainers, and fans while continuing to be the most important Thoroughbred auction house in the world. The effects of our less-than-ideal Kentucky winter were defnitely evident when April rolled around. More than 270,000 fans graced Keeneland's grounds during the spring meet, which was a record for a 15-day race meet. Our hospitality program continues to grow, and as the "Keeneland Cares" initiative took off in the spring, we loved the many compliments, sugges- tions, and requests, ranging from Keeneland Gift Shop hours to the recipe for burgoo. Our fans are what make Keeneland so fantastic. In June we had the great pleasure to announce to the world that Keeneland will host the 2015 Breeders' Cup and welcome our horsemen, equine athletes, and racing enthusiasts back home to Central Kentucky where the concept for the championships was born. The "luxury chalet" we debuted during the fall meet was just the frst of new venues and experiences we will be introducing next April and October leading up to the Breeders' Cup. What a celebration October 2015 will be! In the midst of racing, January and April sales, and announcing that Keeneland would host the world for the 2015 Breeders' Cup, we had several other signifcant projects going on, including the transformation of our racetrack from a synthetic surface to dirt. It was a monumental project, re- searched and planned by a dedicat- ed team of experts committed to a next-generation dirt surface that would meet Keeneland's high stan- dards and the expectations of our horsemen and fans. We are proud of the results and look forward to the journey ahead as we evolve the new surface in coming years. After the track debut in late August, we couldn't wait to start racing in October. The challenging weather tested our new surface on the frst day of the fall meet, and our diligent research paid off imme- diately. This October was one of the wettest in history, and our track could not have performed any better. Even though the weather wasn't as favorable as in past fall meets, the expertise of track superintendent Javier Barajas and the Keeneland track and racing teams never disappointed as October still presented unbelievable Thoroughbred racing. The end of the year has been just as exciting. Our Sep- tember sale was strong with the results refecting the hard work of our sales and executive team who have traveled to 33 countries and all over the United States to bring a diverse group of buyers to the most important yearling sale in the world. The inaugural Jefferson Street Soiree was an overwhelming success, and leave it to Keeneland to close a downtown Lexington street to celebrate the greatness of our Thoroughbreds and the beginning of the Keeneland fall ex- citement. Our hospitality team went above and beyond both in September and October and they will defnitely not disap- point our guests when they arrive for the November sale. What a year it has been, and the celebrations are just beginning. It is hard to believe I am saying this again, but thank you for another terrifc year and we wish you and yours the happiest of holidays. KM BILL THOMASON President and CEO Celebration

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