LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — All good things must come to an end, and today was the last day of Keeneland’s fall meet.
“Keeneland is the heart of Lexington,” said visitor Sarah Adkins.
Thousands of visitors made the most of this last day of the fall meet.
“The crowd is amazing. Keeneland always delivers, but especially the last day of the meet, it just makes you excited to be here but also, you can’t wait till the spring meet happens,” Adkins said.
Saturday’s meet was sold out.
Keeneland’s Senior Director of Operations and Community Relations Kara Heissenbuttel said, “We’re very fortunate with such a strong fan base here in Lexington. It’s like people grow up in this community coming to the races for one reason or the other, maybe they come out for sunrise trackside as children, and they just grow up around it. So, it becomes a tradition for them at every different stage of their life and then they bring friends and family.”
The racetrack also welcomed teachers and staff to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day to thank them for their work.
Program manager for Mckinney-Vento FCPS T.C. Johnson said, “It’s a great honor for us to be able to be honored because our staff spends so much time with our students and they deserve an opportunity to just kind of come out and relax and enjoy Keeneland.”
Kentucky native Ross Turner said Keeneland always feels like a big family reunion.
“It literally makes Kentucky what Kentucky is like, if people talk about, why Kentucky? All they have to do is show up here to Keeneland and they get it all the people, the hospitality, good food, good drinks, good times,” Turner said.
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A total of $201.7 million was wagered on Keeneland racing, the second-highest Fall Meet handle and fourth-highest handle in Keeneland history.
Big changes are on the way to the historic racetrack next year as construction starts on a permanent paddock building, a visitor’s center, and a re-imagined saddling experience. All are expected to be complete in the fall of 2025.