Horses will run at Keeneland this fall, but once again, the general public will not be allowed in the stands.
Today, the racetrack announced that the Fall Meet, which takes place October 2-24, will be closed to the public. Only a limited number of participants and essential personnel will be allowed to attend, including those with a competing horse. Sponsors, box holders and Club members will also have limited access.
“The safety of our employees, our participants and our fans remains Keeneland’s top priority,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We have the most loyal fans in the world and we cannot wait for the day when we can welcome them back for live racing. The decision to close the meet to the public was made after consulting with local and state government officials and public health experts and monitoring how various sporting venues and events around the world have operated during the pandemic. With the guidance of these experts and lessons learned from recent events, we know this is the responsible course of action.”
As with the Summer Meet and September Yearling Sale, Keeneland will implement strict health and safety protocols to combat the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Individuals permitted to come onto the Keeneland grounds will be credentialed or ticketed in advance. Seating will be assigned and properly social distanced on race days.
- Participants include those with a competing horse, including a limited number of owners and trainers. Keeneland also will allow limited access to sponsors, box holders and Club members.
- Keeneland will not permit any general admission or walk-up attendees. Credentialed participants will be assigned a seat for the race day.
- Keeneland will maintain records to allow for contact tracing.
- Health screenings, including a series of questions and temperature checks, will continue at all entrance gates.
- All individuals must wear a face mask and maintain proper social distancing while at Keeneland.
The Breeders’ Cup will be held at Keeneland the first weekend of November and on Saturday, officials announced that no fans would be allowed in; however, the World Championships will return to Lexington in 2022 when all of this is over (hopefully).