© 2023 WUKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Keeneland plans new paddock and improved saddling paddock, estimated to cost nearly $93 million

Paddock Building Entrance Photo Credit "Keeneland"
Paddock Building Entrance Photo Credit "Keeneland"

Keeneland has announced plans to build a paddock and enhance the saddling paddock to expand viewing and improve safety for horses and spectators. The estimated $93 million project has already received preliminary approval for incentives up to $23.2 million from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority. It will be Keeneland’s largest capital project since its 1936 opening. Construction will begin in January, with completion by fall 2025. It will include seated dining and a panoramic rooftop view, and spectators will be able to view jockeys during a walk-through before each race.

Keeneland president and CEO Shannon Arvin said the saddling improvements will provide more space for horses and horsemen along with offering clearer views “to showcase the beauty and pageantry of our equine and human athletes.”

“This project is central to our mission because it will allow us to welcome more fans and give them a variety of world-class experiences during our race meets and beyond,” Arvin added.

Construction on the three-level paddock building will begin in January after its all-ages horse sale, with completion scheduled for fall 2025. Planned within the current layout of the administrative building and jockey quarters, it will extend along the paddock and walking ring and include seated dining, new bars and a panoramic rooftop.

New jockey quarters will allow fans to view riders walking through before each race, the release added.

A two-story operations building within walking distance of the track is also planned. Keeneland’s spring and fall meets and equine sales will continue at full capacity during construction.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear called the project an “exciting investment” that will create opportunities for everyone to enjoy and boost the horse racing and tourism industries -- the latter of which had a record 2022, the release added.

“Leaders like Keeneland are going to help ensure Kentucky’s success continues for years to come,” Beshear added.