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KHRC committee approves Keeneland getting July 8-12 from Ellis

Keeneland press release (Coady photo of Out for a Spin winning the 2019 Central Bank Ashland)

LEXINGTON, KY (May 27, 2020) – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Race Dates Committee today approved Keeneland’s request to conduct a spectator-free, five-day Summer Meet, to be held Wednesday, July 8 through Sunday, July 12.

 “Keeneland appreciates the quick response of the Commission to our request, and we applaud all their work on behalf of Kentucky racing during these unprecedented times,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We also thank Ellis Park for their cooperation in this process and for making these non-traditional dates available to Keeneland. We look forward to sharing more details about the Summer Meet in the coming weeks.”

 “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.

 Keeneland plans to host 9-10 races each day of the Summer Meet, and feature 10 graded stakes traditionally run during the track’s Spring Meet, anchored by the $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and $400,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), preps for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively.

Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.