Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Breeders' Cup races to be held at Keeneland in 2015; mayor says could be catalyst for a hotel in Midway

Partial screenshot from Breeders' Cup website
The Breeders' Cup, which bills itself as the world championships of horse racing, will bring thousands of people to the Midway area when it makes its first stand at Keeneland Race Course Oct. 30-31, 2015.

The date, which Kentucky newspapers reported last week, was confirmed by the Breeders' Cup on Tuesday. The news "is huge for the horse industry and Central Kentucky," said Midway Mayor Tom Bozarth, a bloodstock agent. "The greatest two days of racing is coming home where John Gaines' vision became a reality." Gaines, a Lexington horseman who died in 2005, came up with the idea for the cup.

"Midway is in a position to reap a lot of the benefits through tourism influx for the Breeder's Cup to our downtown," Bozarth said in an email. "We have seen that with the World Equestrian Games and Rolex and how it impacted our downtown. This might be the catalyst we have been looking for to get a hotel in Midway."

Breeders’ Cup Chairman Bill Farish of Lane's End Farm said, “Throughout its storied history, Keeneland has developed an extraordinary reputation for delivering a first-class racing and hospitality product. We are excited to bring the Breeders’ Cup home to Lexington and are energized by the support from the local community and the breeders of Central Kentucky who have been such a vital part of our program since its inception.”

Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said, “The Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland is a homecoming for many of these great champions who were foaled and raised at Central Kentucky farms, and often sold at Keeneland. The Keeneland team feels that sense of connection and history with the Breeders’ Cup, and we look forward to offering fans an extraordinary racing and entertainment experience.”

The Breeders' Cup also announced sites for 2016, at Santa Anita Park, and 2017, at Del Mar, both in Southern California.

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