Keeneland cancels Spring Meet amid coronavirus outbreak

Posted at 3:18 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 16:42:26-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Keeneland officials announced on Monday the cancellation of the track’s upcoming Spring Meet, which was scheduled for April 2-24, due to health and safety concerns surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19.

The decision was made following a guidance announcement [] issued Sunday, March 15, by the Centers for Disease Control, which warned against holding large events and mass gatherings that include “conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings and other types of assemblies.” Specifically, the CDC recommended that events attended by 50 people or more should be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks.

“Keeneland’s Spring Meet is a rite and tradition that touches every aspect of Central Kentucky and beyond, and the decision to cancel racing is agonizing for our staff, our many loyal fans and our horsemen,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “During the past several weeks, we have exhausted all avenues for safely conducting our Spring Meet. Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have diligently worked with local, state and national partners in health and government to ensure our actions are the most responsible we can take. We all find ourselves in uncharted territory, but nothing is more important to Keeneland than protecting the health and safety of our athletes, stable employees, horsemen, patrons, track employees and the community at large.

Patrons who purchased tickets for the Spring Meet will automatically be issued a full refund. Patrons will receive an email notification confirming the refund. Credit card purchases will be refunded to the card used for purchase. Refunds should be received within a few days of the confirmation email, though patrons may experience a slight delay due to the high volume.