SportsBreeders' Cup


'Almost double a normal Keeneland crowd': Expect some traffic delays for Breeders' Cup this weekend

Posted at 3:28 PM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 18:37:44-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The large tractor is moving at a snail’s pace along the dirt at Keeneland, combing the surface to keep it in good shape for this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup. Watching it made you think of what traffic will be like on Versailles Road on Friday and Saturday when 45,000 fans are expected to come to the venue each day.

“This is going to be almost double a normal Keeneland crowd,” said Lieutenant Chris Van Brackel from the Lexington Police Department.

Lt. Van Brackel was on the grounds Wednesday remembering the last Breeders’ Cup, with fans present, at Keeneland in 2015 (the 2020 event had to be staged without fans due to COVID-19).


“It’s an enjoyable thing to be here. And that was so amazing to be here with American Pharoah and the story that was, and having a chance to guard that horse,” Lt. Van Brackel recalled.

Van Brackel was also here to alert racegoers and Lexington residents to the traffic that’s expected to snarl Versailles Road. The traffic signals will be operated manually to facilitate a better flow, but they cannot manipulate the lanes to accommodate more inbound, or outbound traffic based on the time of day.

“Unlike Nicholasville Road, we don’t have that ability (here),” the lieutenant explained.

Van Backel said the department reviewed plans that worked in 2015 to help with this weekend. He also cautioned race fans about being careful once they make it from their cars to the venue.


“This is a good place for a pickpocket. Those guys usually bump into you, and with 45,000 people here, you will be bumping into people. So just be aware of your surroundings and your property,” he warned.

He also said there would be officers looking for this type of activity, among other things.

“There will be people who don’t look like me watching for pickpockets and things of that nature,” he said, referencing the plain-clothed officers scattered around the facility.


Other traffic issues associated with the Breeders’ Cup will impact the downtown area, where some streets or lanes will be closed to accommodate various events. Main Street between Upper and Mill will be closed for a few nights from 7:00 p.m. to roughly 11:00 p.m., and Short Street by Tandy Park will be down a lane to give pedestrians and vendors a little more room to maneuver.

Back at the track, though, Lt. Van Brackel was asked about the obvious and gave an obvious answer.

“If you don’t need to be here, stay away,” he advised anyone who thinks it might be a good idea to use Versailles Road on Friday or Saturday.