Keeneland plans festival tied to Breeders' Cup

The Associated PressJuly 12, 2014 

— Keeneland is planning a monthlong festival next year to celebrate the arrival of the Breeders' Cup at the Lexington track.

Vince Gabbert, vice president and chief operating officer for the Keeneland Association, said Friday the festival will involve concerts, hospitality tents and other entertainment, the Lexington Herald-Leader ( ) reported.

Gabbert told a gathering of county officials from across Kentucky that Keeneland "will elevate the style of the event."

The Lexington track found out last month that it will be the site of next year's Breeders' Cup.

Keeneland won't be able to stage the biggest Breeders' Cup because of its small size compared to such tracks as Churchill Downs in Louisville and Santa Anita Park in California, Gabbert said.

"But we want to put on a better event," he said. "We maybe can't handle 60,000 in attendance, but we will do 35,000 well."

That can be achieved with involvement from central Kentucky and the entire state, he said.

"We'll do a lot in downtown Lexington, but whether it's Winchester, Richmond, Versailles, Danville, or wherever else, we want to include the entire region in the events," Gabbert said.

Gabbert said all 1,100 acres of Keeneland's campus will be used for the Cup. The area will be filled with hospitality chalets, he said.

He said Keeneland would like to promote and involve all areas of the state for the international audience.

Keeneland will not be seeking local and state government funding for infrastructure like roads and water lines, Gabbert said.

Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,

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