Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- There is also a town in Kentucky, now defunct, with the same name, unrelated to this article; for the town, see Keeneland, Kentucky.
The racing side of Keeneland, Keeneland Race Course, has conducted live race meets in April and October since 1936. It added a grass course in 1985. The spring meet contains several preps for the Kentucky Derby (held the first Saturday in May), the most notable of which is the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. The fall meet features several Breeders' Cup preps.
Keeneland takes pride in maintaining racing traditions; it was the last track in North America to broadcast race calls over its public-address system, not doing so until the 1980s. Most of the racing scenes of the 2003 movie Seabiscuit were shot at Keeneland because its appearance has changed relatively little in the last several decades.
In the thoroughbred racing world, Keeneland is equally famous for its other side—its sales operation. It holds five annual horse auctions that attract buyers worldwide:
- January - Horses of All Ages
- This sale, as its name implies, features horses of all ages. Breeding "seasons"—the rights to breed one mare to a specified stallion in a given year—are also sold at this auction.
- April - Two-Year-Olds in Training
- This sale was added in 1993 in response to demand by owners wishing to buy horses in training.
- July - Selected Yearling
- This sale, conducted since 1943, is the most prestigious thoroughbred sale in the world. Numerous champions, including 11 Kentucky Derby winners, have been sold here. The yearlings sold here are selected by pedigree, and must pass a physical conformation test before being allowed into the sales ring.
- September - Yearling
- This sale, the world's largest sale of yearlings, has been conducted at various times in the fall since 1944, and was permanently moved to September in 1960. Yearlings sold here need not meet any pedigree or conformation tests unless they are to be sold in "Selected Sessions." In recent years, the September sale has produced a Kentucky Derby winner, an Epsom Derby winner, and a U.S. Horse of the Year.
- November - Breeding Stock
- This sale features all horses capable of breeding, except for yearlings. Stallion "shares"—ownership interests in specific stallions—and seasons are also sold at this auction. Over the years, this has become the world's largest sale of thoroughbreds.
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