Temporary structures going up at Keeneland to prepare for Breeders’ Cup
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In a little more than two months, thousands of people will pack Keeneland for the Breeders' Cup Oct. 30-31.
You can already see the changes taking place to get the track ready in time as crews are setting up temporary structures to accommodate the anticipated record-setting crowds.
The temporary upgrades start with the track's crown jewel, a triple deck luxury chalet along the clubhouse turn.
“They're used in Europe for golf tournaments and other sporting events but it's the first time for a North American venue,” said Amy Gregory, Director of Communications for Keeneland.
In the Paddock area more oak trees have been added, there's an additional saddling ring and a new view of the horses with a Saddling Paddock Chalet.
A structure is set up near the grandstand that will host horsemen and VIP's each morning. There are also temporary boxes along the Grandstand area. The temporary structures will seat an additional 10,000 people at the race track as up to 45,000 are expected each day of the world championships.
Amy Gregory, Director of Communications for Keeneland says they are also refurbishing the five-furlong training track.
“It's a polytrack surface and we're pulling up all the polytrack, doing maintenance work, and then relaying polytrack so that will be ready for the Fall meet and Breeders' Cup as well,” Gregory says.
There's also talk that Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah, may end his career at Keeneland.
“So that would be a once in a lifetime event for him to come here and really retire after his race in the Classic,” said Amy Gregory.
The excitement has people like Eddie Maggard stopping by Keeneland, just to see the progress.
“Well we're just really excited. It's great for Lexington and we just can't wait for this event to happen,” said Eddie Maggard.
While work continues daily, there's a lot of people watching and waiting.
“What a showcase for Lexington and Louisville and all of Kentucky really. The world really will be focused on Kentucky during that period and will be focused on racing,” said Amy Gregory.
Keeneland officials say tickets are pretty much sold out for the event on Saturday, Oct. 31. There are other options however.
“There are some tickets available if you would like to tailgate up on our hill, which we'll have lot of great activities and food trucks and things going on on the hill. There's also some ticket availability in the Keeneland Entertainment Center for Saturday,” said Gregory.
As for the races on Friday, Oct. 30, there are still a limited number of general admission tickets available, along with tickets on the hill and in the Keeneland Entertainment Center.
Starting this weekend, Keeneland will begin offering Breeders' Cup tours at Keeneland.
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