Lexington Locals Prepare for Breeders’ Cup 2015
Lexington Locals Prepare for Breeders’ Cup 2015: The Breeders’ Cup is a huge two-day event of racing with many festivities leading up to the splendid events that take place on the racetrack. However, the Breeders’ Cup takes months of preparation not only on the racetrack’s part but on the city’s as well.
For the first time since 1984, Keeneland Race Course will be hosting the Breeders’ Cup. The beautiful Lexington track is not as large as others, such as Santa Anita or Churchill Downs, but it is rich in horse racing history and thus jumped at the chance to host the major event.
While Keeneland has been adding seating and other amenities that will assist with the Breeders’ Cup, Lexington itself has been preparing. Shops, eateries and tourist attractions have been preparing themselves for the massive amount of traffic that Lexington will see in the coming months, including the large crowds come October.
Bluetique, a clothing boutique in Lexington where Fashion Meets Fun, has big plans for Breeders’ Cup. Bluetique is already advertising themselves for the event and offers exclusive Breeders’ Cup promotions on their Instagram account.
“We have buyers in Los Angeles year round, so we are always getting new fashion in,” said store manager Brittany James.
With this, Bluetique will offer the latest fashion come Breeders’ Cup time for all those who still have shopping to do.
James added, “We’re excited and ready for more traffic in the store come Breeders’ Cup and will happily style anyone for race day.”
While some are preparing for the Breeders’ Cup, others hope to already be busy before the time the Breeders’ Cup crowd shows its face. Winchell’s Restaurant and Bar is one of these hopefuls. We spoke with manager Alvaro, and he stated that he is “not expecting anything out of the ordinary as it is already one of the busiest times for the restaurant.”
While the restaurants and shops are preparing, so are the farms. Spendthrift Farm’s Mark Toothaker was nice enough to comment on how the farm will be preparing for the possible traffic that comes with the Breeders’ Cup and how the farm will be handling tourism.
“I think Lexington is all in on the Breeders’ Cup from what I have read, with all the events going on as a lead-up,” Toothaker said. “Spendthrift will be business as usual with us promoting our stallions, and I know there is a company doing some tours as well.”
Claiborne Farm, the historic farm that has hosted greatness in the forms of Secretariat and Mr. Prospector, is also preparing for the flow of human traffic that will accompany the Breeders’ Cup. Mary White, a worker on the farm, was kind enough to give us some information about what Claiborne is doing to prepare and support the Breeders’ Cup.
“From Sunday, Oct. 25 through Wednesday, Oct. 28, the farm will be giving tours as a part of a collaboration with Horse Country,” White said. “It will be a Bourbon County shuttle service that will begin at the Red Mile in Lexington.”
The tours will take place twice a day from approximately 8:00-12:00 and 12:00-4:00. The cost would be $65 for an adult and $35 for children. The cost will also include a ”swag bag” with goodies such as hats, pens and coupons. Tickets are already selling fast and can be purchased at breederscupfestival.com.
White was also able to elaborate on how the farm tours would differ from the typical tour that one would experience when visiting the Kentucky farm.
“How this tour will differ from the typical tour experience at Claiborne Farm is that it will focus on horses related to the Breeders’ Cup. These include Blame, of course, War Front, First Samurai and Arch.”
Blame would also be a focal point of the tour, as he is not only a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, but also the only horse to ever defeat the mighty Zenyatta.
“Blame will be wearing his Classic Champion cool out blanket with pride,” said White.
The Claiborne portion of the tour is expected the last approximately 45 minutes.
Finally, the Kentucky Horse Park, a public attraction that promotes the horse and its relationship with man, located right outside Lexington. We were able to contact Lisa Jackson, director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Kentucky Horse Park. She informed us of all the preparations that the park is making leading up to the Breeders’ Cup.
“There will be two events at the park leading up to Breeders’ Cup – The Kentucky for Kentucky 5K Fun Run and Walk on Sunday, Oct. 25, and the park’s unveiling and dedication of a new Cigar statue at his gravesite on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The statue is by Douwe Blumberg,” explained Jackson.
Lisa also provided information about how the Kentucky Horse Park will be helping with the overflow parking that Keeneland will not be able to accommodate. The park plans to expand its hours into November as the Breeders’ Cup promises to bring in large amounts of tourists.
In addition to that, the park and the CP National Horse Show will be offering simulcasting and pari-mutuel wagering, both drive-thru and walk-up, for those not going to Keeneland, Oct. 29-31. The park will also be an overflow parking site for the Breeders’ Cup with our park executive director, deputy executive director, mounted police captain, special events director and other staff all involved in the ongoing planning for that very special and busy weekend.
Lisa added, “It is also the last full weekend of our tourist season. Normally we end our summer season on Oct. 31, but we decided last year to continue as normal with our summer schedule of daily shows and activities through that Sunday, Nov. 1, to accommodate all of the racing fans and horse lovers we expect to be in town for Breeders’ Cup before going into our winter schedule.”
The Breeders’ Cup will be taking place on Oct. 30 and 31 at Keeneland Race Course and is completely sold out. The event promises to be an exciting two days of racing, as it is every year, filled with excitement and the best horses that the world can offer.