Keeneland Race Course ties together the heart, soul and guts of Lexington. This is a not-for-profit course where the horses, bourbon and people converge into a big day out. Horse racing is exciting to begin with, but being in Kentucky, let alone Lexington, raises the fun to a whole new level. From the general entry participants to the horse owners, the crowd is well coiffed and styled to the nines. There’s little room for boredom between races, as the people watching is superb. People are partaking in grownup beverages (some more than others) so if that’s something you don’t want to be around – find another activity for the day.
Along with the horses, it’s part of the deal. If having a bona fide mint julep is on your bucket list, this is the place to do it. I suggest putting a bet down here and there, even the smallest bets put a more exciting slant on how you watch the races.
If you want to go a step beyond being a tourist at Keeneland, I recommend packing a picnic and parking in the free tailgating section. The atmosphere is high energy and make sure you bring your party shoes.
The friendly crowd was well dressed, well lubricated and having a good time. The track has convenient betting stations (known as mutuel windows) set up within walking distance from the tailgating area, or you can take one of the shuttles to the racecourse.
Keep in mind the dress code for this track is coats and tie for gentlemen and skirts/dresses or slacks for the ladies – absolutely no denim is permitted and for fun, this is your chance to wear a fetching hat!
General admission is entry only and your $5 entry fee doesn’t include seating or dining (children under 12 are free). There are several other choices that I would recommend, particularly if the weather isn’t favorable for standing outside: Equestrian Room, Phoenix Room, Lexington/Kentucky Room, Reserved Seats.