UK students gear up for Keeneland’s spring meet

Horses run down the track during the second race on opening day of the fall meet at Keeneland race track on Friday, October 6, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Bailey Suiter

Though it may not feel like spring, Keeneland will be open its gates for the 2018 spring meet Friday. Thousands of people will gather at the grounds to partake in watching and betting on thoroughbreds.

Keeneland is a well-known race track in Lexington, the Horse Capital of the World.

The horse park offers a variety of events during the spring season, including a sunrise breakfast on Saturday mornings and guided tours. 

It’s a tradition for UK students to flock to this local racetrack on the weekends when Keeneland hosts meets.

Taylor Rose, a civil engineering junior, has yet to experience Keeneland but will attend for the first time during the 2018 spring meet.

“I haven’t had the money to blow there in the past, but I’ve gotten a new job and have the finances to go this year,” he said. “I’m looking forward to spending some time with my friends and hopefully picking the winning horse.”

Although Keeneland is a popular spot among students to gather for leisure, some of them feel that the races are too financially draining to attend.

The general admission is $5 with additional charges inside for food, drinks, merchandise or betting.

Rebecca O’Brien, a graduate student working on her Ph.D. in musicology, attended Keeneland once five years ago.

“I’ve never really had the time to go,” she said. “I just have no real interest in going because it’s so expensive, especially with being a college student.”

If students are not willing to pay the entrance fee, they can always attend College Scholarship Day, when full-time students are admitted for free. Students can get free snacks, prize drawings and more in Keeneland’s College Zone in the North Terrace. College Scholarship Day is Friday, April 6. 

Even more appealing, Keeneland will be giving away $30,000 in scholarships to UK students who register and attend on this day.

The majority of students gather at The Hill to tailgate before and during the races at the fall and spring meets.

Jake Puckett, a human health sciences sophomore, has attended Keeneland in the past and is planning to go with his friends this weekend as well.

“I enjoy going with my fraternity brothers to tailgate and bet,” he said. “It’s a great atmosphere and I think that’s why students love going. It really brings everyone together.”

The Keeneland spring meet will be held April 6 to April 27.