Looking ahead to Keeneland’s 2022 Spring Meet


A horse walks through the stables during morning workouts on Saturday, April 10, 2021, at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Kendall Staton

The internationally renowned horse racecourse Keeneland is set to begin its annual Spring Meet on April 8, 2022. With prep races known to produce winners of the Kentucky Derby, participants in the 2022 Spring Meet are likely to be seen at Churchill Downs later this year. 

Founded in 1936, Keeneland’s mission is to continually invest in the horse industry and preserve the tradition of thoroughbred racing. Keeneland grounds are open year-round for events and tours, but races are only held during certain times of the year. 

Keeneland hosts annual spring and fall meets, which take place in April and October. The 2022 Spring Meet will open this weekend with The Central Bank Ashland and close on April 29 with the running of The Bewitch

The Central Bank Ashland and the Toyota Blue Grass are the highlights of the Spring Meet, with each race worth a total of 170 points on the road to the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby. 

First place receives 100 qualifying points, second place receives 40 qualifying points, third place receives 20, and fourth place receives 10. Accumulated points are then used to determine which horses compete in the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby. 

In addition to 100 points, the winner of the Blue Grass, running on April 9, will receive $1 million. The winner of The Ashland will receive $600,000. 

Keeneland’s Spring Meet opening day will also be College Scholarship Day, presented by Lane’s End, a thoroughbred horse breeding farm in Versailles, Kentucky. Students with a valid student ID will receive free general admission and could be entered to win varying levels of scholarships. 

Students can pre-register for the event to have the opportunity to win one of nine $2,000 scholarships. Students who attend race day can also check in at the North Terrace to be entered in to win two additional $10,000 scholarships.

Other guests are able to purchase a variety of tickets, including general admission, reserved grandstand seating and dining room options. 

Those attending the upper level areas of Keeneland, such as the grandstand or dining room areas, must follow a strict dress code. These areas do not allow denim, slacks that resemble jeans, shorts (including rompers), clothing or shoes that resemble athletic attire or revealing clothing items. 

General admission does not have a strict dress code, but guests are encouraged to look presentable and formal, with a discouragement of wearing denim.