Keeneland Betting Guide

Keeneland Racetrack is located in Lexington Kentucky in what some consider the horse capital of the world. It was created by a group of the city’s residents who were trying to bring horse racing back to the area. They formed the Keeneland Association as a nonprofit that ran both the annual meets for the racing and held their various auctions.

Since 1936, Keeneland has held both a spring and fall meeting each year. The headliner of the spring meet is the Blue Grass Stakes, the final Kentucky Derby prep race held in the state. Every year, horses from the Blue Grass head to Churchill Downs for their chance of winning the Kentucky Derby.

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Where Is Keeneland?

Keeneland Race Course is located in Lexington Kentucky about 75 miles west of Louisville. The racing surface consist of a 1 1/16 miles dirt oval that surrounds a seven and one-half furlong turf oval. One of its most unique features is “The Hill”, which is a free tailgating area where locals can watch and bet on the races from outside the race track grounds.

Keeneland Key Races & Dates

Each April Keeneland Race Course runs its Spring Meet which lasts for 15 days in April. This early season program is one of the richest horse racing events in North America. It includes fifteen graded stakes races that feature the Blue Grass Stakes, the main Kentucky prep race to get to the Kentucky Derby. Some of these races have purses above $500,000.

  • $600,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) 3YO Fillies, 1 1/16 miles
  • $1 Million Toyota Blue Grass (G1) 3YOs, 1 1/8 miles
  • $500,000 Madison (G1) 4YOs & up, Filles & Mares, 7 furlongs
  • $600,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) 4YOs & up, 1 mile (turf)
  • $500,000 Jenny Wiley (G1) 4YOs & up, Filles & Mares, 1 1/16 miles (turf)

Every October, Keeneland holds its Fall meet with 17 days of racing featuring 17 graded stakes races, six of which are Grade One events used as Breeders' Cup prep races. Many of these include a win-and-you’re-in reward format that allows winners of these races to receive guaranteed entry into a corresponding Breeders' Cup race. Some of the most expensive purses at Keeneland’s Fall Meet are all worth at least $500,000.

  • $500,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) 2YO Fillies, 1 1/16 miles
  • $1 Million Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) 3YOs & Up, 1 mile (turf)
  • $600,000 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1) 2YOs, 1 1/16 miles
  • $750,000 First Lady (G1) Presented by UK HealthCare 3YOs & Up, F&M, 1 mile (turf)
  • $600,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) 3YOs & Up, F&M, 9 furlongs
  • $600,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana 3YO fillies, 1 1/8 miles (turf)

How to Place a Bet at Keeneland

When you are visiting Keeneland in person, you can wager on both the live races and the races from other tracks by placing your bets at the mutual windows or with the self-service machines that are situated around the racetrack.

Step 1 - Do Your Research

There are many different ways to bet on horse racing and just as many types of handicapping to help you win. Every horse race has a program that lists the horse’s information, breeding history, and notes on both the jockey that will be riding the horse and the trainer that will be saddling it. You can find different publications that contain all the past performances for every horse that’s entered in every race for that day’s races.

If you’re at the racetrack itself, there are tip sheets you can buy with other people’s opinions on what will happen in that day’s races. All the different wagering options are listed in the program and include Win, Place, and Show bets for coming in first, second, or third. Most races also have Exactas, Trifectas, and Superfectas for wagering on the exact order of finish of the top horses.

Step 2 - Locate The Betting Windows

There are betting windows located all over the Keeneland racetrack. The lines are always longer at the windows than they are at the betting machines, so learn to get comfortable printing your own ticket. Whether you’re at a teller or kiosk, you need to have the correct information to place a horse racing bet.

Always start with the name of the race track you’re betting on. Keeneland shows races from other tracks, and you can bet on those as well. Next is the race that you’re wagering on and the amount of your bet. Lastly, but most important, is the number of the horse, or horses, that you’re picking.

Many experienced horse racing bettors use self-service machines to place their bets. They are not difficult to learn how to operate, and you’re simply pressing the buttons associated with the correct information on the bet, or bets, you want to make.

Step 3 - Watch Race

Watching the races at home is fun and easy because you control the volume. It’s loud at Keeneland, so do your best to get close to a speaker. Also, remember that horse races can finish with a line of horses across the track, and it will sometimes be hard to see the numbers. Be patient and never throw your tickets away until the race becomes official.

Keeneland
(Getty Images)

Step 4 - If You’re A Winner, Cash Your Ticket!

Once the race is official, the prices will show up on the board. They will have three prices for the winner, and all win, place, and show bets can be cashed. Win bets on any horse that did not win the race are losing tickets. There will be a price for the place and show spots on the horse that ran second and a single show amount for the third-place horse.

All the prices for the exotic bets will also be shown. These include exactas, trifectas, superfectas, daily doubles, and all the pick 3,4,5, and Pick 6 prices depending on what wagers were available for that race. When your ticket is a winner, you can take it to a mutual clerk at a window or simply put it into a self-service machine, and your winnings will show on the screen.

You can also wager on the races from Keeneland Race Course online through mobile apps. Horse racing bettors that are using any of the horse betting sites that have been reviewed and recommended on VegasInsider will have the amount of the winning tickets posted to their account as soon as the race is declared official.

Here are some of the sites that have been reviewed and recommended by VegasInsider:

  • TwinSpires - By wagering online, you can opt-in for a $400 sign-up offer!
  • TVG - Using the TVG Using Promo Code 200TVG with your first deposit will get you your first wager back up to  $200 if you don’t win. They also offer stats, results, race replays, and contests.
  • DRF Bets - Bet the Breeders' Cup with a $200 First Deposit Match and FREE Formulator PPs. Join DRF Bets and get their bet $50+ to WIN on any one horse in the Breeders' Cup Bonus Bucks series for a $20 bonus.
  • AmWager - Signing up for a new AmWager account automatically gets your first deposit doubled for up to $150. They also offer referral rewards and a cash rewards program.

Keeneland Odds

The opening and current odds for every race at Keeneland are always available on both the monitors and on the infield board at the race track. You can also find the odds for every horse along with other information on each race with your online horse betting sites.

All the reviewed and recommended horse betting sites on VegasInsider will have places where you can find all the odds you need. TwinSpires, TVG, DRF Bets, and AmWager will have the individual horse’s odds along with probable payouts on some of the exotic wagers and payouts on pools that have wagers tied to more than one race like daily doubles and pick 3s.

Keeneland Trainers & Jockeys To Follow

Winning when you’re wagering on horse racing involves knowing both the horses and the humans that run them. Jockeys and trainers have a lot to do with a horse’s success. Some jockey and trainer combinations have extremely high success rates, but jockeys are athletes and can have slumps like in any other sport. It’s important to check out the current jockey and trainer records at the race track you’re wagering on.

Here’s a list of the top jockeys from the Keeneland 2021 Fall Meet:

JockeyStartsWins2nd3rdPurses
Tyler Gaffalione11228129$1,685,651
Florent Geroux8615914$1,343,124
Brian Hernandez Jr.7711139$1,158,253

Here’s a list of the top trainers from the Keeneland 2021 Fall Meet:

TrainerStartsWins2nd3rdPurses
Brad Cox451379$1,222,360
Wesley Ward321265$724,462
Mike Maker54837$698,626
Kenny McPeek41746$795,130
Brendan Walsh40632$364,996
Chad Brown19563$1,128,080

Keeneland FAQ

Why is Keeneland called Keeneland?

The racetrack was named after Jack Keene who was a well-known trainer of thoroughbreds and the land owner of the horse farm that would become Keeneland Race Course. Keene was a descendant of a distinguished Lexington family and helped bring horse racing back to the city.

How long is Keeneland?

Keeneland’s dirt track is a 1 1/16 miles main track and a 7 1/2-furlong grass turf course. There are red and white marking poles set every quarter mile which mark the course. In between those are green and white poles dividing the quarter-mile sections into eighths of a mile and then black and white poles that divide those eighths into sixteenths of mile measurements. The poles are referred to in terms of their distance from the finish. Since races of different lengths are run on the same track, the finish line used in each race is marked with a large red disk.

How old is Keeneland?

Keeneland Race Corse opened in October of 1936 and has been considered one of North America’s finest world-class racing and industry-leading sales organization since then.

How can I bet at Keeneland?

When you’re at one of the two Keeneland meets, you can bet in person at both the mutual windows and the betting machines. If you’re betting on horse racing online, use any of the horse racing sites reviewed and recommended here on VegasInsider.

What makes Keeneland so special?

One of the main reasons Keeneland is such a special place is the geography of the region. This part of the country is spectacular with incredible scenery, rolling hills, and rambling fences of large horse farms.

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