(Diamond Solitaire at the Thoroughbred Center / Photo by Gene McLean)
From the Keeneland Media Team:
Keeneland today announced plans to build six new barns and make other enhancements at The Thoroughbred Center (TTC), its 245-acre, year-round training facility on Paris Pike on the northeast side of Lexington. Home to 900-1,000 horses, TTC is within a six-hour drive to 10 race tracks.
Plans call for two existing concrete barns to be demolished and replaced with six state-of-the-art barns. Improvements around the barns will be made to walking rings, muck disposal and drainage, as well as to landscaping and access to and from the training track in those areas.
“Keeneland is excited to break ground on these significant improvements to the barn area at TTC for the benefit of our horses and horsemen, many of whom stable at the facility year-round,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing Gatewood Bell said. “This investment reflects the strength of the Kentucky racing circuit and Keeneland’s confidence in the future of the Thoroughbred industry in Kentucky and throughout the world.”
“TTC is vital to the health of the Kentucky racing circuit, providing a home base for a number of trainers, and we are thrilled to make these enhancements for them,” TTC General Manager and Keeneland Director of Racing Surfaces Jim Pendergest said. “Horsemen are drawn to Kentucky by the strong purse structure now in place and expected to continue to improve, particularly with the support of historical horse racing.”
Work on the project is anticipated to begin in May pending approval from local planning and zoning authorities, with completion by Keeneland’s 2021 Fall Meet, which begins Oct. 8. Keeneland will work with trainers stabled at TTC to find alternate locations for their horses during construction.
“This project is an important aspect of Keeneland’s ongoing efforts to accommodate our horse population with safe and quality facilities throughout the year,” Keeneland Equine Safety Director Dr. Stuart Brown said.
Keeneland has owned The Thoroughbred Center, which originally opened in 1969, since April 2000. The facility has two dirt tracks: 5 furlongs and 7½ furlongs.