Louisville Thoroughbred Society Breaks Its’ Maiden In Style

(The Louisville Thoroughbred Society Is Now Off & Running / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

(Red carpet entrance into the “Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Louisville Thoroughbred Society / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

On Wednesday night, the Louisville Thoroughbred Society opened its temporary doors and had its’ official “Ground Breaking Ceremony” at 209 East Main Street in historic and vibrant downtown Louisville.

The “Society” — which will be an upscale, private membership club for persons interested in, invested in, and fans of the Thoroughbred industry — entertained over 200 fans and public officials to introduce them to what soon will be downtown Louisville’s newest and latest addition.

Unlike the more traditional and stoic/static “Ground Breaking” events, there were no ribbons to cut; no shovels to dig; no dirt to toss; and no reason to snore.

(Churchill Downs’ famed bugler was on hand to deliver the first “Call to the Post” for the Louisville Thoroughbred Society / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Instead, there was plenty of fine food to eat; libations to drink; there were photos and renderings of dreams that will soon become reality; there was entertainment and Churchill Downs’ famed bugler to announce the “Call to the Post;” and there was reason to party.

(Artist rendering and live depiction of the main bar area of the newly proposed Louisville Thoroughbred Society  / Phots by Holly M. Smith)

And, that’s just what the invitees did while touring a historic building that will be turned into a destination location with some of the most vibrant, state-of-the-art audio and video reproductions of Thoroughbred racing and sporting events.

The people got to see a grand, ole’ barroom that will soon be transformed into a premier private dinning and meeting space that will be host to some of the industry’s most important meetings and decision makers. And, an area that will be perfect for receptions, presentations, celebrations — of all sorts.

The people got to tour the expansive indoor space that will soon house one of downtown’s largest bar rooms, equipped with comfortable and stylish furnishings.

(Nashville recording artist John Austin McDaniels entertained the crowd / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

The people got an image of where Louisville’s first and foremost premium “Cigar Bar” — equipped withe the region’s largest walking humidor — will be located.

The people got to peer out over the first poured steps of what will be a new parking garage, that will be topped with the city’s largest outdoor, rooftop bar and green space.

The people got to hear how they can join, participate, relax and enjoy — from top trainers and founders of the new project.

(Founding members Gene McLean and Mike Schnell talk about the idea for the newly proposed “Society,” and trainers Buff Bradley and Stephen Lyster chat about how the project will help promote the entire Thoroughbred industry  / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

It was the first time that the old building got a chance to show new life. And, it was fun.

Here’s a look inside the first event, through the eye and lens of our famed photographer Holly M. Smith. If you want to know more how you can be a member or participate as in investor in this new project, please drop us a note and get more information.

The fun is just about to begin.

In earnest.

(Photos and renderings of the Louisville Thoroughbred Society Ground Breaking Ceremony, held at the Hughes Lofts on Wednesday night / Photos by Holly M. Smith)


She had two real hard races, the Acorn, the Eight Belles. We wanted to find a spot we were confident she would win. Just so she wouldn’t lose another race and get seconditis. Rodolphe picked out this one, and it worked out great.” Looking forward to a rematch with Monomoy Girl? “Not really at this moment. Maybe later. She’s still lightly raced. We still don’t know what she wants to do yet. One thing that’s encouraging about her, when she breezes in the morning, she completes the work. When she goes into the next turn galloping out, she takes off again. Who knows? She might go a mile and an eighth, mile and a quarter.”

Barry Irwin, President of Team Valor International, majority owner of the winner Talk Veuve to Me
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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