The Thoroughbred Society: Making Progress Towards 2019 Debut

The Founding Members of the Louisville Thoroughbred Society — Gene McLean, Mike Schnell and Dave Steinbrecher — all spent Thanksgiving Eve at 129 East Main Street looking, reviewing, preparing and designing the historic location and looking well into the near future.

And, just like the beautiful and warm sun beating down on the grounds, the future is bright.

“This is going to be a really neat place when we get it done,” said Schnell, who co-owns the former Fetzer Building along with his partner Dave Steinbrecher.

Really neat, indeed.

On Wednesday, the group met with a couple of architects and two other interior designers to walk-through the property and detail what the facility will look like when fully completed and open for business as the new home of the Louisville Thoroughbred Society in 2019.

The group roamed and discussed the premium dining and meeting room space, with the historic subway brick starting to shine a little bit whiter now that several layers of paint are now nearly removed in total.

The group stopped and stared at the general venue area, and chatted about where the audio/video equipment would go; where the new bar would be constructed; and where the new furnishings would be settled.

The group relocated to the back of the building, and the area closest to Washington Street, and discussed how the mood of the interior would transition into the city’s first and foremost premium Cigar Bar.

And, it didn’t take a lot of imagination to envision the historic site turning into a new, living, breathing building — full of both people and fun.

Here’s a little glimpse at the activity on Wednesday:

(The main floor of the Louisville Thoroughbred Society is now completely gutted and awaiting a transformation into a major entertainment zone. On the top row, Founding Members Dave Steinbrecher, left, and Mike Schnell, center, chat with Tony from Bayus Design Works about some ideas / Photo by Gene McLean)

(Meanwhile, construction crews continued to put down rebar and prepare for concrete pads to be installed next week for a newly planned parking garage that will be squeezed in-between the Ice House and the historic Hughes Building. The top level of the parking garage will provide The Louisville Society with a rooftop, open-air bar and entertainment area, and an ideal location for the premium Cigar Bar smoking pavilion. As soon as more designs of both the indoor and outdoor areas are complete, we will provide further details. Photo by Gene McLean)


The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • 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 ...

    Full Bio >

More From Gene McLean