By T. D. Thornton
Kentucky's live racing schedule for 2022 will largely mirror this season's template of race dates according to a calendar approved Tuesday by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
The following three tweaks stand out from 2021: 1) Churchill Downs will race through July 4 instead of closing in late June; 2) Kentucky Downs was granted a seventh racing date, up from six; 3) Keeneland Race Course will host the Breeders' Cup the first Friday and Saturday in November, directly book-ended by live racing at Churchill on the dates right before and after the championships.
Here's a chronological look at the 2022 schedule:
- Turfway Park: Jan. 1-Apr. 3 on a largely a Thursday-Sunday schedule, with the Thursdays that are shown all marked “optional” on the calendar provided by a KHRC spokesperson.
Keeneland Race Course: Apr. 8-29 on a Wednesday-Sunday schedule.
- Churchill Downs: Apr. 30-July 4, Wednesday-Sunday. With the exception of the first Wednesday that falls during GI Kentucky Derby week, the Wednesday programs are “optional.” Derby week will also feature a Tuesday, May 3 card but no racing on Sunday, May 8. Other additions are two Monday holiday cards on May 30 (Memorial Day) and July 4 (Independence Day).
- Ellis Park: July 5-Aug. 28. The KHRC calendar at this stage has Ellis penciled in for a seven-day weekly template, but every date except for Friday-Sunday during the entire meet is marked “optional.”
- Kentucky Downs: Sep. 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 14
- Churchill: Sep. 15-Oct. 2 on a Thursday-Sunday schedule.
- Keeneland: Oct. 7-29 on a Wednesday-Sunday schedule.
- Churchill: Oct. 30-Nov. 27 on a Wednesday-Sunday schedule, with the exception of Nov. 4-5 when Keeneland hosts the Breeders' Cup.
- Turfway: Nov. 30-Dec. 31on a Wednesday-Sunday schedule; Wednesdays “optional” and no racing Dec. 24 and 25.