The 15-day Spring meet at Keeneland Race Course concluded Friday, with total all-sources wagering reaching $164,680,229, an improvement of 7.55% versus the 2019 Spring meet, when all-sources handle totaled $153,116,119. The 2020 Spring meet was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Average daily wagering on the Keeneland product was $10,978,682, an increase of 14.72 when compared to $9,569,757 during Spring 2019.
A limited number of patrons were allowed on track during the 15-day stand. Attendance totaled 96,243 for a daily average of 6,416.
With four winners on Friday's closing-day program, trainer Wesley Ward finished well ahead of the competition for leading trainer. Ward saddled 20 winners during the meet, double that of runner-up Brad Cox. Ward's four stakes winners (Kimari, GI Madison S; Bound For Nowhere, GII Shakertown S.; Twenty Carat, GIII Beaumont S; Chasing Artie, Palisades Turf Sprint) equals the record for Spring stakes victories shared by Ben Jones (1948), Todd Pletcher (2011) and Chad Brown (2018).
Luis Saez won his first Keeneland riding title with 29 trips to the winner's circle, seven better than Joel Rosario. Saez (three) and Rosario (six) teamed to win all nine stakes on opening weekend. Saez's marquee win came aboard champion and likely GI Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality (Tapit) in the GII Toyota Blue Grass S., while Rosario rode five winners on Blue Grass day, including the GI Ashland S. and Madison S. in a streak of four consecutive stakes rides.
There were no racing incidents during the meet.
“We thank our fans, both near and far, the Central Kentucky community, our horseplayers, our corporate partners and our loyal horsemen for a fantastic racing season,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “Keeneland's continued success is built on the contributions of many, and we extend our appreciation to all those who make racing at Keeneland such a memorable experience.”
Added Keeneland Vice President of Racing Gatewood Bell: “Keeneland sincerely appreciates the loyalty and support of our horsemen, not only this spring but throughout the challenging past year. Our goal is to offer the opportunity for the best to compete against the best, which continues to produce thrilling performances and memorable accomplishments.”