Bill Thomason

Keeneland Announces Operations Realignment

Keeneland is undergoing a "strategic realignment of its core racing and sales operations to strengthen its ability to execute its mission and better serve the needs of its global clientele," it announced Thursday. Shannon Arvin, who it was announced earlier this month will succeed Bill Thomason as the company's President and CEO at the end of 2020, will serve as Interim Head of Sales while a search is conducted this fall to fill that role. While a partner at the Lexington law firm Stoll Keenon Ogden (SKO), Arvin has served...

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Keeneland Generates $63M in Handle

All-sources wagering during Keeneland's five-day summer meeting, which concluded Sunday, totaled $63,299,331, with average daily all-sources handle reaching $12,659,866. Wagering was boosted by a single-day all-sources handle for Saturday's 10-race Toyota Blue Grass card of $23,834,972, second only to the record $25,809,200 set for last year's 11-race Blue Grass Day card. The All-Stakes Pick Five Saturday handled $1,395,051, well above the former record of $1,079,197 set on Blue Grass Day last year. Keeneland's first-ever summer meet was created after the track's traditional 16-day spring meet was cancelled due to the...

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Keeneland Takes the Lead in Blue Grass Farms Charities’ Matching Gift Campaign

Beginning in July, Blue Grass Farms Charities will launch its inaugural matching gift campaign, "Gallop and Graze," to further the mission of the charity. Founded in 2003, Blue Grass Farm Charities' purpose is to provide health and human services to those working in the Thoroughbred racing community. With a commitment to this mission, BGFC is proud to announce Gallop and Graze, a matching campaign to provide continued services and assistance to our backstretch and farm community. Keeneland has kicked off this campaign with a $20,000 gift and the Mary K....

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Keeneland, UK Athletics Team to Deliver Racing Coverage

Keeneland and University of Kentucky Athletics will broadcast "A Day at Keeneland Presented by Toyota" to help deliver Keeneland's Summer Meet to the Big Blue Nation. The four-hour program, which airs Saturday from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. EST on the UK Sports Network, will feature continuous coverage of Keeneland's Saturday card that includes six graded stakes races and the GII Toyota Blue Grass S. Tom Leach, "The Voice of the Wildcats" and an Eclipse Award winner who serves as a Keeneland racing analyst, will anchor the program live from the Lexington...

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Shannon Arvin to Succeed Thomason at Keeneland

Shannon Bishop Arvin has been tabbed to replace Bill Thomason when he retires as Keeneland's President and CEO at the end of 2020, the racing and sales company announced Thursday morning. Arvin, a partner at the Lexington law firm Stoll Keenon Ogden (SKO), has served as corporate counsel to Keeneland since 2008 and as Secretary and Advisory Member of Keeneland's Board of Directors since 2015. She will serve as the incoming President-elect beginning Sept. 1 and will officially transition to President and CEO on Jan. 1, 2021. She becomes Keeneland's...

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Keeneland and Maker’s Mark Team up to Help Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund

Keeneland and Maker's Mark have announced the 2020 Maker's Mark commemorative bottle, with all proceeds to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF), an independent charitable organization that provides financial assistance to jockeys who have sustained debilitating on-track injuries. Each Maker's Mark bottle has been signed by the five leading active stakes-winning riders at Keeneland--Julien Leparoux, Robby Albarado, John Velazquez, Javier Castellano and Mike Smith--in addition to Maker's Mark Managing Director Rob Samuels and Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason. The bottle goes on sale July 3 in limited quantities...

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Keeneland At Home Unveiled

Keeneland announced Keeneland at Home, Presented by Central Bank, offering viewers the opportunity to remotely enjoy Keeneland's five-day Summer Meet. Conducted July 8-12, the abbreviated season accommodates a portion of the 16-day Spring Meet that Keeneland was forced to cancel due to the COVID-19 outbreak. "Fans flock to Keeneland during our race meets, and we will miss seeing thousands of faces in the stands for the Summer Meet, but we look forward to delivering their favorite race-day traditions so they can hold watch parties at home and enjoy Keeneland," Keeneland...

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Keeneland’s Summer Meet to Allow Participating Owners

Keeneland's Summer Meet, to be held July 8-12, has been given approval to allow a limited number of participating owners to attend on the day their horse is running. Officials at Keeneland worked with Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and state public health officials on a plan to permit owners to attend while ensuring the safety of horsemen and track employees under the 'Healthy at Work' guidelines. However, as previously announced, spectators will not be permitted due to restrictions resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "We are pleased to be able...

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Dr. Stuart E. Brown II Joins Keeneland as Equine Safety Director

Dr. Stuart E. Brown II, who cared for an international clientele during his nearly 30-year career with Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, will join Keeneland full time as Equine Safety Director. "Dr. Stuart Brown is uniquely talented for the position of Equine Safety Director and to be a leader in enhancing safety practices at Keeneland and throughout racing," Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. "During his career, his knowledge and expertise have been sought by horsemen around the world and by top industry and veterinary organizations alike. Stuart's...

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Racing Comes Together for Keeneland July Meet

There was a popular aphorism making its rounds through social media in the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic. "Check on your friends in Lexington; March Madness and Keeneland are cancelled." It's true, Lexington natives experienced a shocking few days early in March when the cancellation of Keeneland's annual Spring Meet occurred just days after the announcement that there would be no NCAA basketball tournament. And while racing fans were certainly disappointed that there would be no tailgating on The Hill or a sunny Saturday afternoon shared between 30,000-some attendees...

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Keeneland Launches Digital Sales Ring; Online Select Horses of Racing Age Sale Set for June 23

Keeneland officials have announced the launch of the Keeneland Digital Sales Ring, a stand-alone online auction platform accessible to buyers and sellers around the world at Keenelanddigital.com. Kicking off the new digital platform will be a Select Horses of Racing Age Sale scheduled for June 23. "The Keeneland Digital Sales Ring marks a significant milestone in our rich sales history and expands the realm of high-quality sales options Keeneland can deliver," Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. "This tool does not replace Keeneland's traditional live sales format but rather...

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Keeneland to Sponsor Makeover Initiatives

Keeneland will be a sponsor of prominent equine safety and welfare initiatives at the Retired Racehorse Project's Thoroughbred Makeover this year: the Arrival Exam and the Finale Jog. The Arrival Exam was instituted last year at the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America, and required each horse to have proof of current vaccinations, vitals within a normal range, be scanned for a microchip that has been registered with The Jockey Club, pass a walking soundness exam and score a four or higher on the Henneke...

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