Bill Thomason

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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Keeneland Auctioneer Cris Caldwell Passes Away at 63

Cris Caldwell, who continued the legacy of his late father Tom Caldwell as an integral part of the Keeneland auctioneering team, passed away Friday, May 15. He was 63 years old and was a member of the Keeneland family from 1975-2020. Tom Caldwell passed away in 2001 and like his father, Cris Caldwell succumbed to pancreatic cancer, according to an obituary sent by his family. "Cris was known for his work ethic, keen wit and, like his father, his ability to command the sales ring, and he presided over some...

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Open Letter to the Industry: Bill Thomason, President & CEO, Keeneland

We hope this finds you and your family well. It's hard to believe that this is typically a week with so much buzz and excitement in our industry leading into the first Saturday of May. We look forward to the days when our industry is fully up and running again. Toward this goal, Keeneland is committed to doing everything possible to ensure a safe and secure environment for conducting Thoroughbred auctions this fall and to maintain market stability. As you saw yesterday, Fasig-Tipton has moved its July and Saratoga yearling...

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Keeneland CEO Bill Thomason Joins TDN Writers' Room

As an organization with enormous interests in both the racing and sales worlds, Keeneland has been quick to act in response to the coronavirus pandemic, canceling its April 2-Year-Old Sale and Spring Meet in the early days of the sport's shutdown. They also were quick to reassure nervous buyers and sellers of yearlings that this year's marquee September Yearling Sale would proceed as scheduled, Sept. 14-26. President and CEO Bill Thomason joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Wednesday, calling in via Zoom from his home as the Green...

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Bill Thomason Discusses September Sale, Keeneland Fall Meet

Will there be spectators at the September sale? The Keeneland Fall Meet? Like all of us, Bill Thomason doesn't have all the answers, but he talks about plans, protocols and contingencies for Keeneland this fall on the Writers' Room podcast.

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Letter to the Industry: Keeneland's Bill Thomason

To Our Customers: It goes without saying that we are in historic times. COVID-19 has disrupted our industry and changed the manner in which we conduct our businesses and our everyday lives. While we are all doing our part to protect against the spread of the virus, we must also provide stability and normalcy to our industry. The Keeneland September Yearling Sale serves as a barometer for the state of our industry and establishes certainty for our global marketplace. This is a responsibility which we do not take lightly. With...

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Keeneland September Sale to Start as Planned Sept. 14

Keeneland's 2020 September Yearling Sale will begin as planned Monday, Sept. 14, the sales company asserted in a press release Friday. "This auction is vital not only to Keeneland, but to the entire Thoroughbred industry and the Central Kentucky community at large," Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. "The Keeneland sales team is moving forward full steam with plans for the September Sale. Like every aspect of life right now, there are unknowns and we do not have all the answers yet. However, one thing is certain: We are...

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Sales Cycle Disruption, Spectator-Free Racing Projected to Impact Keeneland Purses

Thursday was supposed to be opening day at Keeneland's spring meet, which has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, officials who oversee the association's racecourse and sales company spent their afternoon on a video conference call with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC)'s race dates advisory committee explaining how Keeneland will face a situation that is markedly different from the state's other four Thoroughbred tracks when emergency public health mandates are relaxed enough to allow live racing to resume. Bob Elliston, Keeneland's vice president of racing and sales,...

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Letter from Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason

To our Industry, Fans and Central Kentucky Community, The decision to cancel this year's Spring Meet and April Sale due to the alarming spread of COVID-19 has been agonizing for the Keeneland family. We understand the devastating impact this has on the Thoroughbred industry, our Central Kentucky community who cherishes this tradition, and our employees who pour their hearts into this organization. We share the disappointment and frustration of our fans and horsemen--a silent April at Keeneland still has not sunk in. However, we knew this decision was the only...

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