The season, which accommodates a portion of the 16-day spring meet that Keeneland was forced to cancel due to the COVID-19 outbreak, will be held without fans.
"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," the track's president and CEO Bill Thomason said. "From recipes for Keeneland's favorite foods and drinks such as Maker's Mark Bread Pudding, Keeneland Burgoo, and the Keeneland Breeze to details about our daily programming and wagering opportunities, Keeneland has curated a selection of ways to safely enjoy the races at home."
New to the race-day broadcast lineup for the summer meet is "Keeneland at Home Presented by Central Bank," a 30-minute pre-game show on Facebook Live, YouTube, and Periscope at 12:15 p.m. ET. Hosted by Christina Blacker, the program will feature a number of race-day experiences to kick off your at-home watch party, including lessons in BETology, libations prepared by Maker's Mark, handicapping picks from Equibase's Ellis Starr, and more.
"Central Bank is excited to be involved with Keeneland at Home, a unique opportunity to make everything we love about Keeneland accessible to people regardless of where they are so they can experience the summer meet at home," Central Bank chairman, president, and CEO Luther Deaton Jr. said. "This program is the latest chapter in Central Bank's long-standing relationship with Keeneland, which, of course, includes sponsorship of the historic Ashland Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. When the Ashland was moved from April 4 to July 11 during the summer meet, Central Bank's presentation of Keeneland at Home became a natural partnership."
To help fans create the Keeneland experience for their in-home watch parties, The Keeneland Shop is offering a selection of Keeneland at Home Kits that fans are able to craft to suit their taste and style. Kits, which include branded drinkware, apparel and accessories, are available in Pick 2, Pick 3 and Pick 4 bundles via The Keeneland Shop online store. Fans are encouraged to place their orders before the July 8 opening day to be able to enjoy the kits during all five days of racing.
Purchases of Keeneland at Home kits over $35 made through July 12 will come with a commemorative Summer Meet print by Kayla Weber, a bag of Keeneland’s Brown Butter Popcorn and a set of Keeneland saddle towel yard flags.
During the summer meet, races will begin each day at 1:05 p.m. ET, and TVG will present live, on-site coverage of all the day’s racing starting at 1 p.m. Meanwhile, Keeneland has expanded its offerings to enable fans to access live racing coverage through new channels at home.
In addition to the live stream on Keeneland.com and KeenelandSelect.com, fans may stream the entire card on Keeneland’s Facebook Live and YouTube beginning at 12:55 p.m. daily. Keeneland also has enhanced its viewing experience on its popular Race Day mobile app with new video features that allow users to watch live coverage while navigating throughout the app.
Race-day programming will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET with “Today at Keeneland,” a 30-minute preview show with handicapping picks and discussion of horses of interest.