Off to the races: Keeneland opens with Scholarship Day

Abby Ferguson

Sports Editor

Iron your shirts, pick out a dress or don a bow tie, because Keeneland is ready to post. And with the first race day of the season comes the traditional College Scholarship Day.

This season the scholarship day falls on April 6.

“It’s a great event for students to attend because it’s something different,” said senior James Dawson, a Keeneland ambassador. “It’s a great opportunity to get off campus and go have fun with your friends at the races. It’s of no cost to the student and you will actually walk away with more than when you showed up.”

“College Day not only gives students the opportunity to experience the beauty of Keeneland and the excitement of horse racing, but also provides a college-friendly environment in which to do so,” said Sarah Deye, Keeneland’s marketing intern. “The biggest benefit for students attending is being able to enjoy one of Lexington’s best attractions for free.”

Registration begins at 11 a.m. in the College Zone at the park. With valid student identification, students can enter the tracks for free. Along with this, students are given the chance to win a scholarship.

Dawson explained that the day offers many opportunities for prizes.

“The first 1,000 students to show up and register at the north gate will receive a free College Scholarship Day T-shirt,” said Dawson, “and $1,000 scholarships will be given out after every race by a random draw from the students who register.”

The students will also have a chance to snatch free items from different vendors, and there will be live music by Sunday’s Best.

According to Keeneland’s website, “In the College Zone, students will enjoy live music; free snacks by Qdoba and Coke; photos by LexScene; prize drawings from Campus Quilts, Fusion Tanning, Jamba Juice, Keeneland Gift Shop, Orange Leaf, Pazzo’s, Raising Cane’s, Sleep Outfitters, Urban Active, Victoria’s Secret, Vineyard Vines and much more.”

Sororities and fraternities as a whole have an opportunity to participate as well.

“Sororities and fraternities can even sign up for the attendance challenge! The sorority or fraternity with the highest percentage attendance will win free rental of the Thoroughbred Center for a date party,” said Deye.

But Keeneland has more than just prizes to offer its patrons.

“Keeneland is a special racetrack because it has so much tradition. It’s just a classy establishment that appears to have been untouched since it first opened. They have done a great job of modernizing the place without taking away its elegant appeal,” said Dawson. “It’s also a relatively small racetrack so it’s easy to get around.”

Keeneland’s College Scholarship Day is this Friday, April 6. Doors open at 11 a.m. and admission is free with valid college identification.

“I have been to Keeneland many times before, and my favorite part about it is being with all my friends, tailgating and watching the horse racing,” said sophomore Susan Hodgson. “It is such a fun atmosphere that makes for a perfect Friday afternoon for students.

“My favorite part about Keeneland is the social aspect. There is just a buzz in the air that is hard to go unnoticed. Everyone always dresses up and it’s a great venue for pictures,” Dawson said. “If you have never been to Keeneland, especially for a College Scholarship Day, you owe it to yourself to go.”

If driving to the park is not an option, Lextran provides a shuttle. Those interested in this service can find out more information at


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