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2.03 Keeneland (1946-1959)
Keeneland Racetrack was named for John Oliver "Jack" Keene, 1870-1943. Jack Keene, a renowned thoroughbred
trainer and descendent of a prominent Lexington family. In 1936, after a 20 year investment in the racetrack,
Jack Keene sold his property to the non-profit Keeneland Association. The former mansion was converted to a
clubhouse and a small grandstand was added on. Later in 1936, a 2,500 capacity grandstand was added and by the
1940s this was expanded to hold 5,000 horse racing spectators. The Keeneland Association planned to reinvest
their horse racing profits and by the 1940s they had established one of the most successful racetracks in the United
States. Today, Keeneland Racetrack hosts the Blue Grass Stakes which is the precursor to the Kentucky Derby and
the Phoenix Handicap which is the oldest stakes race in the United States. Keeneland Racetrack is located at 4201
The Keeneland negatives highlight races during the Spring and Fall meets at Keeneland Racetrack. They
document races, individual horses and jockeys, award ceremonies, spectators in grandstands, people dining in
the clubhouse, and spectators on the clubhouse lawn. Notable figures include Kentucky Governors, municipal
Government officials, actors such as Charles Coburn, and others such as Dr. Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin.
Additional negatives show racetrack renovations and race preparation, as well as aerial photographs of Keeneland.
These 1,059 negatives remain in the original order created by staff of the Lexington Herald-Leader. The original
LHL envelopes were labeled, arranged chronologically, and each envelope may have contained multiple
negatives. Each negative or negative strip has been given a unique number under the series designation 2.03. The
negatives range in size from 4" x 5" to 35mm.