5:45pm

Wed April 2, 2014
Sports

Dirt Comes Back to Keeneland Along with Instant Racing at Two Lexington Tracks

Credit calvinayre.com

Central Kentucky's historic race track Keeneland is revisiting part of its history.  Track officials announced the poly fiber synthetic track will be taken up this summer and replaced with a dirt surface.

 Vince Gabbert, Keeneland C-E-O says the track surface has always been a 'journey, not a destination, with the regional circuit and where the horses come from and going to it just has become just absolutely paramount that we have to switch back to  dirt," said Gabbert.

   Gabbert says Keeneland officials believe a dirt track can be constructed to offer the same amount of safety as that found in the synthetic surface.      Also on Wednesday, the Kentucky Racing Commission approved requests by Keeneland and the Red Mile for separate instant track wagering facilities.     The plans call for 500 terminals at the Red Mile and 600 at Keeneland in new buildings.  Joe Costa is president of Red Mile.      "We have searched for a model to be able to reinvest and reinvent the institution.  It will give us the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to the community and introduce ourselves to a new customer," said Costa.    Both tracks hope to have video betting on previously run thoroughbred races in place by the summer of 2015. ​