Added Seating Taking Shape at Keeneland

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One of the nice things about my drive to the office is passing Keeneland each day. In the past few weeks it’s been fun to watch the tents go up that will house the various added seating for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Oct. 30-31.

Some of this added seating also will be available for the upcoming fall meeting, which begins Friday, Oct. 2.

The temporary structures, which include two Trackside Chalets, two Club Lawn Chalets, the Maker’s Mark Bourbon Lounge, Saddling Paddock Chalet, Breakfast Marquee and Grandstand Loge Boxes, will accommodate an additional 10,000 fans for Breeders’ Cup.

Seating in one of the Club Lawn Chalets and all Loge Boxes will be available to the public during the upcoming Fall Meet, Oct. 2-24. Additionally, the Saddling Paddock Chalet will be open to fans Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2-3.

Keeneland president Bill Thomason said he loves all of the new seating options but the Saddling Paddock Chalet may be his favorite.

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"Everyone that's been in it, even the horsemen who have come in, just love it," Thomason said. "You're so close to the horses. You get to see them. The atmosphere is just electric in there. It's a great thing for us."

Thomason said the progress toward completing all of the structures has been impressive.

"Every day out there is so exciting. A few weeks ago, you could look around and wonder, 'How in the world is this going to get done?'" Thomason said. "Two or three weeks ago, I went to England, went to York, with clients over there racing and various things. What had happened here at Keeneland from the time I left until the time I got back, I just walked in the office and said, 'I'm not worried anymore.'"

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