Bit by Bit Blog

Where in the Bluegrass is the Blue Penguin!?

It’s giveaway time! You’re invited on a social scavenger hunt in the Bluegrass!  

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Our friends at 21c Lexington have let the iconic Blue Penguin out for a Horse Country field trip and it’s your job to guess where he will pop up!

Every day Monday Oct, 2 - Friday, Oct 6 we will post on Facebook + Instagram from a different Horse Country location with clues about the penguin’s whereabouts. Simply ‘like’ the post and guess the location in the comments section. For every correct guess submitted through the week, you’ll be entered to win a weekend in Lexington hosted by Horse Country, 21c, and Keeneland! If you guess all six locations correctly, you will get an extra entry in the drawing!

You only have to like the post and guess on ONE social platform – so choose your favorite and guess away!

The contest will run from Monday, October 2 – Friday, October 6, with a Penguin appearance and clues at a different Horse Country location each day.

A winner will be randomly drawn on Monday, October 9 and announced on social media.  The winner will receive:

·        The Kentucky Bred package at 21c on Friday, October 27, including breakfast at Lockbox on October 28

·        Two tickets to a tour at Taylor Made Farm on Saturday, October 28

·         Lunch at Daddy Joe’s following the tour

·         4 General Admission tickets to Keeneland

·        And more!

 

Good luck and have fun!

The Horse Country Guide to the Keeneland Sale

It's September and in Kentucky that means football, fall foliage, and Thoroughbred Sales!

Sales season kicks off this weekend with the Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Sunday, September 10, followed by the Keeneland September Yearling Sale that runs September 11-23.

Did you know these sales are open to the public? Even if you can't make one of our Horse Country - Keeneland Sales Tours, you are welcome to visit at any point in the sale. You never know what next great champ you see pass through the sales ring!

New to the sales world and culture? No problem! We've compiled a quick list of some of the most common lingo you may hear through the sales. A review of this and you'll be talking like an industry insider in no time! 

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Get behind the scenes of the Keeneland September Sale

Horse Country, in partnership with Keeneland,  is pleased to  offer guests an opportunity to experience an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the world’s leading Thoroughbred auction house including dedicated guided tour time with real consignors and agents! You can't get this access anywhere else! Be sure to book your visit before this unique opportunity is sold out! 

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If you've never experienced a thoroughbred sale, here are just a few things you might see behind the scenes!

1. The Inside Scoop

In addition to guided visits throughout the grounds including the Keeneland Grandstand, picturesque Paddock, world-renowned Keeneland Sales Pavilion complex - where some of Thoroughbred racing’s greatest horses have been sold - you'll actually get to see what the professionals look for and experience the thrill of the sale from the insider's perspective! Horse Country members Darby Dan, Mill Ridge, and Taylor Made will offer a special portion of the tour from consignor and agent perspectives!

2. Future Champions

The Keeneland September Sale has produced more graded stakes winners than all other sales combined. Some of the most incredible thoroughbreds have stepped foot (or hoof) into that hallowed sales ring. As a matter of fact, during the past decade, Keeneland graduates have accounted for more than half of all winners of the Triple Crown classic races! 

3. Familiar Faces

The Keeneland September Sale brings in, not only impressive horses, but some very notable industry members. The industry's most established breeders, trainers, and medical professionals can be found on Keeneland's ground during these hectic two weeks. But remember that these folks are here to get things done, so be sure to give them their space.

4. History Making Moments

During the two weeks in September, the Keeneland Sales Pavilion is electric with the movement and procurement of some of racing's future stars. From the moment the yearling steps into the sales ring to the moment he leaves, potentially million dollar decisions are made. In 2006, one yearling sold for $11.7 million. The year before, a colt went for $9.7 million. It is something you really have to experience for yourself.

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High Stakes at the Travers Stakes

Happy Travers Stakes weekend! Some may know this race as the mid-summer Derby or the highlight of the summer race meet at Saratoga, but we know it as great racing- especially this year!

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7 Things You Should Know About Saratoga Race Course and its History

We are on the eve of our adventures at Saratoga Race Course and it has inspired to do some digging into the history and stories of one of the oldest race tracks in America. After scanning through countless industry pubs and the official Saratoga website, we found a few that we just had to share!

1. The term "upset", meaning an unexpected defeat of an opponent that's considered to be more formidable, was coined at Saratoga. Man o' War went into the Sanford Stakes in 1919 undefeated and lost to a horse named Upset.

2. Saratoga also holds the ominous nickname "Graveyard of Champions" because of the many upsets that too place on the track Man o' War and Triple Crown winners Gallant Fox and American Pharoah were all defeated at Saratoga.

3. Films such as "Seabiscuit," and "The Horse Whisperer"have scenes filmed at Saratoga. A scene in Ian Fleming's James Bond novel, "Diamonds are Forever," features a scene at the Saratoga Race Course as well!

4. In 1941,  Whirlaway became the only Triple Crown winner to also win the Travers, even to this day.

5. August 2, 1864:  Kentucky wins the first Travers Stakes, the first race held on the new Saratoga Race Course

6. “Health, History, Horses” is the well-known slogan for Saratoga Springs.

7. The current track record for The Whitney is held by Lawyer Ron with a time of 1:46.64 from the 2007 race.

NEW! Shuttle Tours at WinStar Farm!

It is our great pleasure to introduce Shuttle Tours at the wonderful WinStar Farm! 

This new experience includes the hour long tour of the WinStar stallion complex - but doesn't end there! As a guest, you will aboard a brand new electric shuttle that will take you through the mares & foals division of the farm, while your guide shares more history of the property, the business, and day-to-day operations. 

These new tours are available Wednesdays and Saturdays (March-October) at 11:30am and are approximately two hours in length. Get ready for a very special experience with unique photo ops and a behind the scenes peek into this amazing location!  

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Book your tour now!

Ali Goes to Saxony

The day had finally come…it was time to head to Lexington for one of my favorite times of the year, Keeneland opening weekend. I spent most of my Friday afternoon taking in all of the racing action at opening day of Keeneland, and planned to do the same on Saturday.Early Saturday morning I just couldn’t resist the urge any longer and hopped on Horse Country to book an early morning visit to a farm. After doing some research, I decided to visit Saxony Farm.

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Ali Goes to Runnymede

Whenever I think of Runnymede Farm, I think of the word passion. Passion for their clients, and passion for their horses.Spend one minute talking with Chief Executive Officer of Runnymede, Brutus Clay, and you will see the passion first-hand.

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Bon Voyage!

It is summertime in Kentucky and the newest crop of foals have begun to stretch their legs and show off their racing genes in their paddocks. As the young ones learn to venture away from mom, some of our favorite stallions are going to travel just a little farther- like to the Southern Hemisphere!

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Summer bucket list must-do - Stonestreet

Helloooooo Summer! We are so glad you are here! And with this new season, we are pleased to bring you, the fans, a new item to add to your summer bucket list- a visit to Stonestreet Farm! That's right! Starting July 14, the wonderful humans and horses of Stonestreet are opening their gates to welcome guests who want to meet their thoroughbreds and learn more about this unique organization.

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National Bourbon Day

It's the most wonderful time of the year...at least it is in Kentucky! It's National Bourbon Day- a chance for bluegrass natives (or anyone who enjoys a good glass of bourbon) to celebrate one of our staples.

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Bits, Bourbon, and the Big Screen

We have the perfect summer bucket-list item planned to celebrate Kentucky's two signature industries - horses and bourbon! We are so excited to partner with Woodford Reserve to create an evening that you won't forget!

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