Keeneland's first simulcasting of a race on live card (the Arkansas Derby).
Keeneland opened a new gift shop called The Keeneland Shop, located on the ground floor adjacent to the walking ring.
Called the biggest construction project in Keeneland history, a fourth-floor expansion, including 22 corporate boxes and the Phoenix Room, was completed for the spring meeting. The Phoenix Room, with space for 500 people, provided a 220-foot dining area overlooking the walking ring. Keeneland also added the Lafayette Room (seating for 65) on the fourth floor.
Spring meeting featured Sunday racing for the first time in Keeneland history.
The Blue Grass' purse was increased from $350,000 to $500,000.
At the fall meeting, Keeneland conducted quinella betting for the first time.
Keeneland held its inaugural April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale. A total of 108 horses sold for $6,817,500, averaging $63,215, the highest average of any 2-year-old sale in North America in 1993.
For the first time in its history, Keeneland proved to be an across-the-board springboard to success in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The in-the-money finishers in the Derby (Sea Hero, Prairie Bayou and Wild Gale) and Preakness (Prairie Bayou, Cherokee Run and El Bakan) all raced at Keeneland's spring meeting. In addition, Kissin Kris (who was stabled at Keeneland for much of the spring meeting) and Wild Gale (who ran in the Lexington Stakes) finished second and third, respectively, in the Belmont Stakes.
Keeneland began full-card simulcasting for the first time in the grandstand.
For the fall meeting, a new entrance was constructed at the intersection of Versailles Road and Man o' War Boulevard.
Toyota became the sponsor of the Blue Grass, which had its purse increased to $700,000.
The Ashland purse was increased to $500,000-added.
Ending a longtime tradition of no public-address system, Keeneland uses an announcer to call the races for the first time during the spring meeting.
Construction of the Keeneland Entertainment Center was completed on the Keene Farm.
The 1997 November Breeding Stock Sale set an industry record for gross sales--$213 million.
Former President George Bush attended the races as the guest of W.S. Farish, the owner of Lane's End Farm, and presented the trophy to the owners of Favorite Trick after the undefeated colt romped to victory in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity. It marked the first time that a former President of the United States had made a trophy presentation at Keeneland.
Total wagering topped $100 million for the first time during the 16-day spring meeting.
For the first time in history, Keeneland offered drive-through wagering on the Derby simulcast.
As soon as the fall race meeting was completed, Keeneland construction crews embarked on the largest project in the track's history. The multi-million dollar, multi-year project will improve racing, sales and simulcast facilities. The first phase is total renovation of the grandstand's northwest section. A new state-of-the-art sales pavilion will be constructed. Then, the existing sales pavilion will be converted into a modern simulcast center.
Coolmore Stud, the world famous Irish stallion operation, became the sponsor of the Lexington Stakes and the purse was increased to $325,000.
H.R.H. The Princess Royal, Princess Anne of England attends closing day of the spring meeting to present the trophy in the inaugural running of the Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings, the first steeplechase ever held at Keeneland.
A $5.8 million renovation of the west end of the grandstand is completed in time for the fall meeting. On the inside, the first and second floors were enclosed, creating an additional 15,200 square feet of space that is climate-controlled. Storage areas on the second floor were converted to a public area with mutuel windows, a concession area, and rest rooms—all accessible via a new escalator. The Sports Bar doubled in size and the Paddock Shop opened a satellite location. Outside, a facade of Kentucky river stone graces the exterior of the west end and new patios offer patrons a view of the newly landscaped area below.
Keeneland hosted the first running of the Vinery First Lady Stakes. The race for fillies and mares was contested at 1 3/16 miles on the Keeneland turf course. The race was sponsored by Vinery, a Central Kentucky Thoroughbred operation, stallion farm and leading consignor to the Keeneland sales, located in Midway, Kentucky.