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 Meet. 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 Meet featured Sunday racing for the first time in Keeneland history.
The purse of the Blue Grass Stakes was increased from $350,000 to $500,000.
At the Fall Meet, 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 Meet. In addition, Kissin Kris (who was stabled at Keeneland for much of the Spring Meet) 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 Meet, 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 used an announcer to call the races for the first time during the Spring Meet.
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 U.S. had made a trophy presentation at Keeneland.
Total wagering topped $100 million for the first time during the 16-day Spring Meet.
For the first time in history, Keeneland offered drive-through wagering on the Derby simulcast.
As soon as the Fall Meet was completed, Keeneland construction crews embarked on the largest project in the track's history. The multimillion-dollar, multiyear project was designed to improve racing, sales and simulcast facilities. The first phase was total renovation of the grandstand's northwest section and construction of a state-of-the-art sales pavilion.
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 Meet to present the trophy in the inaugural running of the Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings, the first steeplechase at Keeneland.
A $5.8 million renovation of the west end of the grandstand is completed in time for the Fall Meet. 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.