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Keeneland and UK HealthCare Launch Keeneland Kids Club Partnership

February 18, 2020

Dr. Day

Keeneland and UK HealthCare today kicked off the Kids Club aspect of their new multiyear partnership announced last fall – now formally recognized as the Keeneland Kids Club in Partnership with UK HealthCare Kentucky Children’s Hospital – with the goal of providing health education to a wider audience.

Established in 2012, the Keeneland Kids Club is the official Kids Club for Keeneland fans 12 and younger. In addition to learning about Keeneland and the horse industry, its more than 7,000 members participate in annual family fun events, such as an Easter Egg Hunt, Kids Club Family Day at the Races and Kids Club Holiday Party, which provide opportunities to give back to the Central Kentucky community.


Among the first meaningful interactions created through this partnership were two Keeneland Kids Club “Breakfast with Buckles” events held in December. At the annual Kids Club holiday breakfast at Keeneland, members brought an unwrapped toy or roll of wrapping paper to benefit patients at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Proceeds from ticket sales raised $3,000 for Kentucky Children’s Hospital. A second Breakfast with Buckles was hosted at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, during which patients decorated holiday cookies with the track’s popular mascot.

“Since its inception, the Keeneland Kids Club has been an extension of Keeneland’s philanthropic mission,” Keeneland Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Christa Marrillia said. “Our partnership with UK HealthCare Kentucky Children’s Hospital offers the Kids Club initiative exciting new avenues for outreach and engagement that will positively impact the entire Kentucky community.”

“Keeneland has a rich tradition of supporting community initiatives throughout the Commonwealth, with deep roots that stretch across the state of Kentucky and beyond,” said Dr. Scottie B. Day, Physician in Chief, Kentucky Children’s Hospital. “Through this key partnership, Kentucky Children’s Hospital will be able to connect with over 7,000 Kids Club members and their families to provide useful information, resources and support that will allow for a healthier future for Kentucky’s kids. This partnership creates a sure-bet win for the kids and families of Kentucky as Keeneland allows KCH to expand outreach opportunities and supports us through philanthropic initiatives to benefit our patients.”

Underscoring the partnership between Keeneland and UK HealthCare, which also includes sponsorship of the track’s run/walk program and the First Lady (G1) stakes during the Fall Meet, is the shared commitment to support the communities they serve through education, philanthropy and community engagement.

Since 1940, Keeneland and UK have successfully joined forces on a number of initiatives aimed at bettering the community and horse industry. Among those projects are funding scholarships and research programs, supporting the DanceBlue marathon, hosting Big Blue Day at Keeneland in the fall and donating $100,000 to the UK Athletics’ CATS academic center as part of the Maker’s Mark commemorative bottle series. In the spring of 2019, Keeneland gifted $1.3 million to create the Keeneland Endowed Chair in Equine Veterinary Science at UK’s Gluck Equine Research Center.

Kentucky Children’s Hospital

Kentucky Children's Hospital, part of the University of Kentucky HealthCare system, is committed to providing the best care possible, for children as well as families. With the region's only Level I pediatric trauma center and Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and more than 30 advanced subspecialty programs such as pediatric oncology and pediatric surgery, KCH is equipped to provide the highest level of care to young patients, close to home.


For more than 80 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. The world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland conducts four sales a year, in January, April, September and November, and its sales graduates dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015 and will hold the event again in 2020. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a privately held company with a not-for-profit mission that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses and millions of dollars donated in support of horse industry initiatives and charitable contributions for education, research and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. Keeneland also maintains the Keeneland Library, a world-renowned public research institution with the mission of preserving information about the Thoroughbred industry. To learn more, visitKeeneland.com.