Keeneland today announced that UK HealthCare has entered into a multiyear agreement with the race course that includes sponsorship of the Keeneland Kids Club, the run/walk program and the First Lady (G1) stakes during the Fall Meet. Underscoring the partnership is Keeneland and UK HealthCare’s shared commitment to support the communities they serve through education, philanthropy and community engagement.
“Keeneland and UK HealthCare share a common mission to enhance the quality of life in our community,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “This sponsorship continues Keeneland’s storied history with the University of Kentucky during which we’ve partnered to promote excellence in education, support scientific breakthroughs for the horse industry, improve the vibrancy of our community through philanthropy and creatively connect two signature brands in support of one of the most celebrated athletic programs in the country. We are excited to welcome UK HealthCare to the Keeneland family and thank them for their support of Thoroughbred racing.”
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 of scholarships and research programs, support of the DanceBlue marathon, hosting Big Blue Day at Keeneland in the fall and a $100,000 donation to the UK Athletics’ CATS academic center as part of the Maker’s Mark commemorative bottle series. This spring, Keeneland gifted $1.3 million to create the Keeneland Endowed Chair in Equine Veterinary Science at UK’s Gluck Equine Research Center.
“UK HealthCare is always looking for opportunities to be a good community neighbor,” said Dr. Mark Newman, UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs. “Being able to connect with Keeneland’s Kids Club and run/walk program reinforces our existing community engagement program and allows us to extend our mission of health education to a wider audience. We’re excited to continue the university’s proud history with Keeneland.”
Established in 1957 as the academic medical center for the University of Kentucky, UK HealthCare is a network of nearly 10,000 determined doctors, nurses, researchers and staff driven by a mission to provide the best possible care, from simple to complex, for the Commonwealth and beyond. In 2019, U.S. News Best Hospitals analysis ranks UK HealthCare as the No. 1 hospital in Kentucky for the fourth year in a row.
As a part of this agreement with Keeneland, UK HealthCare also will serve as the presenting sponsor for the First Lady on opening Saturday of the 2019 Fall Meet. Inaugurated in 1998, the First Lady is a prominent fixture during Keeneland’s Fall Stars Weekend. The 1-mile turf race for fillies and mares 3-years-old and older is one of the final “Win and You’re In” events for the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1). Champions such as Intercontinental (GB) (2005), Forever Together (2008) and Dayatthespa (2014) won the First Lady as a prep to victory in the Filly and Mare Turf. Other recent notables to capture the First Lady include champion Tepin, who next won the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Keeneland, and multiple graded stakes winners A Raving Beauty (GER), Zipessa, Photo Call (IRE), Better Lucky and Tapitsfly.