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Keeneland

Video Credit: WTVQ Lexington, KY
Published on July 8, 2020 -
Austin story 5p
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Keeneland

Backlash over racist comments tom vanmeter.jpg the backlash continues against tom vanmeter over racist comments he made on soical media.

A prominent lexington thoroughbred breeder was responding to a call to boycott the national football league for allowing players to take a knee during the national anthem.

Vanmeter used a racist word starting with an "n" ... in place of "national" in "n-f-l.

He went on the post: quote: "put em back in their cage!!!"

Vanmeter issued an apology tuesday.

Today.... keeneland announced... effective immediately... vanmeter was banned from racing and sales at the track.

Vanmeter's lexington farm was the birtplace of triple crown winner american pharoah.

After a long dry spell at keeneland, today we saw not only rain...but horses too.

Racing has officially returned in a never before seen summer meet over five days with no fans.

Abc 36's austin miller had to "watch" from outside... just like everybody else.

.

L3 austin: white l3: abc bob elliston keeneland vice president & coo l3: abc 36 news white racing returns to keeneland "this is kind of the trial for bigger things to come" l3 austin: white ### austin miller: after having to cancel their spring meet back in april..

Race day is finally here at keeneland.

They're having to do something they haven't done in 85 years..

Hold a five-day meet in the middle of summer.

Keeneland vice president bob elliston says there's certainly been a lot of anxiousness coming into this week's races.

Bob elliston trt 13 "you always worry if we were going to have a mary tyler moore party.

Would they show up?

They're showing up in tremendous numbers.

Our field size is great, so it feels a lot like the morning before a regular opening day in april."

The horses and jockeys running may have given that feel for april..

But the empty seats are a heavy reminder it's still not the same experience at the track.

Even we weren't allowed in.

Keeneland expects to see fans return in the fall..

But a lot depends on how well safety procedures work.

Bob elliston trt 08 "we really are trying to build confidence about our protocols.

This is kind of the trial run for bigger things to come down the road."

No fans..

Means little revenue.

Because tracks depend so much on admissions, v-i-p packages, and concessions.

Elliston says he expects the track to lose money on this meet, but the little amount it can generate now will be huge for the coming months.

Bob elliston trt 08 "if we can break even on that.

That'll be a big win for us.

We'll get through this crisis, get through this pandemic and live to fight another day.

Not just the track...but the entire industry.

The races are huge financially for horses, owners, trainers, and jockeys.

Austin: now despite the rain, day one has been an exciting one.

In fact, the very first race of the day came down to a photo finish between three horses.

Of course, we've still got four more days of racing ahead, including a big one saturday, the toyota bluegrass and the ashland stakes both running on the same day.

From keeneland..

Austin miller..

Abc 36.

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