LEXINGTON, Ky. - In a little more than a year, Keeneland Race Course here in Lexington will be the center of the horse racing world as the Breeders' Cup rolls into town. News of the Breeders' Cup's announcement was leaked last week. Today, it became official.
"Good morning everyone, it's great to see such a terrific turnout for a secret that hasn't been so well-kept," Breeders' Cup chairman Bill Farish, Jr. said.
One of the keywords today was homecoming.
"They are born here. They are raised here. They are sold here. And then they return here," a promotional video boomed.
"77 horses sold in our sales ring have gone on to be Breeders' Cup winners," Keeneland president Bill Thomason said.
Keeneland will play host on October 30 and 31 of next year and organizers have some work ahead of them. They'll add 7,000 seats to the reserved area.
"We've got a lot of people who are going to want to attend this event. We are going to make sure that we provide great experiences for everybody who wants to be a part of this very special Breeders' Cup," Thomason said.
More than 90,000 people went to the 2013 Breeders' Cup. Organizers say the crowd will be smaller since Keeneland is a smaller venue. No matter how many people come to the track, community leaders say the event will have a huge impact on the city and state.
"To have the breeders' cup right here in Central Kentucky puts us on the world stage. Obviously we're going to have people from all over the world coming here to enjoy, not only the Breeders' Cup, but this unique experience that Keeneland is all about," said Governor Steve Beshear.
All the buzz won't be just about what's happening here at the track. Community leaders say it'll have a huge impact on the city and the state. Economic leaders expect they'll see big money spent in the hospitality industry and beyond.
"I've heard anywhere from 50, 60, 70 million dollar economic impact and what's not in that measurement is the impact of the people who come here and the message they take back home all across the globe. How you measure that, I don't know, but it will be very sizable. The image that we will be able to convey worldwide will be astounding," said Bob Quick of Commerce Lexington.