Keeneland Announces Protocols for Jockeys during 2020 Fall Meet

Keeneland today announced procedures related to COVID-19 for jockeys who will ride during the 17-day Fall Meet from Oct. 2-24.

Jockey COVID-19 testing protocols are as follows:

  • Jockeys who plan to ride on opening day (Friday, Oct. 2) will be required to be in Lexington on Tuesday, Sept. 29 and receive a COVID-19 test at Keeneland.
  • Jockeys who plan to ride at Keeneland after opening day will need to provide a CDC gold standard RT-PCR COVID-19 nasopharyngeal test confirmed negative within 72 hours of the day of their first race.
  • A jockey who races at Keeneland and leaves Kentucky will be required to provide a CDC gold standard RT-PCR COVID-19 nasopharyngeal test confirmed negative within 72 hours of the day of the next race in which he or she plans to ride at Keeneland.
  • In addition to the main Jockeys Quarters, Keeneland will maintain five additional Jockeys Quarters that permit riders to be sequestered. These spaces will be organized around specific geographic areas where the jockeys customarily ride, including New York, California, other U.S. jurisdictions, international jurisdictions and overflow from the main Jockey Quarters for Kentucky-based riders.
  • Except for valets and the Clerk of Scales, no additional personnel will be permitted in any Jockeys Quarters.

General jockey protocols at Keeneland are as follows:

  • Practice social distancing at all times.
  • Wearing masks/face coverings is required at all times except when riding in a race or a timed workout in the morning. This includes when the rider is in the Jockeys Quarters, in the Paddock before a race, while being ponied to post and after the race when returning to the Jockeys Quarters.
    • Jockeys will be provided with face coverings.
    • Valets, assistant starters, outriders and pony people will be required to wear masks/face coverings throughout the day as will everyone who is on the grounds.
  • When visiting the Paddock before a race, jockeys are prohibited from making physical contact aside from a leg up from the trainer or a member of his or her staff.
  • Jockeys are prohibited from visiting barns in the Stable Area in the mornings. A rider will only be able to visit the apron area of the main track, the area outside the Racing Office by the gap or the Paddock. Visits to the Rice Road barn area also are off limits to jockeys.
    • If a jockey wishes to exercise a horse in the morning, he or she will need to meet that mount in the Paddock, exercise the horse then dismount upon exiting the track.
  • All jockeys will be able to ride with a +3 pound weight allowance because the sauna/steam will be closed.
  • Boxed lunches will be provided, but no a la carte options are available.
    • Jockeys and valets will be allowed to bring their own food items.
  • All Jockeys Quarters will be sanitized throughout the day and receive another deep cleaning each evening after the rooms are vacated. The products Keeneland is using to disinfect the entire facility is a combination including BioProtect, EvaClean/Puretabs and P&G’s Spic and Span – all of which are EPA-registered.
  • Keeneland will do a deep sanitization of the starting gate before the Fall Meet using the aforementioned BioProtect product, which is a disinfectant and provides 90 days of long-term antimicrobial protection (to immediately kill any COVID-19 particles that come into contact with the starting gate). The same product will be used in the Jockeys Quarters for the utmost protection of all surfaces after they have been treated.
  • Jockeys are to enter Keeneland through Gate 2 on Versailles Road. They will use the track’s South Gate entrance next to the Welcome Center to enter the grounds. Once entries are drawn, their names will be put on a list to be able to access the Keeneland grounds and facility. Once the overnight is released, Clerk of Scales Javier Torres will decide which Jockeys Quarters they will use.
  • Jockeys will undergo the same medical checks as everyone coming through the Keeneland gates. This will include a temperature check as well as medical screening questions.

 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 presents online auctions through the Keeneland Digital Sales Ring. Graduates of Keeneland sales 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. In 2020, The Summer Meet at Keeneland presented five days of racing from July 8-12. Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015 and will hold the event again on Nov. 6-7. 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, visit

 For more information contact:
Amy Gregory at 859 361-3490
Amy Owens at 859 421-256

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