Keeneland Race Course of Lexington started thoroughbred horseracing meet in 1936. The saying goes: ‘Keeneland is where the world comes to buy the best Thoroughbred horses’. Keeneland Race Course added a grass course in 1985, until then racing used to take place on the dirt track. Every year, preparation for the racing starts on much before the spring meet of Kentucky Derby. Keeneland takes pride in maintaining racing traditions and it is the last track in North America to broadcast race calls over its public-address system. Seabiscuit, a popular movie of the 2003, captured several shots at Keeneland because of its beautiful surroundings. The change in appearance of Keeneland has taken place of late. Keeneland opened the first sales pavilion in September 2004.

With the passage of time, Keeneland has adopted several innovative ideas, the most significant of which is the reshaping of the main track and replacement of the dirt surface with the proprietary Polytrack surface over the summer of 2006. Keeneland's elite yearling sales have broken many records through the years. The first notable million-dollar yearling in Thoroughbred sales history, Canadian Bound, was sold in 1976 at Keeneland. Keeneland purchased the Kentucky Horse Center from Churchill Downs in April 2000 while in October of the same year - the Horse center was re-named to Thoroughbred Center.