Raceland is a former a horse racing track in Chinnville, Kentucky (now known as Raceland), operating between 1924 and 1928.


History

Developed by Jack O. Keene and Tom Cromwell, 1 the 350-acre horse race track 2 was announced in a January 1923 issue of The Thoroughbred Record after Keene had put an initial option on 270-acres of land. 3 Keene and Cromwell constructed a 1.5-mile dirt track and 4,000-seat grandstand at a cost of $110,000. 3 It also included 22 horse stables, jail, and a railroad spur from the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. 1 The official’s residence was built 500 yards from the grandstand that cost $10,000. Room for an additional 500 stables, worker housing, and a water tank was set aside.

Raceland made its debut on July 4, 1924, with a first class boxing match where over 5,000 attended. 1 3 The first race, “Ashland Handicap,” attended by 27,000, was held on July 10. 2 It featured Kentucky Derby winner “Black Gold” and four other Run for the Roses entrants. Due to the track’s popularity and association, the city of Chinnville was renamed Raceland after the race track. 3

During its peak in the mid-1920’s, Raceland was known as the “Million Dollar Oval.” 1 Lined with a white wood and iron fence and elaborate pink and maroon roses, the track was nothing short of elegant. The bridle paths and front lawn, paved in red tapestry brick, matched the clubhouse, stewards’ stand, and judge’s stand. The infield contained a lake and sunken gardens.

Financial difficulties caused Raceland to close 1929. 3 Keene went on to develop the Keeneland horse race track in Lexington. 2 The grandstands, sold shortly after the track closed, was demolished in 1937. The official’s residence, clubhouse, and a few horse stables remain as of 2016.

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