Raceland was a horse racing track in Chinnville, Kentucky, now known as Raceland, Kentucky, and operated from 1924 until 1928.
Developed by Jack O. Keene and Tom Cromwell,1 the 350-acre 2 was officially announced in a January 1923 issue of The Thoroughbred Record after Keene had put an initial option on 270 acres of land.3 The new track contained a 4,000-seat grandstand that cost $110,000 to build,3 22 stables, a railroad spur from the Chesapeake & Ohio Rairoad and its own jail.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 that was attended by over 5,000.1 3 The first race, “Ashland Handicap,” was held on July 10 in which 27,000 attended.2 That race featured Kentucky Derby winner “Black Gold” and four other Run for the Roses entrants. Due to its popularity and association, Chinnville was renamed Raceland after the race track.3 During its peak, Raceland was known as the “Million Dollar Oval” because of its elaborate pink and maroon roses and overall appearance.1 The 1.5-mile dirt track was ringed with a white wood and iron fence. The bridle paths and front lawn were paved in red tapestry brick that matched the clubhouse, stewards’ stand and judge’s stand. The infield contained a lake and sunken gardens.
Financial difficulties claimed Raceland in 1929.3 Keene went on to develop Keeneland in Lexington.2 The grandstands were sold and demolished in 1937. The official’s residence, clubhouse, and a few horse stables remain as of 2013.
- Name: Raceland
- Location: Raceland, Kentucky
- Years of Significance: 1924
- Status: Demolished, Abandoned
- Hollingsworth, Kent. “Sarazen.” The Kentucky Throughbred. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2009. 6. Print.
- Historical marker.
- Hapney, Terry L., Jr. “Raceland steeped in history thanks to racetrack heritage.” Greenup Beacon 17 Dec. 2013: n. pag. Web. 18 Dec. 2013. Article.