Keeneland Library Lecture Series Returns 

April 21, 2023

Keeneland Library. (Keeneland Photo)

• Beginning in May continuing through June, August and September
• Keeneland Donates $100,000 To Lexington Public Library Foundation

Keeneland Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Keeneland’s popular Library Lecture Series resumes in May with the first of four public events that celebrate recently published works about Thoroughbred racing whose authors conducted research at Keeneland Library.

Tickets are $20 per event and will go on sale at 9 a.m., Friday, April 21 at Proceeds from these ticketed events will benefit the Keeneland Library Foundation, which funds Library preservation, education, outreach and access efforts.

The first two installments of the Library Lecture Series will feature books related to the Library’s current exhibit, The Heart of the Turf: Racing’s Black Pioneers:

  • May 11 – Katherine Mooney will discuss Isaac Murphy: The Rise and Fall of a Black Jockey. 
  • June 22 – Mark Shrager will talk about The First Kentucky Derby: Thirteen Black Jockeys, One Shady Owner, and the Little Red Horse That Wasn’t Supposed to Win.

The Heart of the Turf: Racing’s Black Pioneers offers a deep exploration into the lives of African Americans in racing and their contributions to the Thoroughbred industry. The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, runs through August. 

The Library Lecture Series continues with two events in late August and September:

  • Aug. 24 – Jennifer Kelly will discuss The Foxes of Belair: Gallant Fox, Omaha, and the Quest for the Triple Crown.
  • Sept. 28 – Patricia McQueen will review Secretariat’s Legacy: The Sons, Daughters and Descendants Who Keep His Legacy Alive.

All programs will be held at the Library from 6:30-8:30 p.m. ET.

The author’s presentation will be followed by a reception and book signing. A limited number of copies of featured books will be available for purchase.

Tickets on sale Friday morning at

Keeneland Donates $100,000 To Lexington Public Library Foundation

Keeneland has donated $100,000 to the Lexington Public Library Foundation’s capital campaign for the new Marksbury Family Branch to open on Versailles Road late this year. 

“Our support of the Lexington Public Library Foundation continues Keeneland’s founding mission to enhance the quality of life in our community,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “In this case, the Marksbury Family Branch will positively impact a neighborhood where many horse industry workers and their families live. We are thrilled to have a resource nearby for these families to take advantage of important educational opportunities.”

The new two-story facility will include community and study rooms, a dedicated classroom, makerspace, outdoor reading area, expanded adult and children’s areas, and a drive-thru window where customers can pick up and return borrowed materials. The Library Foundation has committed to raising $5.3 million in support of the $18 million project through a public-private partnership.

“It’s been exciting for Keeneland to have a hand in making the Marksbury Family Branch a reality,” Keeneland Senior Director of Operations and Community Relations Kara Heissenbuttel said. “As a state-of-the-art space, this facility offers tremendous potential to both welcome visitors to Lexington and to serve people of all backgrounds.”  

The Library will name a 16-seat meeting room on the first floor of the Marksbury Family Branch in Keeneland’s honor.

Founded in 1939, Keeneland Library is one of the world’s largest repositories of information related to Thoroughbred racing, housing nearly 30,000 books, more than 1 million photographic negatives and prints, and thousands of newspaper and magazine articles about all aspects of the equine industry. At the globally renowned public research institution, Library staff has assisted thousands of journalists, writers, academics, historians, racing fans and others with research.

The Library is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To reach the Library, enter Keeneland at Gate 1 (Man o’ War Blvd.) on Keeneland Blvd. and take the first right on Entertainment Ct. The Library is to the left of the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center.

For more information, visit

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