If you watched NBC's Sunday Night Football, which inevitably will be the top-rated show of the week, it was hard to miss the fact that the Breeders' Cup is nigh and that American Pharoah is going for a distinctively singular status in horse-racing history at the event.
The regularly repeated commercial spots did not tell you that the event is at little ol' Keeneland, but if you are here in Lexington, you know. While the weather has done its darnedest to put a damper on things, from concerts downtown to dining events around the city to the much-ballyhooed arrival of Pharoah in Lexington, it's fairly obvious to locals that the Breeders' Cup has arrived. (See the calendar on this page for more Breeders' Cup-related events, this weekend.)
All this, and we also have Halloween this weekend, and one of the major football games on the University of Kentucky calendar — against Tennessee — at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.
If you're wondering how to get in on this weekend's action, here are a few options:
You can go
It won't be easy, and you might not see a race with your own eyes, but it's possible to be at the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center or on The Hill at Keeneland. Both venues offer the races on big screens with live music, food and libations. There is a shuttle from the barn to the track, from where you will have general admission access. The Hill has no track access.
At press time, barn and entertainment center tickets are available only for Friday, for $125. The Hill is $35 per vehicle Friday, $50 Saturday, and $85 both days. Call 1-877-849-4287 for either of these packages.
If you want to try to get into choice seating (it has been sold out for a while), you might get lucky, because the Breeders' Cup resells tickets and released some new seats this week, so it is a fluid situation. Watch Breederscup.com/tickets.
You can go to the other track
The Red Mile, 1200 Red Mile Road, has renovated and is ready to host your revelry at the Breeders' Cup Bash. You can watch, bet and enjoy food and live music Friday and Saturday. General admission is $10 each day, and admission to the Wagers Dining Room is $40 each day. Go to Breederscupfestival.com for tickets and more information.
You favorite watering hole
Bars and restaurants around town will have all sorts of Breeders' Cup specials and events, many seamlessly transitioning to the football game Saturday night. See our LexGo Eat column on Page 9 for the skinny on what's happening at perennial hot spot Bourbon 'n' Toulouse and the Chevy Chase Inn, and check Kentucky.com/restaurants for more events and specials during and surrounding the Breeders' Cup.
The Breeders' Cup will be televised. The NBC Sports network has racing action starting at 3 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. NBC Sports is Channel 549 on Time Warner Cable, and it is not in the basic package, so you may want to check before you plan on tuning in.
Coverage switches over to NBC (WLEX-TV 18-1, TWC Ch. 8) at 4 p.m. Saturday. WLEX will chime in earlier with live coverage beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday.
This, of course, is your best option if you want to avoid traffic and crowds. Then again, maybe this is the weekend to get out and mix it up.