Thanks to unseasonably warm weather, two of Kentucky's iconic horse racing events will be without some of their horticultural beauties this spring.
In Lexington, Keeneland Race Course's forsythia and cherry trees are blooming now. Their brilliant yellow and snowy white blossoms will be gone by the opening of the spring meet, April 6 to 27, said Keeneland's Amy Gregory.
But she said the landscaping crew told her the track's crabapple, dogwood and pear trees will be in bloom for the races.
Churchill Downs in Louisville announced this week that the 6,000 to 12,000 tulips that racegoers are used to seeing on Derby Day will bloom early and be gone by this year's race, on May 5.
Instead, about 25,000 annuals will go in place of the tulips and in all of the flower beds, said Churchill Downs' director of horticulture Matt Bizzell. He also said the track's roses will likely be peaking on the first Saturday in May.