04/29/2016 3:13PM

Keeneland honors Beasley on his final day of racing

The Jockey Club
W.B. Rogers Beasley will retire this year after 34 years at Keeneland.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Barring a last-minute change of heart, Friday’s closing-day card at Keeneland will be the last held as the responsibility of W.B. Rogers Beasley, the track’s vice president of racing who announced earlier this year that he will retire on June 30.

Beasley has been the vice president of racing at Keeneland since 2001, and prior to that, he was Keeneland’s director of sales for 19 years. At the time of his retirement, he will have worked at Keeneland for 34 years, a tenure that it notable even for Keeneland, a Lexington institution where employees have far longer longevity than at many other tracks.

In an informal interview in the Keeneland walking ring prior to a ceremony in the winner’s circle honoring Beasley, he remarked that he had a “very good run” and praised Keeneland for its motto of “always doing right by the horse” and the loyalty and work ethic of its employees.

“Most of the time, it’s just been me getting out of people’s way,” Beasley said.

Beasley said he has trips planned on behalf of Keeneland over the next several months to Japan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and Kazakhstan.

“I’ve still got work to do, if you call working at Keeneland working, which some don’t,” Beasley said.

About 80 Keeneland employees, past and present, gathered in the winner’s circle after the fifth race for a photo with Beasley and his wife, Jacqueline, an editor for horse-racing publications. As the group posed, Keeneland track bugler Steve Buttleman played just enough notes from Taps to draw a smile from Beasley, before segueing into “When the Saints Go Marching In.”