Lexington residents encouraged to wear purple for upcoming Breeders’ Cup World Championships

Original story by Susan Straub

Time to “Purple Up!,” Mayor Linda Gorton said today, encouraging local businesses and Lexington residents to join her in getting the city to “Purple Up!” for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland.

The two-day world-class sporting event is being held for the third time in the “Horse Capital of the World” on Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5. The Lexington celebration starts earlier with Breeders’ Cup Week, Sunday, Oct. 30, to Saturday, Nov. 5.

“It’s time to welcome the Breeders’ Cup back to Lexington, and that means rolling out the purple carpet for our guests from around the world,” Gorton said. “I’m encouraging every business, as well as our local residents, to show their support with purple attire, purple signage, and purple lights to get into the celebratory spirit of Breeders’ Cup Week.” 

Drew Fleming, President and CEO of the Breeders’ Cup, echoed Mayor Gorton’s declaration, citing the local enthusiasm as a key reason for the return to Central Kentucky. “The level of hospitality – from local businesses and residents – that we receive in Lexington is first-class,” stated Fleming. “As great as the previous two editions were, we think that 2022 could raise the bar even higher for our host market.”

This will be the 39th running of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships – an idea that began with the Kentucky-based Thoroughbred community. 

Lexington’s downtown will join buildings on the University of Kentucky in turning on the purple in conjunction with Breeders’ Cup Week and the Breeders’ Cup Festival. City Center Building and various downtown parking garages are going purple, and don’t miss the special lighting of the Historic Courthouse on Main Street during Breeders’ Cup Week. 

“This is a world-class event that deserves a world-class welcome to our international guests,” Gorton said. “This is the week we show the world why we’re the Horse Capital of the World!”

The Breeders’ Cup Festival runs from Sunday, Oct. 30, to Saturday, Nov. 5. The week is crammed with special events and music, all free. For more information go to the Breeders Cup Festival website.

Mayor Linda Gorton speaks during a Breeders Cup Festival press conference Aug. 11, 2022. Photo by Amy Wallot