• How Much?

    Posted on November 10, 2014 by in Events

    Many times, the first question I hear is “How much does it cost to have an event at The Thoroughbred Center?” That is a very difficult question to answer conclusively and the last thing I want to do is give you incorrect information. So to help you out, I’ve done a little research for you about the total cost of doing business with The Thoroughbred Center.

    • 40% of the events at The Thoroughbred Center cost LESS than $2,000.
    • 40% of the events at The Thoroughbred Center cost between $2,000 and $4,000.
    • 20% of the events at The Thoroughbred Center cost MORE than $4,000.
    • The AVERAGE cost of having an event at The Thoroughbred Center is $3,000.
      These numbers are from events we have completed over the last six months (April 2014 – October 2014). Given that prices increase over time, it is always best to call us for the most up-to-date pricing.

    What exactly causes the prices to vary so much? There are TWO main variables I see come into play at The Thoroughbred Center:

    Guest List – The number of people on your guest list is the most influential number of all. It can make or break your budget. Whether it is the amount of food, the number of cake servings, how much rental furniture to order, or the size of venue, it is all directly linked to that important number. If you are trying to think of ways to lower your budget, start by reducing your guest list.

    Catering and Alcohol – Food and beverage go hand-in-hand with the guest list. Menu prices can vary widely depending on what is served and how it is served. For instance, appetizers are not necessarily cheaper than a buffet and a buffet is not always cheaper than a plated, served meal. The important thing is to set a budget and work within those parameters.

    Every event at The Thoroughbred Center is handled individually. We will customize your event to suit your needs, whatever they may be. The numbers above are simply a tool to help quantify the question: “How much?” Thank you for taking time out of your day to visit us!

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  • How Soon Should I Book My Wedding Venue?

    Posted on August 4, 2014 by in Events

    http://darrinballman.com  Darrin Ballman Photography
    How Soon Should I Book My Wedding Venue?

    Whether you have dreamed about it all your life or never thought you would get married, the beginning phases of wedding planning can be truly overwhelming. With all the bridal magazines, wedding websites and well-meaning relatives, many people struggle with “where to start.” I may be a little biased…okay more than a little…but I think booking the venue should be at the top of your To-Do List. After all, until you have a venue, do you really have a wedding date?

    The question of how soon to book a venue is answered in different ways across the internet and the “industry standard” response is anywhere from 9 to 12 months in advance. Generically speaking, I agree with this answer. However, everyone has a different length of engagement and not all venues book up at the same rate. If there is a certain date that you have your heart set on or one that holds special significance to you and your fiancé, you will want to book that date as soon as possible regardless of the time of year.

    If you aim to have your wedding in the months of June or October, book your venue at least 12 to 14 months in advance. June is the biggest wedding month of the year. In Lexington, October is just as busy because so many wonderful events happen at that time. Should you be having a short engagement and also want to get married in one of these two months, you will need to be more flexible on a date. Choosing a non-Saturday date greatly improves your chance of finding a venue available on shorter notice.

    If you’re thinking sometime in April, May or September, 9 to 12 months in advance should be sufficient. These are still popular months in Lexington, just not as popular as June or October. July, August, November and December are a tad bit slower to fill up, so you could wait 6 to 9 months in advance for those months. January and February are the slowest months so 3 to 6 months still gives you a good chance of finding an open date.

    Booking a venue is setting your wedding date. It is at that point when your wedding starts to become very tangible. The venue you select will set the tone for the entire wedding. Whether you get married on a beach or on a farm, the venue will color your opinion on dresses, centerpieces, décor or even the food served. A Great Gatsby-themed wedding will require a completely different venue than a Shabby Chic wedding and the right venue provides the best foundation to support all the details of your big day.

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  • Drink

    How Much Alcohol Do I Buy For My Wedding Reception?

    Posted on July 2, 2014 by in Events

    So it’s getting down to crunch time for your wedding and you need to figure out how much alcohol to purchase. At some venues, there is a straight forward “per person” policy so all you need to do is figure out how many people are coming and what level of alcohol you want served. At other venues, it is not so straight forward. Here are a few things to consider when deciding how much alcohol to purchase for your special day.

    What kind of bar do you want? At The Thoroughbred Center, we offer a Cash Bar, Open Bar or Combination Bar. This offers a variety of options depending on your wants, needs and budget.

    If you want an Open Bar, what kind of alcohol do you want to purchase for your guests? At the majority of the events we do, beer and wine is part of the Open Bar and anything else is available for purchase at the Cash Bar.

    How many drinkers will be there? Get only enough alcohol for the people who will drink it. If your guest list is at 150 but only 100 will drink alcohol, buy for 100 people.

    How long will the bar be open? If it is 5 hours, you will need more alcohol than if it is 3 hours. Will every single person stay the whole time? Probably not. They also tend to slow down as the event progresses. You could allot 2 drinks per drinker in the first hour. In the second hour, allot half of the drinkers a third drink. In the third hour, allot a quarter of the drinkers a fourth drink and so on. This is helpful to determine the quantity of alcohol needed for the whole night. Keep in mind this is an approximation.

    What do people favor? Beer? Wine? Both equally? If you have more beer drinkers than wine drinkers, you will need more beer than wine.

    A Cash Bar. Some people may be put off by the idea of a Cash Bar. My opinion is, it is your wedding, do what feels right to you. If you are opting to have a Cash Bar with your Open Bar, you can give your guests more options without the added expense to you. There will always be a handful of people that will prefer their favorite spirit over a beer or wine. Plus, if you run out of what you purchased ahead of time, the cash bar can stay open. At The Thoroughbred Center, you can even keep the Open Bar going by starting a tab for your guests.

    What is your budget? What price point are you comfortable with? Work with your venue or vendors ahead of time and you won’t have to worry about that unexpected bar bill at the end of the night.

    If you have concerns about something specific for your event, be sure to voice that to the wedding professionals assisting you. Seek one out if you need help. That is why we are here.

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  • Improvements in the Lounge

    Posted on May 11, 2012 by in Events


    Happy Friday Everyone!

    We wanted to let you all know about some exciting new changes that have happened here at The Thoroughbred Center! As of last week, our Lounge has had an amazing 15 X 15 dance floor and the most beautiful new carpet installed! We are so excited about the fresh, updated look of the room and couldn’t wait to share photos with you all.

    The installation crew spent two whole days here with us and took care of every last detail.  The new carpet is so bouncy and fun to walk on, we couldn’t help but have our own mini “dance party” when it was installed! The carpet and dance floor are the perfect enhancements to accentuate the beautiful equestrian elegance of the Lounge. We couldn’t be happier with the way that it turned out and hope you are too.

    Just another wonderful reason for you to drop by sometime and visit us here at The Thoroughbred Center! Come by anytime during the week and check out the updated new Lounge and say hello. We would love to see you!

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  • Happy Down Syndrome Day!

    Posted on March 21, 2012 by in Uncategorized

    Grab This Button


    For the past two years, The Thoroughbred Center has had the honor of hosting Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky’s Annual Buddy Walk. We get to do be a part of something so magical for them and are thrilled to be able to host the Buddy Walk again this year. Come out and join us October 6th to celebrate the extra chromosome!

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  • Holding Area

    Posted on March 4, 2012 by in Events

    The “Holding Area” is a very large, casual event space. When seeing the room for the first time, it looks a bit like a cross between a barn and a warehouse.

    This 8,800 square-foot room can accommodate up to 500 people seated or 1,000 people standing! It’s perfect for large dances, reunions, and fundraisers.

    Don’t be fooled… it can be the perfect space for your formal event too!

    With a little creativity, this room can be absolutely transformed into a beautiful space for your wedding and wedding reception.

    For more information, please contact our Event Coordinator or call (859) 293-1853.

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  • Lounge

    Posted on March 4, 2012 by in Events

    Each year, The Thoroughbred Center hosts dozens of special events. They vary from weddings and wedding receptions to school dances, birthday parties, seminars, charity fundraisers and much much more.

    The most formal room at The Thoroughbred Center is call the Lounge. This 2,400 square-foot room can accommodate 200 guests for sit down dinners, less if dancing is desired. Provided with the room rental is enough seating for 100 people.

    A beautiful bar lies opposite the brick fireplace. Catering and Bar Services can be provided. Please visit our website for sample menus and contact our Event Coordinator for additional details.

    The Lounge is the perfect space for weddings, wedding receptions, holiday parties, small corporate functions, social dances, dinner parties, and more. If you are interested in booking the Lounge, please contact The Thoroughbred Center at (859) 293-1853 to arrange a site visit.

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  • Horseshoes

    Planning a Kentucky Derby Wedding

    Posted on January 30, 2012 by in Equine, Events

    A Kentucky Derby themed wedding is a great way to show off pride for your hometown and treat your guests to a true Kentucky experience.  A Derby wedding isn’t just for horse lovers ; it’s a way for everyone to blend old traditions with modern trends. There are plenty of ways to create the look and feel of this Southern tradition just about anywhere.

    Here at the Thoroughbred Center we have two rooms perfect for a Kentucky Derby wedding: the Lounge, which features a formal equestrian theme, or the Holding Area, which features a barn-like atmosphere.

    Menu items should include foods that you’ll find uncommon outside Kentucky such as hot browns, burgoo, fried chicken, beer cheese, bourbon balls and derby pie.

    Mini Hot Browns are a Favorite at The Thoroughbred Center!

      Believe it or not, Kentucky is also very well known for its unique beverages such as Ale-8, Kentucky Ale beers and local bourbons including Maker’s Mark, Four Roses and Woodford Reserve.  The most important drink at any Derby wedding is the classic Mint Julep.

    Make Your Own Mint Julep Table

    The Kentucky Derby is known worldwide for its unique attire and it’s fashion has even been compared to the royal wedding.  Your wedding will be no exception.  Extravagant hats for the ladies and pastel or seersucker suits for the men is a staple for any Derby event.

    The Derby and horseracing in general have many staple items such roses, horseshoes, betting, barrels, hay and ribbons that can be incorporated into all of your wedding decorations in fun new ways.

    Run for the Roses Cake

    Horseshoe Place Cards

    Place Cards Race Flags 

    Entertainment for the Children 

    Entertainment for the Adults 



    Dessert Table

    There are many different ways to create a Kentucky Derby wedding while incoporating your personal styles.  Here are some of our favorite ideas:

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  • Wedding Proposal

    Congratulations, You’re Engaged! Now Don’t Freak Out

    Posted on January 21, 2012 by in Events
    Originally posted on www.huffingtonpost.com
    Founder, Lion in the Sun

    The holidays are an obvious time of year to pop the big question. Gift giving abounds, big family gatherings and holiday parties make the perfect setting for an elaborate proposal.  The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are the most popular time of the year for engagements.

    Keep in mind, the minute you say are getting hitched you are bombarded by wedding planning questions, options and suggestions. It can be overwhelming even to seasoned wedding professionals.

    We see so many brides and grooms (usually in early January and February) come in with glazed, slightly frantic looks on their faces from the anxiety of planning a wedding.  They don’t know what to do first or exactly where to start, they just know that everyone wants answers and they have already forgotten the whole reason why they are planning the wedding in the first place… they love each other and have chosen to make a lifelong commitment!  Take time to think about what works best for you as a couple and for your families and then jump into the pool with a clear direction and a joyful vision.

    Savor the moment:  First and foremost, enjoy it!  Although it is so tempting to run out and start planning your wedding the day you say “yes!” you will have plenty of time to plan. Take a deep breath and bask in the joy and glory of your newly engagedness for at least a week before you run out to try on dresses and definitely before you put down any money on anything.

    In my own engagement, my husband proposed on Christmas Eve and we were excited to share the news with BOTH our entire families who would be together on Christmas Day.  By the end of Christmas Day we had a fully formed guest list, an ideal location, type of music and menu already chosen by our families. And while it was fun to have the input, my husband and I never really had a chance to just enjoy being engaged and not planning a wedding.   I know my New Year’s was ruined frantically looking for locations for not only a reception but also for a rehearsal dinner.

    Get a manicure:  Show off your new ring because it is a fun and special time and, although it’s weird (or at least it was to me) that everyone wants to just see your ring, it is true they really do. So feel great about it and enjoy being pampered for a moment.

    Be cool: I have even heard the suggestion of not telling everyone right away. Although I admit for most of us we are so excited to share the good news it would be impossible to keep the secret for very long. A wedding planner recently told me some sage advice:  it is worth it to take your time so you are sure you can enjoy the process and take pleasure in ruminating on the right decision. I agree with that only if you are not the type of person who will make yourself crazy over every single decision and then spend the next 18 months making yourself, your fiancé, and your friends insane over the minute details.

    The big downside to telling everyone about the wedding you are going to have is that then everyone thinks they are also invited. Which is a really fast way to mushroom your guest list and your budget through the roof before your even start planning. One recent client of ours sent a save the date to about 200 guests and then realized that they were caught up in the frenzy of a big wedding which really wasn’t what they wanted. So they ran off to elope and had to send an “oops, don’t save the date, we’ve changed our minds” card.

    Start with what you know: Think about the weddings you have been to, talk to friends who have gotten married, and look at a few magazines or websites. But please do not stop doing everything else in favor of wedding planning right away.  Your really don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are lots of people who have walked this path before and use their wisdom, experience and references. Think about what are the meaningful, important elements. What does it mean to you to get married? What do you want to make sure to include in your ceremony and in your day? Who do you want to honor, who do you want to invite, what is the message you want to send to your family and friends?  Discuss these questions together and give some real thought to what is most important to both of you.

    Have a meeting of the minds:  When you are ready, in a week or so, sit down with everyone involved.  This might just be you and your fiancé, or parents and siblings, or a wedding planner if you are hiring one.   Have a meeting of the minds; a frank, open conversation about everyone’s wishes for your wedding day.  Usually that includes the bride, the groom, all involved parents, and anyone else who may be contributing financially. Discuss openly your visions, your hopes and, yes, your limitations, such as budget, location, menus, etc.  The key to this is to let everyone contribute to the conversation.  Get everything out on the table.  Remember, this is an important day for EVERYONE and the entire planning process will be so much more enjoyable for all if you try (as hard as it may be sometimes) to accommodate something that is really important to each person. While you may think putting “steam-punk attire” on your invites is a great idea, your parent’s friends probably have no idea what that it.

    Get it all down:  Now that you have everyone’s input, try and create a clear vision in your mind of your day and the elements that are important to you and put it on paper. You can do this with tear sheets, a list of four or five inspirational adjectives, and a few favorite color choices. Don’t forget to EDIT!  Less is more and while there are a lot of beautiful things out there, you can’t have it all combined in one event.

    Take this time to define your realistic timeline, design vision and BUDGET before you delve into your location search.  It will help in the planning process to weed out what is not right for you and help guide your way through the very overwhelming world of wedding planning and really save you time in the long run.

    Pick the location first:  It is so tempting to run out and start trying on dresses but as a wedding planner recently told me, in her excitement she bought a dress before choosing a location. And ultimately the dress she had already purchased was way too formal for the location so she had to buy a new dress.

    How many people, and what are the demographics? Do you have many relatives who are elderly and will have trouble with long flights of stairs or many friends with small children who you need to accommodate?  Is there air conditioning?  Enough offsite lodging?  It is well worth your time to think these things through before you rush out and sign a contract on a location that might not fit you in the long run.

    Relax!:  Keep in perspective the difference between a wedding and a marriage. The wedding is a party — a significant day celebrating the most important relationship of your life; a fabulous, fun and memorable milestone.  Don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy that you have found love, revel, and celebrate your union, and remember to have fun!

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    Ex-Racehorse Stars in War Horse

    Posted on December 21, 2011 by in Equine

    war horse movie 2 Four More Images Press Release For Steven Spielbergs War Horse Debut Trailer For Steven Spielberg’s War Horse

    This was brought to you by Thoroughbred Times

    Ex-racehorse stars in War Horse

    By Liane Crossley

    As a racehorse, Finders Key was a failure. In his second career, he is a phenomenon as one of the stars of Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated screen adaptation of the hit play War Horse, set to open on December 25.

    Hollywood horse master Bobby Lovgren recognized Finders Key as an exceptional talent during filming for Seabiscuit and purchased him when the project was completed. He was so confident in the 12-year-old California-bred’s exceptional ability that he had him flown to England for the taping of War Horse.

    “He is the best horse I’ve ever had,” Lovgren told Cowboys & Indians.“He’s truly amazing. The wilder looking things he’s so very good at—the fast things that make you believe the horse is scared or panicked. Those kinds of situations are very hard to train—the emotions—and he’s very good and believable at portraying them. He has so much animation and personality. It just brings much more to the table. He’s very confident.”

    War Horse is set in Europe during World War I and centers on the bond between a farmer’s young son and his horse, Joey. The two are separated when Joey is sold as a cavalry mount, but the boy vows they will reunite.

    Before being recruited for Seabiscuit, Finders Key was unplaced in three starts for a $2,500 claiming price at Los Alamitos as a juvenile in 2002. He campaigned for Vincent Timphony—best known as the trainer of inaugural Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Wild Again—and his wife, Scarlett and was trained by Arthur Curly Ortiz. By the Roberto stallion Lindsey’s Roberto, he is out of the winning Key to the Mint mare, Thru the Keyhole. Finders Key was bred in California by James J. Linsdey.

    Liane Crossley is a freelance writer based in Lexington

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