LEXINGTON, Ky.  — The Breeders’ Cup today announced a $50,000 charitable donation to Nourish Lexington, a community support fund co-founded by Keeneland that prepares and distributes fresh and nutritious meals to those needing immediate access to food. Since April, Nourish has provided over 165,000 meals to individuals suffering from food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This donation will also support Nourish the Backstretch, a program which provides meals to the backstretch community at Keeneland and the Thoroughbred Training Center on Paris Pike. 

“The importance of community has never been more apparent than it has during this difficult year,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Drew Fleming. “Both Nourish Lexington and Nourish the Backstretch are providing essential help to many in the Lexington community, including backstretch workers, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to support their work and are forever grateful to our home town of Lexington for its support and to the dedicated backstretch workers at the heart of our industry.”

Founded in April 2020 in immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FoodChain, VisitLEX, Keeneland and the Murry Foundation created Nourish Lexington. The Nourish model utilizes the talents of displaced hospitality employees, along with local restaurants and catering partners to provide scratch-made meals for the food insecure. Since its inception, Nourish has provided over $70,000 in wages and stipends to hospitality workers and $435,500 to local food growers, suppliers, restaurants and caterers impacted by the pandemic. 

Born out of Nourish Lexington, Nourish the Backstretch is an initiative that specifically targets the backstretch community, providing meals to these vital members of the Thoroughbred industry. Over the course of Breeders’ Cup week and throughout the month of November, Nourish the Backstretch will use the Breeders’ Cup donation to provide meals to backstretch workers at both Keeneland and the Thoroughbred Training Center on Paris Pike including a grab-and-go Thanksgiving Dinner from Keeneland’s Track Kitchen on November 23. Nourish will engage local restaurants and catering partners to provide support for the backstretch effort. Locations and timing for Nourish the Backstretch will be communicated through Keeneland’s Chaplaincy program and the Comó App.

“It’s impossible to overstate the impact of this donation,” said Becca Self, Executive Director of FoodChain. “As we’ve been working to get meals out to vulnerable kids, adults and seniors since mid-March, we’ve only seen the need rise as more people find themselves without jobs or childcare. Many of the families we see report that the meals they receive through Nourish Lexington are the highest quality they’ve had in years, with kids even trying and enjoying new flavors and local ingredients. We know these dishes are providing more than just dietary necessities in these troubled times, and by capitalizing on our local food expertise in preparing them, we truly are able to nourish our community members.”

These latest donations, made in honor of the upcoming 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, mirror efforts Breeders’ Cup has made throughout the pandemic to support the communities hit the hardest.  Previous donations include those made to the following organizations:

  • Race Track Chaplaincy of America – an organization whose purpose is to minister to the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, & educational needs of the workers within the horse racing industry. 
  • USBG National Charity Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Campaign, which bolsters the USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program to support qualified bartenders, bar backs, and bar servers who need financial assistance as a result of a catastrophic event or an emergency hardship. 
  • Restaurant Workers Relief Program – a joint project from Maker’s Mark and the Lee Initiative, a charitable organization formed by Chef Edward Lee in Louisville. It’s a multicity effort to support hourly employees (and out-of-work owners) struggling to make ends meet. Participating cities:  Louisville, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Seattle, Cincinnati, Brooklyn, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, Lexington, Boston, San Francisco, and New Orleans.

For more information about Breeders’ Cup’s ongoing efforts to support the horse racing community and the local Lexington community in these trying times, please visit BreedersCup.com/donate.

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will take place November 6-7 and air live on NBC and NBC Sports Network. As spectators will not be on site due to the pandemic, fans are encouraged to join in the conversation using the hashtag #MyBreedersCup.


The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, will be held on November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky and features a total of $31 million in purses and awards. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.



Jim Gluckson
Breeders’ Cup


Charlotte Goodman
Nike Communications