- Associated Press - Saturday, April 18, 2015

CORBIN, Ky. (AP) - Keeneland officials have unveiled details of a quarter-horse track planned in southeastern Kentucky.

Keeneland Association Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Vince Gabbert released preliminary drawings last week for Thunder Gap in Corbin. The renderings show a 1,723-foot racetrack, grand stand seating, two horse barns, a facility for entertainment and seven lots that can be used for business and hotel development. Plans call for the facility to be located on more than 50 acres near the Corbin bypass in Knox County, The Times-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1FU2G6z) reported.

“We’ve been working on this for several years and it’s finally come to fruition,” Gabbert said. “I’ve never seen a project that has the support of local officials the way this has.”

Before construction can begin, the property needs about $3 million in improvements. Keeneland also needs a license from the Kentucky Racing Authority and it is still finalizing the purchase of the land.

Project manager Ed Worley says he expects to break ground this summer and have the track completed sometime next year.

“To do a project of this magnitude it takes two things,” Worley said. “A progressive, forward thinking community and a great partner in the private sector, and I think that’s what you’ve got here.”

Thunder Gap is expected to generate $10 million in tax revenues over the next five years and up to 150 permanent jobs.

Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney attended the announcement and expressed his support for the track.

“I would like to welcome Keeneland to Corbin,” McBurney said. “This day has been a long-anticipated day.”

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Information from: The Times-Tribune, http://www.thetimestribune.com

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