Churchill Downs Racing Events

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Displaying 67 Ticket Results
DateEventEvent 
Apr
29
Sat
6:00 PM
Churchill Downs - Opening Night
Apr
29
Sat
6:00 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
02
Tue
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Derby Week
May
02
Tue
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
03
Wed
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Derby Week
May
03
Wed
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
11
Thu
5:00 PM
Churchill Downs - Twilight Thursday
May
11
Thu
5:00 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
12
Fri
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
May
12
Fri
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
13
Sat
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
May
13
Sat
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
14
Sun
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Mothers Day
May
14
Sun
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
18
Thu
5:00 PM
Churchill Downs - Twilight Thursday
May
18
Thu
5:00 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
19
Fri
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
May
19
Fri
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
20
Sat
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Preakness Race Day
May
20
Sat
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
21
Sun
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
May
21
Sun
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
25
Thu
5:00 PM
Churchill Downs - Twilight Thursday
May
25
Thu
5:00 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
26
Fri
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
May
26
Fri
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
27
Sat
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
May
27
Sat
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
28
Sun
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
May
28
Sun
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
May
29
Mon
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
May
29
Mon
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
01
Thu
5:00 PM
Churchill Downs - Twilight Thursday
Jun
01
Thu
5:00 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
02
Fri
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
Jun
02
Fri
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
03
Sat
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
Jun
03
Sat
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
04
Sun
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Family Adventure Day
Jun
04
Sun
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
08
Thu
5:00 PM
Churchill Downs - Twilight Thursday
Jun
08
Thu
5:00 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
09
Fri
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
Jun
09
Fri
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
10
Sat
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Belmont Race Day
Jun
10
Sat
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
11
Sun
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
Jun
11
Sun
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
15
Thu
5:00 PM
Churchill Downs - Twilight Thursday
Jun
15
Thu
5:00 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
16
Fri
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
Jun
16
Fri
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
17
Sat
6:00 PM
Churchill Downs - Downs After Dark
Jun
17
Sat
6:00 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
18
Sun
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Fathers Day
Jun
18
Sun
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
22
Thu
5:00 PM
Churchill Downs - Twilight Thursday
Jun
22
Thu
5:00 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
Jun
23
Fri
12:45 PM
Churchill Downs - Day At The Races
Jun
23
Fri
12:45 PM
at
Louisville,
KY
Buy
123

Churchill Downs:  Kentucky's Famous Race Track

Churchill Downs is a racetrack for Thoroughbred horses, located in Louisville, Kentucky. The track is most well-known for hosting the Kentucky Derby, one of the most popular annual horse races in America.

The track, which opened in 1875 is named after Henry and John Churchill, two brothers that owned the land which was later leased to their Nephew, Colonel Merriwhether Lewis Clark Jr, the grandson of famous explorer William Clark.

Clark owned a Louisville Jockey Club for horseback riding enthusiasts and was able to get business booming for the track. After all, the new Churchill Downs in town was filling a void in the towns soul after two other popular race tracks closed down.

Horseback racing was extremely popular in Kentucky and Clark knew the city was hungry for a new place to gather to watch the races together.

Clark preferred somewhat longer races to ones that were becoming more popular in the late 1880’s – shorter races and eventually started to run low on finances. Clark sold the track in 1893 to a group led by William Applegate. Following Applegate’s lead, the group started to institute changes to the race, including shortening the length of the race to the length the horses still run to today – a mile and a quarter long.

Location, Location, Location

The track was initially chosen for this location because when Louisville, KY was still fairly rural in all aspects, the acreage was centrally located by two major railroad tracks, the Nashville and Louisville tracks. This prime location made it easy to transport the horses and drew in more racers and spectators.

Churchill Downs is located on Central Avenue in Louisville, which is today one of the largest and most populated cities in Kentucky and all of the Midwest.

To the Mayor goes the Spoils

In the early 1900’s, Applegate was noticing that the business was sinking due in large to the fact that the location was being recognized mainly for its gambling proclivities. In 1902, Applegate decided to sell the track off to the current Mayor of Louisville, Charles Grainger.

Under the Mayor’s supervision is when the track started offering spectators different experiences from exclusively horse racing. Car races and steeplechases ensued and Grainger had a new clubhouse put up to encourage social activities for people of all ages to enjoy from all over the globe. The Kentucky State Fair was also offered for the first time in history on the grounds of Churchill Downs.

Modern Additions

Between the years of 2001 and 2005, the historic landmark thoroughbred racetrack underwent some major renovations. In total, this renovation took over three years to complete and cost over 120 million dollars. The renovation included the refurbishing of the legendary twin spires, which were built the same year of it’s opening in 1875 and the addition of almost 80 luxury suites for spectators to enjoy.

A more cosmetic renovation that took place was the addition of a mural in the clubhouse that depicts 96 winners of the Kentucky Derby from 1875 to 2004. In the summer of 2008, the same artist that painted the original mural, Pierre Bellocq, added an additional mural which depicts trainers and jockeys and updated the original, adding the winners from 2005 and 2006. Bellocq now updates the paintings yearly to add in winners, jockeys and trainers from each and every victory of the Kentucky Derby.

Modern Issues

In June of 2009, Churchill Downs offered spectators their first chance ever to attend a nighttime race. A crowd of over twenty-seven thousand people showed up for the event.

In 2010, Churchill Downs decided to try its hand in the music industry, when it started piecing together the HulabaLOU music festival which was to be inaugurated on the weekend of June twenty-third through the twenty-fifth. The hopes of Churchill Down’s owners were that they could make the festival an annual event, but only 70,000 people out of the expected 100,000 showed up and investors ended up losing millions of dollars. Some people tried to blame the poor attendance rates on the extreme summer heat, but others attributed the failure to expensive tickets in an injured economy. The festival hosting was discontinued.

In addition to finances plummeting after the failed introduction of a new music festival to the Churchill Downs grounds, mother nature decided to take a swing at it as well. The clubhouse, chapel and many of the stables were hit by a tornado in June of 2011. Horses had to be moved from damaged stables to ones that were still standing and repairs had to be made to both the stables and the chapel.

Modern Ownership

Today, Churchill Downs is owned by the Churchill Downs Corporation and prides itself on being the longest standing host of any single sporting event in history. More than fifty-thousand people from all over the world show up in Louisville for this annual event.

Casinos, shopping and hotels line the streets around the track to accommodate spectators at this extremely popular sporting event, which still holds many of the same traditions as it did while under original ownership – including the length of the race.

While gambling may still be a part of Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby is something the whole family can enjoy and there are plenty of activities within the tracks and the general vicinity – including the Kentucky Derby Museum that are appropriate for both children and adults.

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