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  • Writer's pictureBrian Childress

The Kentucky Derby - Churchill Downs

(Photos by Pamela and Hannah Childress)

Churchill Downs is a horse racing complex located on Central Avenue in south Louisville, Kentucky, famed for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby. It officially opened in 1875 and was named for Samuel Churchill, whose family was prominent in Kentucky for many years. The first Kentucky Derby, a Thoroughbred sweepstakes and part of today's horse racing Triple Crown, and the first Kentucky Oaks, were held in the same year. Churchill Downs has also hosted the renowned Breeders' Cup on nine occasions, most recently on November 2 and 3, 2018.

The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, almost always on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The competition is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of one and a quarter miles at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds and fillies 121 pounds.

Conversations/Things we learned:

This was very educational about both the history of Churchill Downs and horse racing. Planning your tour day will impact the tours you are able to go on. On race days you are not able to go to the stables or into the seating area. You are able to go down to see the track.

Children of all ages will enjoy the interactive displays in the museum - riding in a virtual race and betting on virtual races.

The “race track” video is a must see and be sure to follow the life of a thoroughbred (it shows the love and care given to these beautiful animals).

The cafe is busy but the food is worth the wait. You must try the bread pudding, one piece is big enough to share.

Enjoy your tour and maybe even put on a hat and enjoy the races.

Contact Information:

Churchill Downs700 Central Ave, Louisville, KY, 40208

Phone: (502) 636.4400



The Museum


Race Track

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