Churchill Downs is a famous race track in Kentucky, USA. It was opened officially on 17 May, 1875, almost a hundred years after the first racecourse was laid out in Lexington in the year 1789.It was developed by Col. M Lewis Clark, a 26-year old who came up with the idea of a jockey club that conducted race meets, the Louisville Jockey Club.
Col. Clark started work on the track to showcase the breeding industry in Kentucky. Though the first public notice of establishment of the track was in May, 1874, and he raised funds by selling 320 $100 subscriptions for a total of $32,000. The track was set on 80 acres of land that belonged to his uncles, and was finally incorporated as Churchill Downs in 1937. Today, it is home of the hugely popular and famous Kentucky Derby, a race where the winner gets a gold trophy and about 1.24 million in prize money in the coming season.
More about Churchill Downs
Today, the Churchill Downs race track is the flagship operation of Churchill Downs Incorporated. You can check out all the latest racing schedules, along with the latest news clippings on the Churchill Downs website by clicking the Derby Experiences Packages tab. You can also get a virtual tour of the Churchill Downs track complex on the website.
At the complex, there are a lot of things to see for first-timers, including the largest equine museum in the world. This is an interactive facility where a visitor can experience the race and its atmosphere as a jockey. It also comes with a gift shop that has loads of thoroughbred memorabilia and books. There are guided tours by experts that take you through the different parts of the ground. During the tour, you get to see the different areas and places of activity in the complex, including the paddocks, the special stables, and the different plaques – there is one for every horse that won the Derby. You will also hear about Secretariat and also about some of the famous jockeys who competed here. And then there is the official clock and also the Winner’s Circle area to check out. You can also go to the restaurant in the complex and feast on some great food and sip on a mint julep, which is more like the Derby’s official drink.
Tickets and Seating at Churchill Downs
The starting price for tickets to the Churchill Downs race track is $10. There are higher priced areas of course, with some of them being exclusively for the rich and the celebrities. Other seating areas include the Matt Winn Dining Room, jockey Club Suites, the Stakes and Aristides Room, and Millionaires Row.
The races are organized here between April and early July, and again in the fall between late October and late November. You can also visit in summer if you just want to check the place out and are not really into racing. There is no dress code when it comes to general admission. However, there are specific instructions on race-day attire at the Churchill Downs website. You can also check up on the ticket prices for the different races at the website.