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What is Churchill Downs? Everything you need to know


churchill downs

The Churchill Downs in one of the most popular horse racing tracks in the United States. This track is located in Louisville, Kentucky. This track is famously known for being the host of the Kentucky Derby. The first Derby at this track dates all the way back to 1875. From this time on the track has also been the host of the Breeders’ Cup on nine different occasions. This racetrack is able to hold up to 170,000 racing fans.

This racetrack is highly respected and honored in the sport of horse racing. In 2009, the Churchill Downs was ranked the number 5 Thoroughbred racetracks in all of North America by the Horseplayers Association of North America.

You need to know more about the most favorite traditional horse racing in the planet know by Kentucky Derby Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs racetrack in south Louisville, Kentucky, United States. The Kentucky Derby day always started at first Saturday of May detail below.

Location: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky.
Post time: 6:50 p.m. Eastern
TV: NBC Sports Live, 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Why is it called Churchill Downs?

The track is named after the founders, John and Henry Churchill. They leased 80 acres of land to their nephew who was a member of the Louisville Jockey Club and Driving Park Association. The father-in-law was Richard Ten Broeck who was a horse breed as well as a trainer. He introduced the family to horse racing and the Downs allowed Louisville to join in this sport.

In 1902, the day to day operations of the track was under the management of Charles F Grainger, who was the mayor of Louisville. He brought on new members to help him run and operate this track. The track did very well and was asked to be the home of the Kentucky Derby. Once this race came to the Downs, new facilities were built in order to attract fans. The State Fair was also held on these grounds. Horseracing continued at this track for many years.

In 1986, the Downs was made a National Historic Landmark. In 2009, the Downs hosted a race night and over 27,000 people showed up for this event.

How much does it cost to go to Churchill Downs?

Churchill Downs tickets start at $5.00 per adult for General admissions only for Spring, September and Fall Meets.

What town is Churchill Downs in?


How old is Churchill Downs?

From 1875 to 2019 – 145

Facilities at the Track

The grandstands are one of the most well-known features of the Downs besides the race track. The stand was designed back in 1895 by Joseph Dominic Baldez. The Churchill Downs still has the one-mile dirt track for the racing and the track is 80 feet in circumference. The starting gate is 120 feet wide. There is also a turf track that is located within the main track for other runs.

In 2001 a $121 million renovation began at the Churchill Downs. A modern clubhouse constructed and there are 79 luxury suites in the new clubhouse. The twin spires were also refurbished. There is now a mural that was designed by Pierre Bellocq in the clubhouse. This mural shows 96 jockeys that won the Kentucky Derby race from 1975 to 2004. There was a new mural added to include more recent winners of the race. There is an update to the mural done annually to include the new winner of the Kentucky Derby.

The Churchill Downs in an American landmark. This famous horse racing track is loved by those in the racing world and is one of the most famous and prestigious tracks in the entire world.

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2019 Road to the Kentucky Derby the graded stakes race

The 2019 Kentucky Derby is the 145th running held annually on the first Saturday on May 4, 2019, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky and the Derby presented by Woodford Reserve. This year the event purse is increased from US$2 million to US$3 million where three-year-old Thoroughbreds 20 horses are ready to the 2019 Road to the Kentucky Derby the graded stakes race.

The 2019 graded stakes race Kentucky Derby will be televised by NBC and NBCSN TV network begins at 12:30 pm EDT and the main showdown will start time at 2:30 pm EDT. If you want to stream the Kentucky Derby 2019 live just stay with us from here.

The Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest events in horse racing. Many wonder how it is decided what horses will participate in the race. The Road to the Kentucky Derby will explain how a horse qualifies for this race.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby is a point system to determine the position that a horse will qualify for at this race. The system looks at a dozen or more races that two to three-year-old thoroughbred horses have competed in over a two year period and how they finished. This system replaced a qualification system that looked at all different races all over the world.

There are 20 positions at the gates of the Kentucky Derby race. There is a spot that is reserved for the winter of the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby race. If they pass on this space the position is offered to the next horse from this race. There are up to four horse that can be offered this position. If they decline it is moved onto the American qualifications. In 2018, the European Road to the Kentucky Derby was also included and horses there were offered positions as well.

Once offers have been made to the Japanese and European winners, the top finishers in the Road to Kentucky Derby races will be offered a spot. There are 24 horses that are selected. If any of the top 20 horses are scratched from the race one of these horses can take their place.

If two horses are tied in points they will have a race to determine which horses are entered and if they are graded or not. There is more than just horses that have done well that are entered into this race. There is an entire point system that will determine which horses are invited to this main race.

Kentucky Derby

People all across the world seem to recognize the Kentucky Derby. It is a famous horse racing event that draws in a lot of attention. Guests pack the arena at Churchill Downs, which is found in the city of Lexington. The Kentucky Derby holds a special place in horse racing events for a good reason. It is the first of the famous Triple Crown series of races and attracts top talent to be sure. True fans have kept up with the culture and legacy of the Kentucky Derby over the decades. People genuinely appreciate the race and want to see it continue.

 The Kentucky Derby:

As the name implies, the race is held within the state of Kentucky. That has given the state name recognition for a worldwide audience over the years. People recognize the Kentucky Derby as the top rated racing event and for a good reason. Thoroughbred horses are brought to the track to showcase their skills during a premier racing event. Jockeys have become famous because of their participation in the event itself too. That brings together a lot of talent for the event held each year. Spectators and media outlets line the track to get a glimpse of these horses as they race.

The surface of the track is dirt and the course runs for 10 furlongs. That measures out to around 1.25 miles from start to finish. It takes just a couple minutes for the race to wind down. That has earned the race a nickname, entitled “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” The Kentucky Derby is proud of its heritage and welcomes new guests each year too. Louisville has become a center for horse racing as a result. People recognize the state as a leader for horse breeding and racing. That has given new identity to the state as a result too.


The race got its start in 1875 and has grown in popularity ever since. Surprisingly, the Kentucky Derby has been held every year since the founding date. The Preakness and Belmont races have been put on hiatus on a couple of occasions. But the Kentucky Derby has not missed a year so far. That is despite two World Wars during its history as well. Major news agencies have begun to cover the Kentucky Derby since that year. Traditionally, horses must be at least 3 years old to enter the race. Only a few exceptions have entered the race since it was first started.

Many fans know that few horses go on to win the entire Triple Crown. Only recently did owners start sending their horses to the Preakness and Belmont races afterwards. The Kentucky Derby is a strenuous event and challenges all horses that enter the race. Sir Barton won the entire Triple Crown in 1919 for the first time. Gallant Fox became the second horse to win the Triple Crown in 1930. Since 1931, the Kentucky Derby has always been the first of the Triple Crown races being held. Secretariat set the fastest completion time in 1973, winning the race after just 1 minute and 59.4 seconds. That record has stood ever since and the race is largely the same to today.


After a century of races, much tradition has emerged around the Kentucky Derby. Fans and spectators arrive in clothes that reflect the past style of the race itself. Special hats and dresses are worn by upscale women at the race. Men typically wear rustic suits and attire fit for a bygone era. The Kentucky Derby is considered to be an upscale event in its own right. It is social and people gather together to mingle during the race itself. The Derby atmosphere features Southern Hospitality and a certain international flair too. Different cultures meet and discuss the ongoing race as it unfolds. These traditions add to the excitement that people enjoy when they arrive.

The Mint Julep is a classic drink that will be served to guests. It is alcoholic and uses a white rum as the base ingredient. Cane sugar is mixed with white rum and served in a clear glass. Mint leaves are ground and then added to the drink. The mixture is shaken and poured over ice cubes. The end result is a memorable drink that patrons seem to really enjoy. Guests always come back and request a mint julep at the Kentucky Derby. Bartenders need to know how to make a mint julep if they want to serve at the event itself. Souvenir glasses are offered to guests and often dated with the year of a race.

Many spectators line the infield to get a close up view of the race. General admission is charged and many guests are willing to pay any fee. The cost for general admission is kept low and the public looks forward to the race. There are box seats that line the upper deck at Churchill Down’s. They are often referred to as “Millionaire’s Row” and will be assigned to wealthy patrons. That generates plenty of revenue for the race and keeps people actively engaged. The Kentucky Derby is a lucrative event and has earned its place among horse racing fans.

 The Run for the Roses:

Winners at the Kentucky Derby are given roses for their prize. A blanket of 554 roses is actually awarded each year to the winner. That has given the nickname of the “run for the roses” to the Kentucky Derby. That adds an incentive and lasting fame to the jockey and horse that win the race. People admire the style that the run for the roses introduces. With its founding in 1875, the rose became the official flower of the race. That stuck and fans look forward to that ceremony each year.

Other rose presentation events have been showcased at the Kentucky Derby. It was once popular to hand roses out to ladies at the event. The presentation became official in 1896 and has stuck with the race ever since. The Kentucky Derby has even inspired songs that center around roses. That has added to the fame and legacy of the race itself.