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Churchill Downs Racetrack is a horse racing complex located on Central Avenue in south Louisville, Kentucky, famed for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby. The racetrack is owned and operated by Churchill Downs Incorporated. With the infield open for the Kentucky Derby, the capacity of Churchill Downs is roughly 170,000.
Current amenities include private luxury sites, integrated simulcast areas, permanent, bright light fixtures for nighttime races, and the Big Board - the world’s largest 4k resolution video screen (171 feet wide by 90 feet tall). The Twin Spires, located above the grandstands, are the venue’s most recognizable architectural feature and the racetrack’s symbol.
Churchill Downs race track 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.
There are typically two race meets (or seasons) at Churchill Downs each year - the Spring Meet and the Fall Meet. The Spring meet is normally about 3 months long while the Fall meet lasts about 1 month. Each year, Churchill Downs plays host to some of the most important stakes events in America. Aside from the Kentucky Derby, major stakes events hosted by the track include the Kentucky Oaks, Clark Handicap, Fleur de Lis Handicap, Falls City Handicap and the Stephen Foster Handicap.
Churchill Downs will be undergoing three major expansion projects coming over the next three years. The first project is the Homestretch Club which will add 3,250 all-inclusive seats:
The second project is the Turn 1 Experience, which will include:
The final project is the Paddock Area Redesign. Churchill plans to transform the existing Paddock area. This project is still early in the design phase. The track hopes the new design will reduce congestion by improving the flow of guests through the Paddock and Plaza areas. The final project is set to debut in 2024 for Derby 150.
700 Central Avenue, Louisville - (502) 636-4450
Louisville, KY 40208