12 Facts About Churchill Downs


Churchill Downs is a horse racing complex located on Central Avenue in south Louisville, Kentucky, United States, famed for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby.

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Churchill Downs has hosted the renowned Breeders' Cup on nine occasions, most recently on November 2 and 3,2018.

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Track is named for John and Henry Churchill Downs, who leased 80 acres of land to their nephew, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr.

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Churchill Downs's father-in-law, Richard Ten Broeck, was an accomplished horse breeder and trainer, and introduced Clark to horse racing, attending the English Derby at Epsom Downs outside London.

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Churchill Downs filled a void in Louisville left by the closing of Oakland and Woodlawn, two earlier race courses.

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Churchill Downs prospered and the Kentucky Derby then became the preeminent stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses in North America.

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Churchill Downs was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

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On Friday, June 19,2009, Churchill Downs hosted its first-ever night race with an attendance of over 27,000.

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Churchill Downs attributed this to the brutal heat, but others cited high ticket prices in a poor economy.

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Twin spires atop the grandstands are the most recognizable architectural feature of Churchill Downs and are used as a symbol of the track and the Derby.

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From 2001 to 2005, Churchill Downs underwent a three-and-a-half year, $121 million renovation.

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In October 2013, Churchill Downs began installing a new, ultra high-definition video board built by Panasonic, which became operational in time for the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

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