Churchill Downs is the most iconic racetrack in North America. With its famed twin spires overlooking the track, Churchill Downs has been the host of some of the greatest races in history and is home to the most exciting two minutes in sports – the Kentucky Derby. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, the track was rated 18th by the Horseplayer’s Association of North America in 2015.
Churchill Downs Betting Sites
A variety of racebook sites provide wagering enthusiasts with the opportunity to bet on the biggest races at Churchill Downs, including the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. Many offer a wide range of deposit bonuses, betting rebates and special betting events that allow you to get even more bang for your buck when playing races from Churchill Downs.
Churchill Downs Track Layout
Churchill Downs has two tracks – the main track is a one mile dirt oval that is roughly 80 feet wide. There is also a 120 foot wide section which accommodates the oversized starting gate for the Kentucky Derby. Inside the main track, there is a seven-furlong turf course which is also about 80-feet wide. The infield of Churchill Downs hosts one of the most raucous parties at the Kentucky Derby and is also home to “The Big Board”, a massive Panasonic high-definition video board that debuted in 2014 – at the time, the 171 x 90 foot screen was the largest high definition board ever built.
Track History & Quick Facts
Churchill Downs opened in 1875 and that year, held the Kentucky Derby for the first time. The Kentucky Derby has been run every year since then without fail making it the oldest continually run sporting event in American history.
Churchill Downs hosts two separate three separate race meets over the course of the year. Their spring meet begins at the end of April and traditionally runs through July. From there, a short meet is held in September and then the fall meet begins in late October and closes in late November, typically Thanksgiving Weekend.
In addition to the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks, Churchill Downs has been the host site for the Breeders’ Cup eight times, most recently in 2011. The Breeders’ Cup is scheduled to return underneath the Twin Spires in 2018. Churchill Downs also hosts two major stakes races for older horses – the Clark Handicap and the Stephen Foster. The Stephen Foster is held in June and the Clark is held in November. Both are Grade 1 events and are both contested at a mile and an eighth with a $500,000 purse.
When the infield is open for the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs has the capacity for 170,000 fans and the Kentucky Derby is always a sold-out event. The attendance options range from the infield revelry to the highest end seating on Millionaire’s Row.