My Day at Churchill Downs
If you are not able to attend the famous, colorful, magnificent, and extraordinarily memorable experience of the fabulous Kentucky Derby at the exciting Churchill Downs in south Louisville, Kentucky, you can still get a feel for the historic Thoroughbred racetrack by taking an exceptional walking tour and by visiting the historic museum and other attractions there. The Track is conveniently located off the interstate about 15 minutes from downtown Louisville.
The beauty of one of Kentucky’s well-known attractions includes the awesome structure, the exceptional flowers in the summer, and the neatly-kept grounds. Definitely see the impressive and informative 4D movie on the 360 screen, and don’t forget to experience their famous and delicious Mint Julep!
Opened in May of 1875, Churchill Downs held the first Kentucky Derby that year with three-year-old Thoroughbreds. The commitment has been to continue to provide the very best in racing, entertainment, and gaming ever since with its capacity of approximately 170,000. The site has also hosted the Breeders’ Cup nine times, with the most recent being on November 2 and 3, 2018.
Kentucky Derby Purse Raised to $3 Million
The 145th running of the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby for three-year-olds on Saturday, May 4, 2019, will be the richest in history. The purse for the first leg of the famous horse racing’s Triple Crown will be elevated to $3 million, which is a substantial $1 million increase. The winner will receive the gold trophy plus a $1.86 million payday.
Historic Walking Tour
Included free with General Admission and needing no reservation, you can take a daily 30-minute guided walking tour of the Racetrack’s behind the scenes areas that are not open to the general public by a personable and very knowledgeable guide and learn about the rich history, jockeys, owners, and fun facts about the past Derby races.
You are able to walk to the paddock and out to the grandstand and get to see the jockeys’ training and locker rooms and the Millionaires Rows. In the Club level, you can stand where Queen Elizabeth stood on her visit here. You see the old original building known as the Jockey Club with iconic Twin Towers, the tunnels, horses training, and the Backside which is a village that houses hundreds of horses and their keepers.
This spectacular tour is available year-round at half past every hour except being suspended during Derby Week. Monday through Saturday the hours are 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.
The Kentucky Derby Museum
Two floors of family-friendly interactive exhibits take visitors through a Thoroughbred’s life from birth to May’s First Saturday, the day of the Kentucky Derby. Learn the history and traditions of the race from the opening to the most recent Kentucky Derby champion. The permanent collection houses unique personal mementos, photographs, awards, trophies, library books, artwork and more that detail the heritage and history of the Sport of Kings.