Welcome to one of the most famous horse racing tracks in the world and home of the Kentucky Derby, also known as the "Run for the Roses" and first jewel in the United States Triple Crown. Horse racing’s finest come together at Churchill Downs race track to go head to head.
Churchill Track Layout
The Churchill racing surface includes a one-mile dirt oval as well as the seven-furlong Matt Winn turf course. Churchill is also home of the Kentucky Derby Museum, which draws almost a quarter of a million fans every year who are looking to learn more about the history of America’s most famous race.
Track History & Quick Facts
Despite the formation of the famed Kentucky Jockey Club in 1809, it would be almost 90 years before the first Kentucky Derby would be run at Churchill Downs in 1875. The Kentucky Derby would soon become a mainstay in horse racing heritage and history. A touch of irony capped the first Kentucky Derby, which was won by an African American jockey by the name of Oliver Lewis.
It was under the direction of Col. M. Lewis Clark that the final location for Churchill downs was established, when Clark leased 80 acres of land from his uncles, John and Henry Churchill, using funds that were raised by selling what very well could have been sports first season tickets. Clark sold 320 “memberships” to Churchill downs at a cost of $100.00 each, which was pricey in those days.
While the name Churchill Downs was first associated with the Kentucky horse race track in an 1883 newspaper article, it would not become official until the 1937 incorporation of the fabled grounds. Since that date, Churchill Downs Incorporated has grown into one of the most impressive and profitable horse racing operations in the country, owning and operating many successful racetracks.
The racetracks currently owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated include: Churchill Downs, Arlington Park Race Track, Calder Race Course, Ellis Park, Fairgrounds Race Track and Hoosier Park. Every horse racetrack owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated is pristine and a shining example of what horse racing parks should be.
The popularity of the Kentucky Derby reached new heights in 1952, when the 77th running of the event at Churchill Downs was televised for the first time. Times certainly have changed since that first running of Kentucky Derby telecast at Churchill Downs. Each year, the Kentucky Derby is a major event. If you want to learn more about the Kentucky Derby, you can visit the main website at KentuckyDerby.com. It is full of history, statistics, news, analysis and full information on this year’s running of the Kentucky Derby.
Churchill Downs Betting Odds
When you can’t get to the track, wagering through an online racebook is the best way to get in on the action. Our recommended racebooks give competitive odds, and guaranteed customer service.
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