Churchill Downs Racetrack is located at south Louisville, which is one of the top thoroughbred racing tracks in the world. For the horse racing enthusiasts, the twin spires on top of the grandstands of the Churchill Downs are one of the recognizable architectural symbols. This is also widely considered to be the symbol of Derby. These spires are constructed back in 1895 by the Churchill Downs Inc. who is the operators of this thoroughbred racing track. The maximum occupancy of Churchill Downs is 50,000; however the count odes beyond 150,000 on derby days.
The history of Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs was built by Col. M. Lewis Clark with an objective of showcasing the breeding industry of Kentucky. The first reference of Churchill Downs was in 1883, whereas the place was famous for Kentucky Derby held since the year 1875. Now, the total area of Churchill Downs is expanded to nearly 147 acres of land. Apart from Derby, Churchill Down also hosted Kentucky Oaks as well as Breeders’ Cup on several occasions.
Back in 2009, Horseplayers Association of North America had developed a rating system to evaluate the Thoroughbred racing tracks across North America. Among 65 of these, Churchill Downs Race Track got the rank of #5.
The main dirt track of Churchill Downs is about a mile in its total circumference, which is 80-feet wide. At the starting gate, the width is 120 foot. There is also a secondary turf track at Churchill Downs, which is located inside the main dirt track. The turf track is 7/8th of a mile in its circumference and the width is the same as 80 feet. Apart from the dirt and turf racing tracks, Churchill Downs also features a clubhouse, amply spacious stables. You may find More on Churchill Downs track at the official portal. Another major attraction for the travelers is the museum.
Kentucky Derby Museum
Kentucky Derby Museum is located at the ground of the Churchill Downs, which tells the history of American Thoroughbred horse racing and Kentucky Derby. The museum was opened in 1985, and major funding for it came in the form of a donation from James Graham Brown. The museum has two floors and a 360-degree theater also where you can see the HD quality records of the greatest races in Derby.
There are many exhibits and other films too here for the visitors to learn about many things like breeding and training of the foals and the paths taking them to the winner circle of Kentucky Derby. The visitors can watch the Derby’s from 1918 to till date. The exhibits of the museum tell volumes of them owners, jockeys, and trainers, as well as the thoroughbred, starts. There are guided tours offered to the travelers to explore the infield areas and bards of the Churchill Downs, jockeys’ quarters, press box, and the millionaires’ row, etc.
The museum was once devastated by the flash floods of 2009. After almost a year of closing for recovery, it got reopened in April of 2010 during the Derby season of that year. With major renovations and add-on attractions, the museum is attracting a large number of horse racing fans and general travelers nowadays.