Churchill Downs Racecourse has been holding horse races since 1875 and it is one of the most famous tracks in the United States. Its most famous race each year is the Kentucky Derby.
It has also played host to the Breeders’ Cup on a number of different occasions. The track is under the ownership of the Churchill Downs Incorporated and the entire capacity of the Churchill Downs including the infield is more than 170,000.
Churchill Downs Racecourse Ticket Prices
The ticket prices at the Churchill Downs Racecourse will vary depending on the meeting. For example, you will be paying $120 for an early-bird two-day race ticket for the Kentucky Derby for the most basic package. This will rise the closer to the event you get and depending on what area of the track you want to be located. You will be able to secure discounts by booking online. Other race days will see lower ticket prices.
The Churchill Downs track is perhaps the most notable track in the country. There are some unique parts of the track that make it stand out from the rest. It is one of the records the track holds is that it is the track that can hold the third-most spectators in the world, after a couple of Japanese tracks.
The track is a flat one and is one mile in length. It is all compacted dirt and the width is approximately 80 feet. Usually, there is good running on the track, except for when the weather has been poor. In this case, certain portions of the track will get a bit sloppy and sticky. Inside of the main oval is a turf track that is seven-eighths of a mile in length.
Tactics to Consider
You will normally get the best of the best racing at the Churchill Downs. Therefore, you know that all of these horses and their jockeys will be pushing hard for victory. Horses won’t be held back. Therefore, it becomes a bit easier to be confident in your betting picks. If the conditions are good, then there will be fast running, with a combo of pace and stamina needed. It can become more of a slog-fest if there is a bit of rain leading up to the race meeting.
With a number of other race tracks in the region closing down, Churchill Downs opened officially for racing in 1875. It went through a number of different owners in the first few years. Many traditions were made in the early years that still stand in place today, such as awarding the winner of the Kentucky Derby with a garland of roses.
It was at the start of the 20th century that a new grandstand was built and the focus was to turn the facility into more of a place for social gatherings rather than being a haven for gambling. However, it was in 1908 that pari-mutuel betting machines were installed at the track and this part of the business became a lot more profitable for the Churchill Downs owners.
Over the years, many leading trainers and horses have raced at the track. It was not until 2009 that the first-ever evening race meeting took place at the track. This saw a crowd of 27,000 people attend. In 2011, a tornado hit the facility, causing extensive damage to the infrastructure, most notably the stables.
Naturally, the biggest race of the year at Churchill Downs is the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Oaks that takes place the day before is also a major race.
In total, there is seven Grade I races that take place at the track each season. These are the:
- Clark Handicap,
- Humana Distaff Handicap,
- Kentucky Oaks,
- Kentucky Derby,
- La Troienne Stakes,
- Stephen Foster Handicap and
- the Turf Classic Stakes.
Most of these races take place during Spring meetings.
The Clark Handicap is one of the exceptions, as this takes place at the end of the racing calendar, usually near to Thanksgiving. This sees the best of the best get together and battle it out. This race has also been a part of the racing calendar at Churchill Downs since 1875. There are also many Grade II and Grade III races that take place at the track.
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