About Churchill Downs Racing

Churchill Downs is a horse racing facility situated on Central Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. The complex annually hosts the Kentucky Derby.

Churchill Downs was founded in 1875 by Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. After purchasing the land for $34,000 from his uncle John and aunt Sarah Churchill, Clark hired Stephen Foster to compose the now-famous song "My Old Kentucky Home" for the inaugural running of the Kentucky Derby. The track officially opened on May 17, 1875.

The racetrack is leased and maintained by Churchill Downs Incorporated. The Kentucky Derby is run annually on the first Saturday in May and is known as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" or "The Run for the Roses." It is followed by the Kentucky Oaks, held on the Friday before the Derby.

In addition to hosting the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs also hosts the Kentucky Oaks, the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, and the Falls City Handicap. The track is also home to the Louisville Cardinals football team, which plays its home games in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

 Churchill Downs has been hosting the Kentucky Derby for over 140 years and is one of the most iconic venues in all of horse racing. The track is also home to a number of other important races, including the Kentucky Oaks, the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, and the Falls City Handicap. In addition to hosting some of the most prestigious races in horse racing, Churchill Downs is also home to the Louisville Cardinals football team. 

Churchill Downs moved up to number 22 on the Horseplayers Association of North America Track rating list because of the takeout increase. The horsemen's groups were opposed to the takeout increase, but because of it, bettors will have an extra $4.6 million in winnings this year. The track is also home to the Kentucky Derby Museum, which is a must-see for any fan of horse racing.

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