Churchill Downs Racing

700 Central Ave. Louisville, KY 40208 Phone: (502) 636-4400

Racing Season: May - June September October - November

Notable Churchill Downs Races

  • G1 Kentucky Derby - 3-year-olds going 1-1/4 mi.
  • G1 Kentucky Oaks - 3-year-old fillies going 1-1/8 mi.
  • G1 Clark Handicap - 3-year-olds & up going 1-1/8 mi.
  • G1 Humana Distaff - 3-year-olds & up fillies & mares going 7f

History of Racing at Churchill Downs Track

Churchill Downs is the world’s most legendary racetrack and is home to the longest continuously-run sporting event in America: the Kentucky Derby. Founded by Col. M. Lewis Clark in 1873 as the Louisville Jockey Club to showcase the Kentucky breeding industry; it wasn't until 1883 that the name Churchill Downs was first mentioned in media reports. Formally opened in 1875, the Churchill Downs Race Track became a major force in the industry in the early 1900s when Matt Winn took over and made the Kentucky Derby racing's preeminent stakes event. Famous for its Twin Spires, pari-mutuel betting machines were introduced in 1908 and Churchill Downs was added to the National History Landmarks list in 1986.

Churchill Downs Races on the Big Board

mediaInstalled in 2014, the Big Board is the largest 4K video board in the world at 171 foot wide by 90 foot tall. It sits some 80 feet above the ground and provides fans a 170 degree viewing angle of Churchill Downs racing.

About the Churchill Downs Horse Racing Surface

With 47 barns to stable some 1,400 horses, the Churchill Downs race track has a vast backstretch.

The main track is comprised of a 3" sandy loam cushion over a 5" sandy loam cushion compacted, then a 12" clay base, and finally 25" of sandy loam/natural soil. It is a one mile oval with a one mile chute, and is 80 feet wide with 4% banking on the turns.

The turf course is Kentucky 31 Fescue over 14" of course masonry sand and a 25" sandy loam/natural base. It is a 7f oval inside of the main track that is 80 feet wide with 6% banking on the turns.