Churchill Downs Racing Track was officially opened in 1875 and is today perhaps best known for hosting the famous Kentucky Derby, which was first held in that same year. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986 in recognition of its long and storied history.
The twin spires that overlook the main grandstand are perhaps among the most instantly recognizable architectural features in the United States – they also feature prominently on the branding of the track Today Churchill Downs spreads across 147 acres with the one-mile dirt track as its focal point. the venue usually accommodates a50,000 people, but on the day of the derby crowds of spectators and punters can number up to 165,000 – as well as those who are accommodated in the newly renovated and refurbished luxury suites.
Visitors to Churchill Downs can immerse themselves in the history of the Kentucky Derby and the track by visiting the Kentucky Derby Museum. There are also exhibits that offer insight into the racing and training of Thoroughbred horses. A 360-degree cinema plays a reel entitled ‘The Greatest Race’ which offers further insight into the Derby.
The Churchill Downs experience is complemented by a variety of dining destinations that can be found at the track. The newly opened Matt Winn’s Steakhouse is sure to delight those who enjoy fine dining. Culinary delights such as the ‘Thoroughbred Board’, which is a selection of 6 types of meat (sliced tableside) and 6 kinds of cheese and entrees such as the Maine Lobster Tail and the 24oz Wagyu Short Rib prepared with Wild Mushroom and Black Truffle Risotto and red wine and bone marrow Demi-Glace are a delight. The wine list and the selection of fine whiskies add spice to already impressive offerings. The Stakes Room has an excellent buffet with a daily rotating menu and an excellent selection of desserts.
Churchill Downs is also a tremendously popular wedding reception venue and offers a turnkey service that will provide professional advice and service to elevate that special day to new heights. The track also hosts group functions where visitors will experience the red carpet treatment that comes standard with seating on Millionaire’s Row. On Derby day guests can get up close to the action at the rail next to the winner’s Circle – or enjoy the luxury of a private suite.
Whether you want a great day out at the races and excellent food or want an ultra-luxurious experience at the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs will meet and exceed your expectations – it’s a venue well worth investigating.
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