The Churchill Downs is named after John and Henry Churchill. Eighty acres of land were leased to their nephew Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark. Clark’s father-in-law Richard Ten Broeck was an accomplished horse trainer and breeder who introduced horse racing to Clark.
In addition to the race track and stables, Churchill Down also includes the Kentucky Derby Museum. It includes a 360° cinema that shows a documentary “The Greatest Race” about the Kentucky Derby.
The Churchill Downs is a well-known thoroughbred racetrack, located on Central Avenue in south Louisville, Kentucky in the United States. It is opened in 1875 and is managed by Churchill Downs Incorporated. The track is much-publicized for hosting the Kentucky Derby every year. It covers a total area of 147 acres and has a seating capacity for around 1,70,000 spectators. The Churchill Downs has witnessed some of the notable races including the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Stephen Foster Handicap, Clark Handicap. It was ranked fifth in the list of 65 thoroughbred racetracks in North America introduced in the year 2009 by the Horseplayers Association of North America.
The Churchill Downs was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
An EF2 tornado hit the Louisville area on 22nd June 2011, striking stables and chapels there. Over 200 horses were evacuated from the damaged stables and brought to other safe stables.
It has hosted the renowned Breeder’s Cup many times, recently in 2011.
James Lee, an African American jockey set a record by winning the entire six-race card at Churchill Downs.
More than 27,000 people attended the first ever night race hosted by the Churchill Downs on 19th June 2009.