Churchill Downs Racecourse

Churchill Downs Racecourse is set in 147 acres on Central Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. Churchill Downs staged its first meeting in 1875 and has been the home of the Kentucky Derby, nowadays run over a mile and a quarter on the first Saturday in May each year, ever since. The racecourse underwent an extensive modernisation project between 2002 and 2005 and, today, plays host to 72 days of racing a year during its spring and fall meetings.


Course Characteristics

The main track at Churchill Downs is a left-handed, dirt oval, one mile in circumference with 4% banking on the turns and a home straight less than two furlongs long. The Matt Win turf track, named after a former president of Churchill Downs, runs inside the main track and is seven furlongs in circumference with slightly steeper 6% banking on the turns.


Track Facts

The original grandstand at Churchill Downs, featuring the iconic Twin Spires, was completed in 1895.

Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships eight times, most recently in 2011.

The Kentucky Derby is known as “The Run for the Roses” or “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports”.

The Kentucky Derby remains the longest continuously held sporting event in the United States.

For the first 21 years of its existence, the Kentucky Derby was run over a mile and a half.

The Mint Julep, an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and sugar syrup is the traditional beverage of the Kentucky Derby.

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