Fall Racing Time at Churchill Downs
Although the Kentucky Derby, held each year at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May, gets most of the attention from thoroughbred racing fans, the track’s fall meet is definitely a Derby City gem. The meet opened this Sunday, Oct. 28 and will run each day except Mondays and Tuesdays through Sunday, Nov. 25. Louisville home owners love to check out the races during this fall ritual and find it to be a festive way to get into the party mood before the arrival of the holidays.
Although there isn’t as much daylight in the evenings during the fall meet like there is in the spring, the Downs offers a number of fun attractions in addition to racing that draw the crowds. Happy Hours run each Friday during the meet from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Paddock. In addition to discounts on drinks, various featured entertainers perform, and the admission is only $3. Also, each Sunday during the meeting is a Family Fun Day sponsored by Kroger. From 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the Paddock balcony, kids and families will have an assortment of activities. One Sunday will feature a spotlight on what the racing industry is really like; another will give kids a chance to make crafts; and the last Sunday of the meet will host visits from Santa. Again, admission is just $3.
Of course, a major draw during racing in November is the Breeder’s Cup. Although this international racing event will take place at Santa Anita this year, Churchill Downs will still be the place to be since it will simulcast all of the races on Nov. 2 and 3. Another big event during the meet will be the return of Downs After Dark, when racing takes place under the lights. Featuring a Roaring 20s theme, Great Gatsby-style music and dancing, and other fun activities, the event is sure to draw big crowds. Various seating options are available for a wide variety of prices.
Yes, the spring meet does get most of the attention, especially during a year when the Breeder’s Cup is not in town. But this week’s fall meet at Churchill Downs will have lots of Louisville residents celebrate autumn by checking out the races. The spring meet has the greatest two minutes in sports, but this year’s fall meet has lots of exciting events on tap for racing enthusiasts as well as those who just want to unwind and have some fun.
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