During our recent trip to Louisville, Kentucky we had the opportunity to go to Churchill Downs and enjoy a day of thoroughbred racing. Churchill Downs is famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby, which is part of the “triple crown” of thoroughbred racing. The race track opened in 1875 and every race is full of pageantry and tradition. Even though it was autumn, it was a warm and sunny day making the experience even more enjoyable.
Before each of the races, the horses are led around the paddock in order for those who wish to see the horses before placing a bet can get up close to the horses. Afterwards, the horses are led onto the track where the starting gate is located. The location of the starting gate changes depending on the length of the race, but the finish line always remains the same. We were fortunate to get seats near the finish line, making each of the races even more exciting.
In addition to the grandeur of the grandstands, in the center of the oval track are several large screens to see the current odds as well as to see the horses while they are on the backside of the track. It also the location of the platform where the Churchill Downs Bugler stands and plays between the races. The Kentucky Derby Museum is also located at Churchill Downs, although we chose not to visit it during our day at the track. It was certainly an interesting day and we enjoyed our time at the race track and watching the races.