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Churchill Downs

Located in Louisville, Kentucky and home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs boasts over 147 acres of land and space for 120,000 attendees. The track is named after John and Henry Churchill, who leased 80 acres to their nephew, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., to build the racetrack.

Churchill Downs first opened its doors in 1875 with Clark the president of the Louisville Jockey Club and Driving Park Association at the time. Churchill Downs was established at the perfect time, replacing two Louisville racecourses that were closed down shortly before. The track has since been sold to a group of businessmen who eventually established Churchill Downs Incorporated, which has its name attached to a number of high-profile gaming properties to this day.

The iconic twin spires located on the grandstand were commissioned in 1895, while owned by William Applegate. Designed and built by Joseph Dominic Baldez, the twin spires have become one of the most recognizable architectural structures in horse racing.

In the spring of 1985, the Kentucky Derby Museum opened its doors on the Churchill Downs property. This museum is great for those who love horse racing or horse betting. Guests can tour the venue and view all exhibits, including interactive ones where they can place faux bets and watch a race. The gift shop is full of great keepsakes and opportunities to take memorable photos.

Between 2001 and 2005 Churchill Downs went through a $121-million renovation – which included refurbishing the twin spires, a new clubhouse and the addition of 79 luxury suites, all while preserving the history and feel of the venue.

The hospitality provided by Churchill Downs, especially during the Kentucky Derby, is top-notch. Everything from their tour guides, staff, the buffet, all the way down to the mint juleps are always fantastic. Churchill Downs is a must-see for any horse racing or Kentucky Derby fan!