Corporate Name: Churchill Downs Incorporated
Mailing Address: 700 Central Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky 40208-1200 (click for map)
Telephone: Main: (502) 636-4400; Racing: (502) 636-4470; Publicity: (502) 636‑4460; Simulcasting: (502) 636-4588
Fax: Main: (502) 638-3908; Racing: (502) 636-4479; Publicity: (502) 636-4469
Known foremost as the home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs combines rich tradition with an ambitious focus toward the future while serving as a leader in the Thoroughbred industry. Built-in 1874 on a portion of the old Churchill family estate, Churchill Downs is the oldest track to have continuous annual racing since its inception and one of three Thoroughbred establishments to be registered as a National Historic Landmark.
Colonel M. Lewis Clark, Jr., a well-connected Louisvillian in his late 20s, conceived the idea of a jockey club, construction of a dream track, and a series of rich stakes races for Louisville in the early 1870s. After a trip to England in 1872 to study racing practices, Clark returned and the Louisville Jockey Club course, later to become Churchill Downs, was born. Racing was first held on May 17, 1875.
In 1894–95, the clubhouse/grandstand were constructed on their present site on the west side of the track and the world-famous landmark Twin Spires were first viewed by the public on Derby Day, May 6, 1895.
Churchill Downs will conduct 70 days of live racing in 2016. The 38-day Spring Meet is set for April 30–July 2. The 11-day September Meet will be held September 16–October 2. The 21-day Fall Meet, will be held October 30–November 27.
A total of 26 stakes worth $8.25 million, including six Grade I races, will be showcased during the Spring Meet. The 142nd running of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands is scheduled for Saturday, May 7. The 142nd edition of the Longines Kentucky Oaks will be on Friday, May 6.
The Spring Meet will also showcase the Grade I $500,000-added Stephen Foster at 11/8 miles for older horses on Saturday, June 18, which is now part of three special nighttime racing programs: “Opening Night” and two “Downs After Dark” events.
The Fall Meet will be headlined by popular fixtures such as the Grade I Clark Handicap, the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, and the Grade II Golden Rod Stakes.
The track completed a sweeping $121 million renovation in 2005. The project, viewed as one of the most ambitious and complete construction plans in track history, has helped transform the historic facility from a seasonal racetrack to a year-round center for business and entertainment activities.
The two-phase renovation project began with a $26 million first phase that created the Jockey Club Suites–three new floors over the track’s grandstand with 64 luxury suites. Completed in September 2003, the suites can accommodate groups ranging from 12 to 54. The area includes two meeting rooms, the Derby and Oaks Rooms and the Triple Crown Room, which seats up to 600 people.
Phase II involved the razing and rebuilding of a large area of the track‘s clubhouse. Construction began in July, 2003, and was completed prior to the opening of Derby Week, 2005. The spectacular new six-story structure includes new box seats, the track’s first enclosed boxes, and Millionaires Row group spaces on floors four and six. Other spaces include 15 Finish Line Suites, two Gold Rooms for Twin Spires Club members, new kitchens, and storage and support facilities. A second floor includes a food court and a pair of lounges, Silks and Champions. The track’s simulcast wagering facility has been integrated into Churchill Downs’ operations as “Trackside at Churchill Downs.”
Located next to Churchill Downs is the Kentucky Derby Museum, which has showcased the Derby, the Downs, and Thoroughbred racing since 1985.
Officers: T. Kevin Flanery, President; Ryan Jordan, General Manager; John S. Asher, VP, Racing Communications; Greg Bush, VP, Operations; Sarah Contardo, VP, Ticketing Strategy; Jeff Koleba, VP, Marketing & Programming; Kristin Warfield, VP, Partnership Development & Activation
Churchill Downs Incorporated Executive Officers & Senior Officers: William C. Carstanjen, Chief Executive Officer; Marcia A. Dall, Executive VP & Chief Financia Officer; Bill Mudd, President & Chief Operating Officer; Alan K. Tse, Executive VP, General Counsel; Shawn Bailey, Senior VP, Business Development; Tim Bryant, Senior VP, President, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots; T. Kevin Flanery, Senior VP, President, Churchill Downs Racetrack; James E. “Ted” Gay, President, Churchill Downs Interactive; Chuck Kenyon, Senior VP, Human Resources; Austin Miller, Senior VP, Gaming Operations; Ben Murr, Senior VP, Chief Technology Officer; Tony Petrillo, Senior VP, General Manager, Arlington Park; Rebecca C. Reed, Senior VP, Legal Affairs & Chief Compliance Officer; Paul Thelen, President, Big Fish Games
President: T. Kevin Flanery, (502) 636-4859; Fax (502) 636-4565
General Counsel: Alan K. Tse, (502) 636-4530; Fax (502) 636-4456
Communications: Darren Rogers, (502) 636-4461; Fax (502) 636-4469
Corporate Communications: John Asher, (502) 636-4586; Fax (502) 636-4407
Controller: Drew Cantrell, (502) 638-3845; Fax (502) 636-4560
Mutuels: Rick Smith, (502) 636-4480; Fax (502) 636-4489
Operations: Greg Bush, (502) 636-4588; Fax (502) 638-3952
Racing Secretary: Ben Huffman, (502) 638-3820; Fax (502) 636-4598
Security: Robert King, (502) 635-4719; Fax (502) 636-4541
Simulcasting: Greg Bush, (502) 636-4588; Fax (502) 638-3952
Kentucky Derby Museum: (502) 637-1111
Track Caterer: Levy Restaurants, (502) 638-3925
Track Photographer: Coady Photography, (214) 455-7732
Track Video: Churchill Downs, (502) 663-4400
Nearest City: Within the City of Louisville
Nearest Airport: Louisville International, 3 miles from track
Track Data: 1-mile oval sandy loam with chute for 1-mile races; length of stretch, 1,234½ feet; Matt Winn Turf Course: 7/8-mile, sand base; stable capacity, 1,400; total acreage, 140
Seating Accommodations: Grandstand, bleachers, clubhouse and terraces, 58,654;
NOTE: All Derby Day seats are sold on an invitation basis; visit www.churchilldowns.com/tickets
Price of Admission: General, $3; senior citizens, $1; children, (12 and under), Free; Derby, $60; Oaks, $40; Downs After Dark, $10
Dress Requirements: Proper attire, including shirt and shoes; Turf Club and Jockey Club Suites (members only): gentlemen, jacket required and tie preferred; ladies, dresses, suits or tailored pantsuits; group sales areas: gentlemen, collared shirt required; no shorts or blue jeans allowed
Minimum Age Admitted: Children admitted free when accompanied by adult
Parking Facilities: Capacity, 5,000; general, free; preferred, $3 and valet, $5