Home of the Kentucky Derby. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., who built Churchill Downs, wanted his track to have a race that would rival England’s Epsom Derby. He visited England to study both its tracks and its races then returned to Louisville to establish the Kentucky Derby, which was first run on May 17, 1875.
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The twin spires atop the grandstands are the most recognizable architectural feature of Churchill Downs and are used as a symbol of the track and the Kentucky Derby. They were designed by architect Joseph Dominic Baldez and built in 1895.
The Downs, as it is called today, has become the world’s most legendary race track and also operates an off-track betting and training facility called Trackside Louisville.
Churchill Downs has two courses: