Events at Churchill Downs

Connie Howlett, Staff Writer

Anxiously waiting in their seats, the announcer says “they’re in the gate… annndddd they’re off.” As the horses get closer, the crowd gets louder, cheering for their horse. The crowd standing from their seats as their horses make the final stretch. This is Churchill Downs.

Twilight Thursdays this year ran through May and June and Sept. 21 and 28. There were food trucks, live local music and $1 beers between 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Although Twilight Thursdays ended, there are more events coming to Churchill Downs within the next couple of months.

All races in October and November start at 1 p.m. with the exception of the Breeders Cup and Thanksgiving. Regular tickets range from $10 or more on a normal race day.

On Oct. 29 Churchill Downs is hosting Trick or Treat at the Track. This day will have multiple activities for children, entertainment, crafts and more. Tickets start at $8 if bought in advance online or $10 the day of the event.

There will also be over 15 “boo stations” around the track for children to visit and trick-or-treat. There will also be a stick horse race where children have the chance to race others  on the turf track. Kids will also get to meet and greet Spiderman, Batman, and the Disney princesses Belle and Cinderella. There is also a craft station Halloween monster photo frame, to take a Halloween photo for families.

On every Sunday in November there will be Stakes and Eggs. The Stakes and Eggs event will include brunch in the newly renovated Stakes Room inside Churchill Downs. On Nov. 3 and 4, race fans can watch and wager on the Breeders Cup at the Del Mar racetrack. And on Saturday, Nov. 11, Churchill Downs will be hosting a military appreciation day.

Doug Kelly and his wife were there for the first time..

“So far we had to learn the lay of the land, find where everything was but after that everything was good,” Kelly said.

Kelly said he was surprised that Twilight Thursday wasn’t crowded and they were having a good time and definitely wants to come back.

“It’s not really crowded,” Kelly said. “We were expecting to be jammed in here.”

Olivia Troutman and her boyfriend Matt Veitz were also first timers to Churchill Downs. Troutman said she was also excited to be at Churchill Downs.“I think we won something, so I’m excited about that,” Troutman said.

“We just put down a [couple of dollars] on [the] race; the experience is a lot of fun,” said Veitz.

“We kinda picked the ones with the best odds,” Troutman said. “I really don’t know anything about it honestly. We just kinda winged it.”

The thunder of their hooves as the horses come down the final stretch, running with all they have left. Then that one horse that has a little more left than the rest and makes two big strides for the finish line. It’s a photo finish and the crowd roars.