As the early morning sun splashed above the twin spires at Churchill Downs, we set off for the backside of the track at Churchill Downs. Here, you can belly up to the rails to watch horses stride the track to warm up for races. And during Derby, you can expect a media frenzy as the world’s fastest thoroughbreds prep for the run of the roses.
And you never know who you might see. I ran into Hall of Fame jockey, Pat Day. His career spans 30 years with more than 8800 winning races. Day is also the all-time winning jockey at the legendary Churchill Downs racetrack, an achievement that includes his signature win in the 1992 Kentucky Derby aboard Lil E. Tee – one of his nine individual Triple Crown race victories. Other famous mounts include Easy Goer, Awesome Again, Lady’s Secret, and Wild Again.
Outside of Derby week, tours of the backside of the track are offered. Check out the more than 1,400 stalls or even catch a glimpse of a 2-year-old training to win next year’s Derby.
$11.00 per person (children 4 and under FREE)
Museum Admission Required
Available March 15 – November 30
(Not available May 4 – May 5, 2012)
Barn and Backside Tour Schedule: Available March 15 – November 30
Monday – Saturday 7:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.,
1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
Sunday 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m.