LOUISVILLE, KY (Thursday, April 21, 2016) – It’s time to get ready for your favorite Derby week events. Opening Night presented by Stella Artois and Old Forester kicks off the Derby celebration on Saturday, April 30 followed by action-packed racing on Tuesday and Wednesday and a celebration of all things Kentucky at Thurby presented by TwinSpires.com to begin Oaks & Derby weekend. Tickets for all events are still available at www.kentuckyderbyweek.com.
Derby Week Highlights include:
Opening Night: Churchill Downs and Louisville’s Fund for the Arts kick off Derby week and the 2016 Spring Meet with an evening of thrilling night racing that celebrates Louisville’s vibrant arts community. Guests will enjoy more than 17 live arts performances by local artists that will take place at locations throughout the track during the evening. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Fund for the Arts.
Participating artists include the Louisville Leopards Percussionists, Kentucky Shakespeare, KMAC Couture, Cirque Louis and the Louisville Orchestra among others. All 17 artists and arts groups to be announced soon.
The Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, the Fund for the Arts and Churchill Downs will co-present the inaugural Awards in the Arts. Six local artists and organizations will receive awards live on the Big Board throughout the evening.
Dawn at the Downs: Enjoy a delicious breakfast on Millionaire’s Row and watch Derby contenders train while award-winning horse racing columnist Gary West provides expert insights. 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3 through Thursday, May 5.
· Derby Week Tuesday and Wednesday Racing: Live racing on May 3 and May 4 with first post at 12:45 p.m. Groups of 24 or more can be the first to experience unique Derby week only hospitality venues prior to the big race.
· Thurby: Celebrate all things Kentucky and the official start of Derby weekend with a unique day of live racing on Thursday, May 5. First post at 12:45 p.m. Thurby features:
o The Thurby Classic: a text-to-enter contest that matches contestants with a horse running in the 10th race. The contestant with the winning horse wins a six-person box at this year’s Derby and Oaks days.
o Live bourbon cocktail demonstrations by Old Forester Master Bourbon Specialist Jacki Zykan & local bartenders.
o Live music on the Plaza Stage by locals Dean Heckel and Thirty Spokes.
o National anthem performance by Kentucky native Marlena VanHoose.
The 142nd running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands on Friday, May 6 and Saturday May 7, 2016. General admission tickets are still available. Individual prices increase from $35 to $40 for Oaks and $55 to $60 for Derby on April 25. Skip box office lines and buy your ticket online at www.kentuckyderby.com.
About Churchill Downs Racetrack
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 7, 2016. The track’s 2016 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 30-July 2. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships eight times. For more information visit www.ChurchillDowns.com