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 My Ole Kentucky Home !     

Ladies Day With it's twin spires Churchill Downs is easily the most recognized racing venues in the world. Steep in tradition it pretty much saved thoroughbred racing in the United States by itself.

In 1908 Churchill Downs hastily imported as many pari mutual betting machines as possible to keep from being shut down. This not only saved the Kentucky Derby that year but revolutionized betting in the United States. Besides being home to the derby it also is a frequent host of the Breeders Cup and has installed lights for night racing.

Ladies Day In 2011 besides the Derby Churchill Downs also hosted the twenty eight Breeders Cup. The track continued to run Friday night racing and had a purse structure of 52 ranking as one of the top tracks in the country. Julien Leparoux won both meets to take leading rider honors.

In 2012 it seems unlikely that the originators of Churchill Downs would recognize their creation. What was once a country pasture, looks more like an urban jungle with barely visible twin spires. Even with all the expansion it's still the place to be on that first Saturday in May.

It is quite evident from the picture above that Churchill Downs has expanded greatly from it's humble beginnings and may once again in the future be one a few places where racing will survive. 

In 2014 the favorite California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby setting up the possibility for the first triple crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. After winning the Preakness the anticipation grew, but once again the Belmont Stakes proved the spoiler, as Chrome finished fourth.