Churchill Downs Horse Racing Betting Guide

As one of the most popular horse racing tracks in the US, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky has racing in the spring, summer and fall.

The Spring/Summer Meet at Churchill Downs kicks off horse racing from late April. This timeframe is highlighted by the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. Throughout Derby Week, Churchill Downs’ suites and dining rooms will include extended hours of food and drink specials for guests. The Churchill Downs Spring/Summer Meet goes until the beginning of July.

Churchill Downs Betting Sites

The September/Fall Meet at Churchill Downs goes from mid-September until late November. This coverage includes Friday and Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup major graded stakes events (live or simulcasted) in the first weekend of November at Churchill Downs.

The following Churchill Downs Grade 1 stakes races are listed and the most popular races are featured with the length, prize purse and interesting facts about the event.

Grade 1 Horse Racing at Churchill Downs


Kentucky Oaks

La Troienne Stakes

Kentucky Derby

Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic

Derby City Distaff

Churchill Downs

Saratoga Horse Racing


Stephen Foster Stakes


Clark Stakes

How Many Horses Have Won the Triple Crown

Churchill Downs is primarily known and recognized for Derby Week on the first weekend in May. On Friday of Derby Week, the Kentucky Oaks is run over 1 1/8 miles on dirt. The race is presented by Longines and the prize purse is $1.25 million. The Kentucky Oaks is open to three-year-old fillies and the Grade 1 stakes race is one of the signature events across US horse tracks in the spring.

The Kentucky Derby is open to three-year-old colts and fillies. The prize purse is $3 million. Run on Saturdays at Churchill Downs during Derby Week, the Kentucky Derby is the highlight of this horse track and one of four Grade 1 events on the race card. The Kentucky Derby covers 1¼ miles on dirt and the Run for the Roses is the Crown Jewel of the Triple Crown series. This race has also been mentioned as the most exciting two minutes in sports.

The Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic on Saturday of Derby Week is 1 1/8 miles on turf. The race is open to thoroughbred horses four and older. This Grade 1 stakes race has a prize purse of $1 million. The Derby City Distaff is open to fillies and mares four and older. The prize purse is $750,000. This stakes race on Saturday of Derby Week is a seven-furlong sprint on dirt and it is presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery.

The only Grade 1 stakes race in the summer season at Churchill Downs is the Stephen Foster Stakes. The event has been upgraded to a Grade 1 stakes race and it covers 1 1/8 miles on dirt. The Stephen Foster Stakes is open to four and older thoroughbred horses, with a prize purse of $1 million.

Check out the most popular US horse races next.