The state where the Kentucky Derby takes place may be in the name but the exact location of it is less well known. Churchill Downs may not be a household name like Daytona, Yankees Stadium, Wrigley Field, or Fenway but it is a proud track that has a storied history.
Churchill Downs is located in Louisville, Kentucky. Opened in 1875, it held the first Kentucky Derby ever and has hosted the event for all of its 139-year history. It was initially opened to fill a hole left by the closing of two nearby horse racing tracks. The famous twin spire grandstand was built 20 years later in 1895. Also started in 1895 was the tradition of giving the winner of the Kentucky Derby a garland of roses.
In 1986 Churchill Downs was designated a National Historic Landmark. This storied track will see the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby this Saturday.