Churchill Downs is about to make history.
The Louisville racetrack will begin its first-ever September meet on Sept. 6. The inaugural 12-day event will operate on a Friday-through-Sunday schedule, concluding Sept. 29.
The September meet will be the first time in its 139-year history that Churchill Downs will hold three separate race meets during a single calendar year – but not the first time the racetrack has seen September racing. Most racing fans probably don't remember that occasion. The last time Churchill Downs had September racing was during the 1890s. The world’s most legendary racetrack has conducted Thoroughbred racing continuously since 1875.
Why the addition of another racing meet? Turfway Park in northern Kentucky no longer has September racing. Churchill Downs will likely offer higher purses – at a meet that is likely to stay. Downs officials have already applied for the same dates in 2014.
Want to attend opening night of the September meet?
Here's the Sept. 6 lineup:
Gates open Friday, Sept. 6, at 12:30 p.m.
First post of the 10-race card is at 1:45 p.m.
Happy hour begins at 4 p.m.