Churchill Downs and University of Louisville Athletics Join Forces to bring Together Horses & Hoops

Aug 12, 2021 Darren Rogers, Churchill Downs Communications Churchill Downs Communications

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021) – Thoroughbred Racing will meet Louisville Cardinal Basketball on Saturday, September 18 when Louisville Live, the University of Louisville’s annual preseason basketball event, comes to Downs After Dark presented by Budweiser at Churchill Downs Racetrack.

To celebrate the theme of “Horses & Hoops,” fans are encouraged to wear Cardinal gear to this one-of-a-kind experience that will bring together two Louisville sports legacies under the famed Twin Spires. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with the first race scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The 11-race nighttime card features 5 stakes races including: The Iroquois (GIII) “Win and You’re in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Division,” The Locust Grove (GIII), The Pocahontas (GII) “Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Division,” The Louisville Thoroughbred Society and The Open Mind (Listed).

Meanwhile, the spacious 30,000-square-foot Plaza adjacent to the saddling paddock at Churchill Downs will showcase pulsating live entertainment featuring the Cardinals’ men’s and women’s basketball teams on a portable court. The entertainment line-up will also include official DJ for the Louisville Cardinals, DJ K-Dogg, who will spin game-time favorites from the Plaza stage.

UofL’s 1986 NCAA Championship men’s basketball team, guided by then future Hall of Fame Coach Denny Crum, will participate in the festivities and will be available to sign autographs prior to the Louisville Live main feature at 7:15 p.m.

Two specialty cocktails will be sold at the Old Forester Paddock Bar and the Spend a Buck Bar on the second floor of the Clubhouse in the Food Court: “The Cardinal Crush” and “The Slam Dunk.”

General admission to Downs After Dark is $12 and includes an official program. Guests under the age of 18 will only be admitted to the track if accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Limited premium dining packages are available starting at $69 per person. Outdoor-third floor box seats are on sale for $27 per person. Reserved seating can be purchased online at


Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”), the world’s most legendary racetrack, has been the home of The Kentucky Derby, the longest continually held annual sporting event in the United States, since 1875. Located in Louisville, CDRT features a series of themed race days during Derby Week, including the Kentucky Oaks, and conducts Thoroughbred horse racing during three race meets in the Spring, September, and the Fall. CDRT is located on 175 acres and has a one-mile dirt track, a 7/8-mile turf track, a stabling area, and provides seating for approximately 60,000 guests. The saddling paddock and the stable area has barns sufficient to accommodate 1,400 horses and a 114-room dormitory for backstretch personnel. CDRT also has a year-round simulcast wagering facility.

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