Churchill Downs Invites Fans to 'Pony Up' for Charities during 'Downs After Dark', Weekend Racing

Nov 17, 2011 John Asher

Fans attending Fall Meet racing at Churchill Downs during Friday’s “Downs After Dark” night racing celebration and racing programs on Saturday and Sunday will have the opportunity to help local charities heading into the holiday season throughout the historic track’s “Pony Up for Charity” Weekend.

Patrons attending Churchill Downs during the weekend’s races will have the opportunity at all food and beverage points of sale to add $1 or more to their tab to benefit the day’s designated charitable organization.

The track’s first “Pony Up for Charity” effort was conducted on Friday, June 24 – two days after a rare tornado roared through the Churchill Downs stable area and damaged several barns.  Funds generated through that initial “Pony Up” opportunity were distributed to backside workers who lost possessions in the storm.

Designated charities for the Fall Meet “Pony Up for Charity” efforts are:

Friday, Nov. 18 ‘Downs After Dark”: New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program – Operating in Kentucky, Indiana and four other states, New Vocations trains retired racehorses to be pleasure mounts and operates an outreach program that allows at-risk young people to work with horses.  More information is available on New Vocations at

Saturday, Nov. 19:  The Lord’s Kitchen – Every day since it’s opening day on Christmas Day, 1988, the Lord’s Kitchen has fed needy residents in neighborhoods surrounding Churchill Downs at its initial location at 2732 South 5th.  The Lord’s Kitchen recently expanded its reach with the opening of its City of Hope at 18th and Standard Avenue.  More information is available at

Sunday, Nov. 20: Horses & Hope – The breast cancer outreach initiative launched by Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear offers breast cancer information and free screenings to the more than 80,000 thousand workers in Kentucky’s equine industry, ranging from backside workers and racetrack employees to workers on breeding farms and training centers throughout the state.  Working with the Kentucky Cancer Program, “Horses & Hope” distributes that information and conducts breast cancer screenings in a population in which many workers have no other access to that vital health care information.  Breast cancer survivors and others touched by the program will be at Churchill Downs on Sunday for the annual “Horses & Hope Day at the Races,” and all “Pony Up for Charity” proceeds on the day will go directly to the First Lady’s important and growing initiative.  More information is available at

Patrons who contribute to those charitable organizations throughout those three days of Fall Meet racing will receive a commemorative sticker that says “I Ponied Up for Charity.” 

Those who purchase seating for daily racing and other events through Churchill Downs’ online ticket office at will also have an opportunity to ‘Pony Up’ by adding $1 or more to the balance of their seating purchase.


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