Galt House Hotel Signs Three-Year Agreement to be Named Official Host Hotel of Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby & Oaks

Oct 30, 2009 Darren Rogers

Galt House Hotel, located in the heart of Louisville on the waterfront of the Ohio River, has signed a three-year sponsorship agreement with legendary Churchill Downs to be named the “Official Host Hotel of Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks”.

“Much like Churchill Downs, Galt House Hotel is a Louisville institution with great tradition,” said Churchill Downs president Kevin Flanery. “Thanks to major events like the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Churchill Downs and the Galt House have been closely linked for years. Today, however, we are extremely delighted to formally introduce this legendary landmark and longtime friend to our family of corporate partners.”

Galt House – a name long associated with gracious hospitality and Southern style – features 1,291 guest rooms and 124,000 square feet of meeting space. It is conveniently located in downtown Louisville at 140 North Fourth Street just four miles north of Churchill Downs.

“Great things happen when two Louisville icons come together,” said R. Joseph Mittel, Corporate General Manager, Galt House Hotel. “We are honored to serve as the ‘Official Host Hotel of Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks’. This is a terrific partnership for Louisville, where so much is possible.”

Historic Churchill Downs and Galt House have deep roots that trace back to the late 1800s.

Following a trip to England in 1872 to study racing practices, Colonel M. Lewis Clark Jr., a well-connected, mid-20s Louisvillian, conceived the idea of a jockey club, construction of a dream track and a series of rich stakes races for Louisville to showcase Kentucky’s breeding industry.

On June 18, 1874, Clark and a group of prominent gentlemen met at Galt House to prepare articles of incorporation, discuss fundraising and logistics such as where to build the facilities that would later become known as Churchill Downs. Eleven months later, the dream came to fruition when Churchill Downs opened for live racing on May 17, 1875 and staged its first Kentucky Derby – the oldest continuously held sporting event in North America.

    The 136th running of the Kentucky Derby – the world’s premier horse race and America’s original, extravagant and glamorous springtime sports party – is scheduled for Saturday, May 1, 2010. Additional information about Galt House Hotel and Kentucky Derby room packages can be found online at

    Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 1, 2010. The track will conduct its 2009 Fall Meet from Sunday, Nov. 1 through Saturday, Nov. 28. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at

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