Third Annual 'Thurby' Kicks Off Derby Weekend with Celebration of Kentucky

May 04, 2016 Churchill Downs Communications

LOUISVILLE, KY (Wednesday, May 4, 2016) – The third annual Thurby, presented by, marks the official start of Kentucky Derby weekend on Thursday, May 5 at Churchill Downs Racetrack. This year’s Thurby will continue its tradition of celebrating the best of Kentucky and the local community and launch the new Thurby logo, which will be available on an assortment of merchandise on site at the event. Gates open at 11 a.m. with the first post at 12:45 p.m. ET. Tickets start at $20 and are available Thurby also will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network from 4-6 p.m.

To showcase all the things that make Kentucky great, Thurby will feature live bourbon demonstrations by Old Forester Master Bourbon Specialist Jackie Zykan and local bartenders and performances by local bands Dean Heckel and Thirty Spokes on the Plaza stage. Kentuckian Marlena Van Hoose will perform the national anthem.

In addition to watching 11 races and celebrating Kentucky, Thurby attendees can text-to-enter the third annual Thurby Classic Sweepstakes for a chance to win a six-person box to each the 2016 Longines Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands.

The Thurby Classic Sweepstakes will take place as part of Race 10 – the $100,000 Kentucky Juvenile, a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-old Thoroughbreds. Onsite guests will be invited to enter the contest via text until race nine. Prior to Race 10, as many names as there are horses running in Race 10 will be randomly drawn from the pool of entrants. Each name drawn will be paired with a single horse running in the race. The person who is paired with Race 10’s winning horse will receive a free six-person box to this year’s Oaks and Derby.

Thurby’s new logo is inspired by the elements that make Louisville and Churchill Downs special places in American culture. The new design features an authentic, handcrafted look to embody Kentucky's bourbon industry and a retro-future feel to honor the deep traditions of horse racing and Thurby's newfound status as the official start of Derby Weekend. The logo was designed by SME, a New York-based marketing agency that has developed the official Derby and Oaks marks since 2007.

Recommended attire for non-dining areas is whatever reflects your Kentucky spirit – from casual jeans to Derby-inspired.

About Churchill Downs Racetrack

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: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 2, 2015. The track’s 2015 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 25-June 27. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships eight times.

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