Churchill Downs Racetrack will host a “BIG GAME Watch Party” during the races in its spacious 30,000-square-foot Plaza on Saturday (Sept. 14).
Admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) and the first of 10 races is 12:45 p.m. Kickoff for the much-anticipated college football game between bitter in-state rivals, the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky, is noon.
The ESPN telecast of the game in Lexington will be shown on Churchill Downs’ giant 16’ x 20’ Plaza video screen complete with audio. Once the UofL/UK game is complete, Churchill Downs will then show the Alabama/Texas A&M game, which has a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on CBS.
There’ll be a tailgate-like atmosphere in the Plaza with bleacher seating, football toss inflatables and game-time drink specials – $2 Budweiser and Bud Light and $3 Stella Artois.
General admission is $3, but all college students with a current student ID will be admitted free of charge.
Saturday’s featured event on Churchill Downs’ 10-race card is the fifth running of the $100,000-added Open Mind, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares. Each of the six entrants is a stakes winner: Vuitton (jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., 4-1 on the morning line), Second Street City (Denny Velazquez, 6-1), Devious Intent (Roberto Morales, 5-1), Ms Anna Destiny (Miguel Mena, 4-1), Sweet Cassiopeia (Robby Albarado, 9-2) and Burban (Shaun Bridgmohan, 8-5). The Open Mind goes as Race 9 at 4:59 p.m. The final race of the day is set for 5:29 p.m.
Churchill Downs is in the midst of its first September race meet since 1890. Racing continues at the Louisville racetrack every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 29.
Friday’s 10-race card, which begins at 1:45 p.m., includes the City’s Best Happy Hour! with drink specials, food trucks and live country music by Aly’An from 4-7 p.m.
Sunday is Family Fun Day Presented by Kroger. There’ll be fun for the entire family on the Plaza Balcony between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., including face painters from Bohemian Monkey and Scratchboard Crafts. Kona Ice of Louisville also will be on hand to serve tropical-shaved ice treats. The first of 10 races Sunday is 12:45 p.m.