Churchill Downs will join its fans in celebrating the historic Triple Crown bid by I’ll Have Another, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), on Saturday, June 9 as the historic home of the Derby offers a special “I’ll Have Another” seating deal, Triple Crown-themed drink specials and giveaways, and the opportunity to wager on the simulcast of the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes (GI), the final jewel of the Triple Crown, from New York’s Belmont Park.
The historic journey for Reddam Racing’s I’ll Have Another started beneath the Twin Spires with his dramatic victory in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 5. On Saturday trainer Doug O’Neill’s colt will attempt to become just the 12th Triple Crown winner in American racing history – and the first in 34 years – when he faces 11 rivals in last and longest jewel of the Triple Crown series. Post time for the first of Saturday’s schedule of 11 live races at Churchill Downs is 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the track’s admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m.
The simulcast of the Belmont Stakes from New York’s Belmont Park is scheduled for 6:40 p.m.
A special “I’ll Have Another” seating offer will be available to fans who pay $3 general admission on Saturday. Those fans can go immediately to any Reserved Seating booth, upgrade their general admission ticket to a reserved seat –which normally sells for $5 – for only $3 (in honor of a Triple Crown bid), and those fans can “have another” box seat upgrade at no charge. The “I’ll Have Another” Belmont Stakes Day seating offer is a $16 value – with general admission and two reserved seats – for only $9.
Triple Crown fans will have chances to win commemorative posters of I’ll Have Another’s Kentucky Derby victory throughout the day, and commemorative buttons and fans will also be given away.
Levy Restaurants will offer food and beverage items with a New York and Triple Crown theme throughout the track, including the return of the “Belmont Breeze” cocktail and a new “I’ll Have Another” drink. Both will be available at locations throughout the track and will be served in a souvenir glass for $10.
The Food Court on the second floor of the Clubhouse is adding the “Little Italy” Pizza Smasher to its line of grilled Smashers. It was designed with New York-style pizza in mind and is a must of Belmont Day.
The Matt Winn Room and the Churchill Downs Turf Club will feature “I Love New York” delights with food stations that celebrate the flavor and character of the city’s famed neighborhoods. Stations in those locations will carry New York themes that include Little Italy, Chinatown, Corner Bagel Shoppe, Meat Packing District Carvery and Neighborhood Deli
The excitement of I’ll Have Another’s Triple Crown Weekend begins on Friday with the regular Twilight Racing program that features 11 races. Post time for the first race is 2:45 p.m. Happy Hour drink specials in the paddock garden area include a $3 Stella Artois Draft Beer (16 oz.) from 4-7 p.m. Admission gates will open for Friday’s Twilight Racing program at 1:30 p.m.
Churchill Downs’ Sunday racing program on June 10 will feature Family Fun Days activities Presented by Kroger that include the special birthday celebration for Churchill Charlie, the track’s mascot. The birthday party and Family Fun Days activities will be held in the Paddock Pavilion.
Family Fun Days offer very special Sunday for the entire family, with attractions that include HorseRacing Bingo, Junior Jockey Club activities; story time; a walking tour of the Kentucky Derby Museum to visit with Winston, its resident miniature horse and more.
Other local mascots will join the celebration of Churchill Charlie’s birthday, which will include a Dance-A-Long with Charlie and the other mascots, and a race on the turf course matching Churchill Charlie and his mascot friends.
Family Fun Days activities are scheduled from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Paddock Pavilion on Sundays throughout the meet. More information on Family Fun Days Presented by Kroger is available at www.ChurchillDowns.com.
Post time for Sunday’s racing at Churchill Downs is 12:45 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m.
Seating for Belmont Stakes weekend events and tickets for Churchill Downs racing and special events throughout the Spring Meet can be purchased through the track’s online box office at www.ChurchillDowns.com/tickets or by calling (502) 636-4400. Tickets can also be purchased at Churchill Downs’ on-track box office, located at Gate 1 off Central Avenue. The on-track box office is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the exception of Friday hours of noon to 6 p.m. The box office will be open on “Downs After Dark” night racing Saturdays – June 16 and 30 – from noon to 9 p.m.