Louisville’s rising country music star Olivia Henken, who garnered national attention as a Top 20 finalist on Season 5 of NBC’s “The Voice,” will entertain guests Saturday night (Nov. 16) at Churchill Downs with a special performance during “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka.”
Saturday’s “Downs After Dark” event – the perfect blend of an upscale night on the town with the excitement of thoroughbred racing – is the only nighttime racing extravaganza scheduled for Churchill Downs’ 25-day Fall Meet, which continues every Wednesday-Sunday through Nov. 30.
“My Fall Derby Style” is Saturday night’s theme. All guests are encouraged to dress in their finest Derby-inspired fall attire and participate in a fashion contest to win a fabulous grand prize. The winner will receive two reserved seats to Kentucky Derby 140, an opportunity to walk the Red Carpet on Derby Day side-by-side with celebrities, and vineyard vines apparel.
Attendees also will get an insider’s look into what to expect for Kentucky Derby 140, including a reveal of next year’s Kentucky Derby 140 Mint Julep Glass; the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 140 Official Artwork; and the Darren K Moore “Inspired Pendant.”
Admission gates for this exciting night of dining, dancing and racing beneath the Twin Spires will open Saturday at 3 p.m. (all times Eastern), and the first of 11 races is 4:30 p.m.
The elements that have made the Downs After Dark parties special since 2009 – the cuisine, fashion, style, music and entertainment – are back. But with cooler temperatures in the air, Churchill Downs is taking the pulse of the party indoors for the first time into the new “Club 140.”
Entry to “Club 140,” an indoor hotspot on the second floor of the Clubhouse (the area also known as the “Secretariat Lounge” which is used for hospitality and the Kentucky Derby Post Position Draw during Derby Week), is included with admission to the track. The fabulous space will showcase the evening’s headline entertainment, and there will be self-service wagering machines and multiple television monitors to enjoy the racing action.
Henken, born and raised in Louisville, is scheduled to perform on stage in “Club 140” at 6 p.m. She just missed advancing to the Top 12 on “The Voice” last week as part of Team Christina Aguilera. Previously, she gained notoriety on the hit TV show after a stirring performance of Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillacs.”
“Club 140” also will be home to the Derby-Inspired Fashion Contest, which will be emceed by WAVE-3’s Kevin Harned. Guests can walk the fashion runway between 7-8 p.m. to be judged by area fashion experts and become eligible to win the grand prize package.
Saturday’s marquee entertainment event has been paired with stellar racing. The 11-race card includes two stellar stakes events for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf: the $175,000 Mrs. Revere (Grade II) for fillies and $100,000 Commonwealth Turf (GIII) for open company. With sunset scheduled around 5:30 p.m., at least seven races will be held under the lights. The final race is scheduled for 9:36 p.m. and the on-track party will continue in “Club 140” until 10:30 p.m. The last call for alcohol will be post time for the final race of the night.
Cover charge (general admission) to all Downs After Dark events is $10. Holders of shareholders passes or horsemen licenses and children age 12 and under (when accompanied by an adult) will be admitted free of charge. No one under the age of 18 will be admitted to the track unless they are accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.
There is limited reserved seating still available. Indoor dining packages in Millionaires Row are $59.90 per person and include a scrumptious buffet dinner, reserved seat, official program, and a special meet-and-greet with Henken. Outdoor third-floor box seats are on sale for $20 and include general admission, a box seat in the third-floor clubhouse and an official program.
The new Skye Lounge – an exclusive indoor environment to 300 customers age 21 and up – is sold out.
Reserved seating can be purchased online at ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets or the on-track box office located at the Gate 1 entrance off Central Ave. (open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m.). The cutoff for online sales is Friday at noon.
Those attending Downs After Dark are encouraged to arrive early to secure on-site parking and avoid traffic delays. All on-property parking lots will open at 2 p.m. and space is available on a first-come, first-served basis (free in the Longfield Avenue lot). As usual, Churchill Downs will be open early for simulcast wagering on the second floor of the clubhouse Saturday. General admission will be its regular price of $3 from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Gate 17.
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) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 3, 2014. The track’s Fall Meet will run from Oct. 27-Nov. 30. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.ChurchillDowns.com.