Champions Day at Churchill Downs To Celebrate Legendary Jockeys and Trainers on Tuesday of Derby Week

Mar 15, 2018 Sara Brown Meehan

Features Derby-Winning Jockeys Pat Day and Gary Stevens and Trainers D. Wayne Lukas and Carl Nafzger; Benefits Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance

LOUISVILLE, KY (Thursday, March 15, 2018) – Churchill Downs today announced Champions Day presented by, a new Derby Week event that will take place at the racetrack on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Champions Day will delight Kentucky Derby fans by celebrating the greatest moments in the sport’s history and honoring its legendary jockeys and trainers. Gates open at 11:00 a.m., first post at 12:45 p.m. Tickets start at $10 at

In addition to a full day of live Thoroughbred races, this must-see event for any racing fan will offer guests the opportunity to meet famed Derby and Oaks-winning jockeys and trainers. These horse racing legends will be in the Plaza and Paddock from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Guests can purchase a collectible poster for the jockeys and trainers to sign. Proceeds from the poster sales will benefit the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

Featured jockeys include Pat Day, winner of the Kentucky Oaks in 1988 and 2000 and the Kentucky Derby in 1992; Gary Stevens, winner of the Kentucky Oaks in 1986 and 1999 and the Kentucky Derby in 1988, 1995, and 1997; and Craig Perret who won the 1990 Kentucky Derby. Hall of Famers D. Wayne Lukas, a four-time Kentucky Derby winner in 1988, 1995, 1996 and 1999, and Carl Nafzger, who trained the 1990 and 2007 Kentucky Derby winners, will be two of several featured trainers.

Champions Day guests are invited to learn from the best in the business at the Advanced Insider Handicapping Seminar presented by in the Aristides Lounge from 12:00 p.m. – 12:40 p.m. “At the Races” host Steve Byk and clocker and bloodstock agent, Gary Young, will share their expertise on Derby Week handicapping. Two of the most respected handicappers in the game, Byk’s “At the Races” is Thoroughbred racing’s longest running and best known daily radio news magazine, while horses recommended by Young have accounted for three Breeders Cup and 17 Grade I races.

Derby history enthusiasts will especially enjoy the Big Board on Champions Day as it brings Kentucky Derby history to life. The Kentucky Derby Museum and Churchill Downs have curated captivating oral history, fascinating trivia and archived footage of the sport’s most sensational moments to share throughout the day.

Fans who want to take advantage of everything that Champions Day and Tuesday of Derby Week have to offer can purchase the “Ultimate Champions Experience.” This $250 special ticket package includes:

  • “Inside The Vault” tour at the Kentucky Derby Museum with its curators to visit rare racing artifacts not currently on display to the public
  • A seat in the Stakes Room Veranda during Champions Day
  • An exclusive meet and greet with legendary jockeys and trainers·         
  • All day access to the Kentucky Derby Museum

The First 20 guests to purchase Ultimate Champions Experience tickets will receive one admission pass to the Derby Post Draw at 11:00 a.m. on Champions Day.

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 144 th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 5, 2018. The track’s 2018 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 28 – June 30. An eight-time host to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Churchill Downs will again be the site of that event on Nov. 2-3, 2018.  

About the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance

Based in Lexington, Ky., the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance is a nonprofit organization that accredits, inspects, and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retire, retrain, and rehome Thoroughbreds using industry-wide funding. Along with continued funding from its original partners Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association, the TAA is supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals, and other industry members. To date, 64 aftercare organizations supporting approximately 170 facilities across North America have been granted accreditation and received funding from the TAA. To learn more about the TAA, visit

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