Churchill Downs & the Kentucky Derby
This coming Saturday, the first Saturday of May marks the 147th running of the “Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” the annual Kentucky Derby. The 20 horse field will take their posts at approximately 6:57 PM (EDT) and can be viewed on NBC. The Kentucky Derby, presented by Woodford Reserve, is THE top ranked, Grade I stakes race for 3 year old Thoroughbred horses in the United States.
The 20 horses competing in this year’s Kentucky Derby is a larger field size than most horse races; where on average 8 horses race against one another. The race distance is one and one-quarter miles long, and it is run on the dirt racetrack at Churchill Downs.
The 20 horses racing in the Kentucky Derby must first travel along the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which is a series of 35 races taking place at tracks across the country and the world. Points are awarded to the top 4 horses that finish in each of those 35 races, and the 20 horses with the most points earn a spot in the starting gate in the Kentucky Derby race. The Kentucky Derby is one of the richest horse racing purses in the world with the winning purse of nearly $2 million dollars.
- Hot Rod Charlie
- Super Stock
- Like the King
- Known Agenda
- Rock Your World
- Medina Spirit
- Midnight Bourbon
- Highly Motivated
- Soup and Sandwich
- Dynamic One
- Hidden Stash
- King Fury
- Keepmeinmind (writers pick)
- Brooklyn Strong
The Kentucky Derby typically draws a crowd of 155,000 people. It is the longest continually held sporting event in America. The Kentucky Derby is the first race within the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, where it is followed by the Preakness Stakes race and the Belmont Stakes race.
As you can imagine with a crowd of over 155,000 people hotel rooms are at a premium price in Louisville and across the Ohio River in southern Indiana, but as you come just 29 miles north to Scottsburg in Scott County (exit 29) off of 165, hotels are easy, and people can save hundreds of dollars per night by staying here and going there on Saturday morning with no multi night minimums. In this writers research, I found hotel rates elevated because it is derby weekend but with rates no higher than $180 for a king room, with a two hotel sampling of the five located at the exit. With occupancy at the time of this article closing near 65%.
This research amplifies the reason to “Stay Here and Go There” of the Scott County Visitors Commission message for tour groups as well as families traveling on a budget. With Scott County being located only 35 miles from Churchill Downs, casinos, state parks, great festivals and sporting events, championship golf, museums and orchards and wineries too it makes for tremendous savings and easy travel “to and from” these venues, as a result of its hotel location at exit 29 on interstate 65. Contact the Scott County Visitors Commission at (812) 752-9211 for assistance with your next booking for activities in Louisville, southern Indiana and the surrounding areas.