Downs After Dark, Breeders' Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, Family Fun Day cap Churchill Downs September meet


The final days of Churchill Downs' inaugural September meet, dubbed the Homecoming Meet, bring the meet to a close this weekend. The 12-day meet wraps this weekend with live racing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The traditional fall meet returns Oct. 27.

Closing weekend of the September meet starts Friday with the "City's Best Happy Hour" from 4-7 p.m. in the Paddock Plaza. The event includes drink specials, plus $2 Budweisers and Bud Lights, $3 Stella Artois, and food trucks. Live music will be provided by cover band Kudmani. First post on the 10-race card is 1:45 p.m.

Saturday offers the meet’s final Downs After Dark. Fittingly, the theme for the night’s activities is “Homecoming Dance: A Night To Remember.” Relive the glory days of your high school homecoming dances and come dressed in your favorite homecoming inspired attire. Sounds Unlimited Productions will start the night as a DJ turns the table from 4-7:30 p.m. in the Paddock Plaza. Radiotronic takes the stage from 8-11:30 p.m. The Wilson Brothers will play jams from the ‘80s upstairs on the 5th floor of the Clubhouse. The Bet or No Bet contest sponsored by Thortons will also return in which one fan will have the chance to make a $1,000 win wager on the horse of their choice or take a $100 Thortons gift card. A Homecoming King and Queen will also be crowned.

The highlight of Saturday’s events is the inaugural $175,000-added Homecoming Classic in which the reigning Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned heads a field of seven going 1 1/8 miles on the dirt. Trainer Ian Wilkes opted to keep Fort Larned home and prep for the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Classic instead of going to Belmont Park in New York for Saturday’s Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1).

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