Downs After Dark returns tonight [Sports]

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A busy weekend at Churchill Downs kicks off tonight with the much-anticipated return of Downs After Dark. Gates open at 4 p.m. with the first post of the 11-race card scheduled for 6 p.m.

With a theme of Disco at the Downs, the "World's Most Legendary Race Track" will play host Louisville's favorite 70's cover band 100% Poly in the Paddock until 9 p.m.

Also in the Paddock, Happy Hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. will feature $2 Anheuser Busch products and other discounted food and drink offerings.

Tonight's event is the first since last spring's successful market test. An average of almost 30,000 attended each of the three nights, including a record 33,481 for the finale-- the largest crowd for racing at Churchill Downs outside the Derby, Oaks or Breeders' Cup.

Since last year, the track made a $4 million investment in a state-of-the-art permanent lighting system by Musco Lighting.

Free parking is available in the Longfield lot while spots last. In addition, track patrons can park for free at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium with complimentary round-trip shuttle service to Gate I offered throughout the evening.

Photo: Courtesy Tony Singleton

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