Fall has finally arrived in Louisville with the opening of Churchill Downs’ fall meet. The meet will run Sunday, Oct. 28 through Sunday, Nov. 25 with live racing Wednesday through Sunday.
The 21-day meet kicks off Sunday, Oct. 28 with a showcase of two-year-olds. The Stars of Tomorrow card features a two-year-old only card and includes two one-mile graded stakes races on the dirt—the Grade II $150,000 Pocahontas Stakes for the girls and the Grade III $100,000 Iroquois for the boys.
Opening day, and every Sunday during the meet, is Family Fun Day presented by Kroger. Families and children are encouraged to take part in specially planned activities each Sunday. This Sunday, Churchill Charlie, the Churchill Downs mascot, will lead kids in a trick-or-treat parade through the Downs. Click here  for more details on this event. Closing day will feature a Family Fun Day visit from Santa Claus. Check the track calendar  for details on the meet’s Family Fun Day activities.
Also on Sunday, the first 5,000 fans through the gates will receive a voucher for a free 2013 Churchill Downs Calendar presented by Humana. Vouchers can be redeemed after the fourth race.
There’s a lot going on at Churchill Downs on opening day, but the fun is just getting started. Fridays during the meet are Friday Happy Hours. From 3-5 p.m. fans can enjoy live entertainment and $2 Budweisers in the paddock. The Friday entertainment includes J.D. Shelburne (Nov. 2), Horizontal Boogie Band (Nov. 9), Olivia Henken (Nov. 16), and Eight Inch Elvis (Nov. 23).
In addition to Sunday’s two graded stakes races, 10 graded stakes will be run during the meet, including the Grade III Ack Ack Handicap (Nov. 2), the Grade II Chilukki (Nov. 3), the Grade III Cardinal Handicap (Nov. 10), the Grade III Commonwealth Turf and Grade II Mrs. Revere (Nov. 17), the Grade II Falls City Handicap (Nov. 22), the Grade 1 Clark Handicap (Nov. 23), the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club and Grade II Golden Rod (Nov. 24), and the Grade III River City Handicap (Nov. 25).
Although the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be run this year at Santa Anita Park in Cal., Churchill Downs will offer live racing (including two graded stakes races) and simulcast of the Breeders’ Cup on Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3.
Several special events will take place throughout the meet including College Scholarship Day (Nov. 10) when college students can register to win one of 10 $1,000 college scholarships. The first 500 students (with ID) through the gates will also receive a College Scholarship Day t-shirt.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, military veterans (with ID) will receive free admission on Sunday, Nov. 11.
Nurses will be honored on Thursday, Nov. 15 on Nurse Appreciation Day. A $20 ticket will allow nurses to enjoy the races from Millionaire’s Row on the 6th floor. A lunch buffet and race program is included in the package.
Horses and Hope will honor breast cancer survivors on Sunday, Nov. 18. Watch for plenty of pink around the Downs and on track.
As always, the track will be open early and serving dinner and live racing on Thanksgiving Day. Gates open at 10 a.m. and the first post is at 11:30 a.m.
Downs After Dark will run Saturday, Nov. 17. The theme for the night racing event is The Golden Era. Fans can expect a sophisticated atmosphere reminiscent of the Roaring 20s. For Downs After Dark there is a special admission price of $10 and first post of 4:30 p.m. Gates open at 3 p.m.
The details: The meet runs Wednesday through Sunday. General admission is $3 for adults, $1 for seniors 60 years old and older, and kids 12 and under are free. The gates open at 11:30 a.m. and the first post is 12:40 p.m. on all days except Downs After Dark and Thanksgiving Day. Parking in the Longfield Lot is free and valet parking is available for $5.
Photos: Article—Courtesy Churchill Downs/Kinetic; Home page—Churchill Downs