Churchill Downs kicks off its 25-day fall racing calendar on Sunday, Oct. 27. The meet will run Wednesdays through Sundays, with closing day held Saturday, Nov. 30. The meet includes nine graded stakes races and two ungraded overnight stakes; special Breeders’ Cup viewing party; Downs After Dark program; and Family Fun Days presented by Kroger. Also, the meet will see the start of a new wagering menu similar to Gulfstream Park’s Rainbow Six.
Two $65,000 ungraded overnight stakes will run opening day—the Street Sense and the Rags to Riches. The Street Sense is open to two-year-olds and the Rags to Riches is restricted to two-year-old fillies.
The graded stakes schedule starts Nov. 2 when fillies and mares, three-years-old and up, attempt the Chilukki Stakes (G2), going a mile on the main track. The 1 1/8 mile Cardinal Handicap (G3) for fillies and mares, three-years-old and up, on the turf will run Nov. 9. Two stakes will run on the Downs After Dark card Nov. 16—the Mrs. Revere (G2) for fillies and mares, three-years-old and up, at 1 1/16 miles on the turf and the Commonwealth Turf (G3) for three-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The 1 1/8 mile River City Handicap (G3) for three-year-olds and up over the turf course will run Nov. 23. The Thanksgiving Day feature is the Falls City Handicap (G2), a 1 1/8 mile route for fillies and mares three-years-old and up. The stakes highlight of the meet is the Clark Handicap (G1) for three-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on the main track, Friday, Nov. 29. The meet concludes Nov. 30 with its Stars of Tomorrow II program that includes two 1 1/16 mile stakes for juveniles—the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) for two-year-olds and the Golden Rod (G2) for two-year-old fillies.
Free calendar giveaway on opening day. The first 5,000 fans through the gates will receive a voucher for a free 2014 Churchill Downs Calendar sponsored by Humana. Vouchers can be redeemed after the fourth race.
Trick-or-treating with Churchill Charlie on opening day. As part of the Sunday Family Fun Days presented by Kroger, kids can come in costume and decorate trick-or-treat bags in the Plaza Balcony before joining Churchill Charlie in a trick-or-treat parade in which the kids will receive treats at designated “boo stations.” Kids 12 and under should assemble as the bottom of the Plaza Staircase to join Churchill Charlie in the trick-or-treat parade at 2:30 p.m.
Breeders’ Cup Viewing Party. Although the Breeders’ Cup will be run at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Cal., Churchill Downs will host a viewing party Friday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2 in the Paddock Plaza. The races will be streamed on the big screen in the Plaza.
Downs After Dark. The one and only Downs After Dark program during the fall meet will be held Saturday, Nov. 16. The theme for the event is “Fall Derby Style” in which fans are encouraged to come out in their Derby finest. In addition to live entertainment, fans will get an inside look at the fashions expected to surface for the Kentucky Derby next May.
Family Fun Days presented by Kroger. Every Sunday during the meet, Kroger presents Family Fun Days on the Plaza Balcony. Special events for kids 12 and under that are geared toward families will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Check the Churchill Downs calendar  for planned activities.
New Wagering Option:
Churchill Downs will debut its new 50-cent Single 6 Jackpot wager. This is a multi-race wager similar to Gulfstream Park’s Rainbow 6 that began two years ago. In the Churchill Downs wager, bettors must pick the winner of six consecutive races, but only one winner can take home the jackpot. Players with the highest number of winners will share 80% of the pool and the remaining 20% of the pool will carry over to the jackpot. Only one winning wager will take home the jackpot, so there is the potential the jackpot could reach lottery-like levels. For full details of this new wager, click here .
Racing runs Sunday, Oct. 27 through Saturday Nov. 30; no racing Mondays and Tuesdays. Gates open at 11:30 a.m., with the first daily post at 12:40 p.m. On Breeders’ Cup Friday and Saturday (Nov. 1 and 2) gates will open at 12:30 p.m., with the first post at 2 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., respectively. Gates will open at 3 p.m. for Downs After Dark Nov. 16, with a first post of 4:30 p.m. Admission is $3 ($10 on Downs After Dark) and children 12 and under are free. For reserved seating information, visit the Churchill Downs website .
Photo: Courtesy Churchill Downs