Although you might not consider heading to the track to celebrate the holiday, Churchill Downs serves up a traditional Thanksgiving feast for patrons to enjoy while watching and wagering on the races on Thanksgiving Day. For a ticket price of $52 per adult or $26 per child under age 12, you’ll get a seat in the Paddock Pavilion and a buffet lunch that includes turkey and all the sides. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to taste the turkey, you know it’s worth the price of admission!
The Paddock Pavilion is located next to the paddock and boasts a multi-media wall to watch the races and self-betting machines. The jockeys pass the Paddock Pavilion on their way to and from the jock’s room, so it is a perfect spot to see your favorite jockeys or ask for an autograph. Step outside to the paddock next door to view the horses before you head to the betting window.
In addition to the feast, live racing and simulcast wagering will be available. Churchill Downs has 12 races scheduled for the day including an allowance race headlined by 2010 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Champion Chamberlain Bridge. The feature race on the card is the Grade II $175,000 Falls City Handicap. This is the 96th running of this 1 1/8 mile race on the dirt for fillies and mares, three years old and up.
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay will send his filly Super Espresso back to the Churchill Downs track for the Falls City. Todd Pletcher trains the filly that finished seventh in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic. She is listed as the second choice in the field of 10 at a morning line of 5-2. Jockey Javier Castellano will ride.
Trainer Bill Mott and Flay will meet once again when Mott’s Arena Elvira takes to the field in the Falls City. It was Mott’s filly Royal Delta who won the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic. Arena Elvira has been listed as the slight favorite to Super Espresso at a morning line of 2-1. Jockey Junior Alvarado is slated to ride.
The field of 10 also includes It’s Tea Time, Riviera Chic, Spring Party, Juanita, Brushed by a Star, Secret File, Afleeting Lady and Ravi’s Song.
The race is the 11th on a 12-race card with a scheduled post of 4:24 p.m. Gates open at 10:00 a.m. and the first race is at 11:30 a.m. General admission (without the turkey dinner) is $3.
Photo: Jessie Oswald