Churchill Downs will host its only Downs After Dark program offered during its fall meet tonight, Friday, November 18. The theme is Animal Kingdom (named after this year's Kentucky Derby winner) in which fans are encouraged to wear animal print attire to match the track’s Animal Kingdom decor.
An array of musical entertainment is scheduled to occur near the paddock for Friday’s Downs After Dark. Acoustic duo Josh and Holly will perform between races in the paddock area from 3-5:30 p.m.; “Decks and Drums,” a unique performance by DJ Prism and drummer Alex “Fro” Fromeyer will follow from 6-8 p.m.; and Nashville’s popular funk/rhythm and blues/soul band, Burning Las Vegas, will conclude the entertainment from 8:30-10:30 p.m.
Churchill Downs has created a new entertainment option for race fans called Millionaires Lounge. Held on Millionaire’s Row 6 exclusively for night racing, Millionaires Lounge offers patrons trackside viewing and exclusive samplings that include Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Aged Rye and Chambord Vodka paired with food samplings. Tickets for Millionaires Lounge are $40. A cash bar and special $5 menu items will also be available for purchase. Entertainment in Millionaires Lounge will be provided by Grupo Ache.
Churchill Downs will continue some of the admission changes installed prior to the last Downs After Dark program held in July. Admission from 3-8:30 p.m. is $10. After 8:30 p.m., admission increases to $20. No one under the age of 18 will be admitted to the track after 8:30 p.m. unless accompanied by a parent.
The Bet or No Bet promotion sponsored by Thortons also returns. This is a “text to enter” contest in which four random race fans will be chosen to take $100 in cash or place a $1,000 win wager on a horse in the upcoming race. This contest is open to on-track fans only.
The official artwork of the 2012 Kentucky Derby will be on display Friday night at the Kentucky Derby Museum Store. For a brief 30 minutes beginning at 6:00 p.m., artist Robert Joyner will be on hand to sign the prints. Prints can be viewed or pre-ordered on the museum’s website.
Gates open for Downs After Dark at 3:00 p.m. and the first post is at 4:30 p.m. The eleven-race card concludes at 9:36 p.m. and the track closes at 10:30 p.m.
Photo: Courtesy Churchill Downs