Churchill Downs To Use Lights For Breeders’ Cup, Night Racing During Fall Meet

The fall meet at Churchill Downs begins Sunday. The 21-day meet will make use of the permanent lights that were installed at the track earlier this year.

The meet will feature the Breeders’ Cup next Friday and Saturday, and some of the cup races will be run under lights for the first time. Churchill Downs spokesperson John Asher says the track will also host one Downs After Dark night racing event in mid-November. There were four such events in the spring meet.

“It’s built for the summertime,” he says. “The weather works well. It’s been an outdoor experience in the summertime, with a lot of activity in the paddock–the dancing and dining…dancing on the terraces around the racetrack.”

Asher says officials are eager to find out if cooler weather will affect turnout for night events. He says it’s hoped that the Breeders’ Cup will drive up attendance for the rest of the meet.