Opening Night 2018 At Churchill Downs

With The Kentucky Derby just over a week away, live racing will start Saturday for Opening Night 2018 at Churchill Downs. As is traditional for Downs After Dark, the evening will have a classy theme to “Dress to Impress”. A great opportunity to test run your Derby attire as you watch the races.


Ten races are scheduled for Saturday including the William Walker Stakes. A large field of ten three year-olds for five furlongs on turf with a purse of $100,000. First post is at 6 p.m. (ET) with the William Walker Stakes race at 10:11 p.m.

For Opening Night 2018 Churchill Downs will have several live events going on during and after the races including an award ceremony for best dressed, live music and performing artists.

Events include:

      • Awards in the Arts Orange, the Color of Creativity (Folks are encouraged wear orange)
      • The Jesse Lees 7:15PM-8:45PM- Plaza Stage
      • Louisville Crashers 9:00PM-11:30PM- Plaza Stage
      • Performing Artists: Acting Against Cancer, Amberly Simpson & Dancers, Bohemian Monkey, Bri Bowers, Casey McKinney, CirqueLouis, DESTINED Dance Company, Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Grant Goodwine, GSA Alumni,  Jecorey “1200” Arthur + NadaLoutfi, Juggernaut Jug Band, The Art of Kacy, Kentucky Opera, Kentucky Shakespeare, Kuvebo! West African Drum and Dance, Micah Chandler, Tatiana Rathke + Jennifer Greb, The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Louisville, Tyler Robertson and Wheeler Elementary Students.

For more information on Opening Night 2018 and the race schedule, head over to Churchill Downs.

That’s very, very special to do it at Tampa Bay,” an emotional O’Connell said after Well Defined’s two-and-three-quarter length victory from a charging Kentucky Wildcat in 1:42.70 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth, .26 seconds off 2018 winner Flameaway’s stakes record. So Alive finished a distant third, with the 19-10 favorite, Knicks Go, getting nipped for fourth at the wire by Counter Offer.

“He’s had little things that have happened and he’s grown up mentally and physically, and today he showed up with his game face on,” O’Connell said of the Florida-bred Well Defined, a son of With Distinction by Fru Fru, out of Medaglia d’Oro. “I like this horse a lot and the decision (on what’s next) will be up to the owners (Gilbert and Marilyn Campbell’s Stonehedge, LLC), but we just want him healthy. Maybe the (Grade II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby on March 9) – who knows.”

“His rear end slipped out from underneath him in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile,” she said, “and he was compromised on early position when he ran in the Mucho Macho Man and got bottled up inside. He’s a young horse who is improving, mind-wise and everything-wise.”


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