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Churchill Downs Virtual Backside Tour Experience

Sports & Leisure

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Experience the 2021 Kentucky Derby® in a whole new way. A week before the official Kentucky Derby kickoff, this exclusive virtual event will feature a 90-minute guided tour of the Churchill Downs backside, including a conversation about the history of the facility, the race, and the horses. Guided by a Kentucky Derby Museum docent, Cardmembers will get an insider look behind the scenes in advance of race day.

In true Kentucky Derby style, the tour will kick off with a traditional Derby drink demonstration by moderator and Kentucky native, Sylvia Holden. Hear how these cocktails were developed and perfected over the years. The first stop will be across the racetrack from the most significant structure, the Twin Spires, an architectural feature that sits atop the grandstand and has become the universally recognized symbol for Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. Along the tour, Cardmembers will virtually visit the legendary backside barns. Located behind the racetrack, the barns can house upward of 1,200 horses. Louisville-based horse trainer and Eclipse Award-winning Outstanding Trainer 2020, Brad Cox will share background on horse training and what it takes to train horses for victory. At the Clock Tower, Donna Barton Brothers, former jockey, NBC equestrian commentator, and local resident, will offer insight into the Kentucky Derby racing experience from a jockey’s perspective. Throughout the backside tour, Cardmembers will also have the opportunity to ask live questions (questions may be limited based on timing).

Cardmembers will receive a gift box with a copy of The Kentucky Derby, a copy of The Bourbon Bartender: 50 Cocktails to Celebrate the American Spirit, two official Kentucky Derby Mint Julep glasses, two official Kentucky Oaks Lily glasses, one official Kentucky Derby poster, one bottle of simple syrup, one Derby-pie®, one box of Woodford Reserve® bourbon ball chocolates, and one “dirty horseshoe” from Churchill Downs.

Sylvia Holden grew up in Louisville and earned her bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University. Holden’s love and passion for all things Kentucky has flourished; for six years she worked in the consumer-facing side of the bourbon industry and has published a children’s book about Kentucky.

Trainer Brad Cox has won more than 1,500 races and his horses have amassed more than $80 million in earnings. Among Cox’s victories are two wins in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) with Monomoy Girl (2018) and Shedaresthedevil (2020) and seven Breeders’ Cup wins.

Donna Barton Brothers is a former jockey who has won over 1,100 horse races and now covers horse racing and other equestrian sports for NBC Sports and NBCSN. She is one of the most decorated female jockeys of her time, retiring in 1998 with 1,130 career wins and still ranks second on the money list.

Please note: This event is available nationwide with the gift box shipped to Cardmember’s provided delivery address. You will receive a detailed confirmation letter and additional event information via email. This virtual event will take place on Zoom. Logging on with a smartphone is not recommended for this event. Specific log-in instructions for Zoom will be sent via email four (4) days prior to your event. This event may include select pre-recorded content to best highlight the activity that occurs at different times of day leading up to the race.

Experience Includes

Experience Includes:

  • Guided 90-minute virtual tour of the backside of Churchill Downs
  • Hosted live Q&A with Cardmembers (questions may be limited based on timing)
  • A custom gift box including:
    • 1 copy of The Kentucky Derby
    • 1 copy of The Bourbon Bartender: 50 Cocktails to Celebrate the American Spirit
    • 2 official Kentucky Derby Mint Julep glasses
    • 2 official Kentucky Oaks Lily glasses
    • 1 official Kentucky Derby poster
    • 1 bottle of simple syrup
    • 1 Derby-pie® (serves 1-2)
    • 1 box of Woodford Reserve® bourbon ball chocolates
    • 1 “dirty horseshoe” from Churchill Downs

Tentative Event Schedule

All times listed in Eastern & Pacific time zones

Please note: All times are Eastern and Pacific. Schedule subject to change. The event begins promptly at 12:00 PM ET / 9:00 AM PT.

Event Location

Virtual experience Via Zoom

Virtual experience, Zoom