Churchill’s Downs After Dark is a wild success
Churchill Downs has a hit on its hands with its night racing programs, which have transformed previously lackluster summer racing into a prime social experience that Louisville and racing fans have embraced, according to Lexington Herald-Leader's Janet Patton.
Churchill did it by shifting Friday racing to nights and bringing in special food, drinks, music and atmosphere, more than tripling on-track attendance and doubling on-track betting compared to afternoon racing previously conducted on those dates. Downs After Dark events have averaged nearly 28,000 in attendance.
“The key for us is to resist the urge to do it more,” (track spokesman Darren) Rogers said. “Too much and it won't be special anymore, but they want to do everything they can to capitalize on the moment.”