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Kentucky has been home to horse racing since the late 18th century. In 1875, Col. M. Lewis Clark opened Churchill Downs. Clark designed the Kentucky Derby®, Kentucky Oaks® and Clark Handicap as the three major stakes races modeled after England's Epsom Derby, Epsom Oaks and St. Leger Stakes. This paddock was built in 1903 and, during its existence Sir Barton, a chestnut colt bred in Kentucky, won the 1919 Kentucky Derby by five lengths and went on to be the inaugural Triple Crown winner. 1923 was the last year this paddock was used since a new paddock was built behind the clubhouse. Over the course of the last 89 years, this paddock's wood served different track functions, primarily housing parimutuel windows. Over the past century, Churchill Downs was named National Historic Landmark in 1986 and remains a beloved icon by horse racing enthusiasts.
Churchill Downs Authentication
Spring 2021 Churchill Downs Magazine - pg. 146