Ted and Scarlett
Ted and Becky
Red Carpet Roll Out
“Roll out the red carpet” is a phrase commonly used when formally welcoming VIPs, celebrities, or royalty. The Bluegrass Travelers are far from VIP status, but that didn’t stop us from getting the royal treatment and a red carpet welcome at Matt Winn’s Steakhouse at Churchill Downs, located at 750 Central Avenue in Louisville, KY.
It was a bit of a thrill walking arm in arm down the red carpet with my handsome husband as the racetrack staff smiled with one hand out, leading us towards our destination of Matt Winn’s Steakhouse at Churchill Downs. It’s likely that many of you have been on the same red carpet during your adventures at Churchill Downs during race time, but with the hustle and bustle of the crowd and so much to distract, it’s easy to miss even something as grand as the red carpet. For us, this experience was different.
Red Carpet Jockey Welcome
Matt Winn’s Churchill Downs History
The restaurant is named after Colonel Martin “Matt” J. Winn, who was a prominent figure in thoroughbred horse racing. He attended the first-ever Kentucky Derby with his father in 1875 at the age of 14. A traveling salesman and tailor by trade, Winn was approached by a friend in 1902 with news that the track was struggling financially and could be purchased for $40,000. Winn joined a partnership that bought the track, and he eventually became Churchill Downs’ vice president and general manager. Inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2017 as a “Pillar of the Turf,” he is said to have transformed the track into what it is today, including coming up with the $2 bet and making “My Old Kentucky Home” a Derby tradition.
Matt Winn Parlour
The Restaurant Tour
Surrounded by its rich horse racing history and tradition, Ted and I took our time taking in the beauty and magic of Churchill Downs. July is considered “the off season” at the track, meaning it is in between the spring and fall meets, so it’s absent of the typical crowds. It was almost surreal to feel like we had Churchill Downs all to ourselves. Jockey statues greeted us every 10 feet as we made our way down the red carpet, through the glass doors, and into the elevator.
As the elevator doors opened, we entered a parlor area with a rich interior of browns and reds. To the right hangs an Andy Warhol-like trio of paintings of Matt Winn himself. To the left is the entrance to the restaurant,Read more