The Backside Learning Canter is a nonprofit organization building community and enriching the lives of backside workers and families at Churchill Downs.




We promote and provide access to education and programs that support the health and wellbeing of our clients and their families. Our initiatives are designed to bridge resource gaps within our community.



We offer holistic support for our clients and their families through comprehensive case management and human services. Our guiding principles are centered around compassion, empathy, and empowerment.



This is the program's youth services component, provides after school support and activities for children ages 2 to 18. Children receive help with homework and participate in fun group activities that support their development and social skills.



English students have the opportunity to put into the practice what they learn in the classroom by being paired with a Conversation Partner. Partners are given a topic and spend half the session speaking English and half speaking Spanish.



Many backside workers use bikes as their primary source for transportation. The BLC keeps bike repair supplies onsite for cyclists to use.


Our doors first opened in June of 2004 when a few visionaries within the Kentucky Derby Museum and Churchill Downs identified the need to provide educational opportunities and resources to backside workers.

Thanks to generosity of local Thoroughbred owners, we launched the renovation of an old racing office on the backside to become the learning center’s new home. In 2010, after an 800-square-feet expansion, the Klein Family Learning Center and Winstar Library and Classrooms became the Backside Learning Center.

From this center we still operate today, as Churchill Downs graciously provides our building and its maintenance at no cost.

Since its inception, the BLC has evolved into a comprehensive resource center for the hidden heroes of Louisville’s horseracing industry. We provide English classes for adults, afterschool programming for the children of backside workers, and a diverse range of social services.

Just as important, we exist as a community center and a “home away from home” for the nearly 1,000 workers at Churchill Downs who represent more than 16 countries around the world.

The services and programs of the BLC today would not be possible without support from Louisville Thoroughbred owners and breeders Richard, Elaine, and Bert Klein,
and Bill Casner with WinStar Farm.

Thank you!