A memorial service for Julian Logan “Buck” Wheat, the longtime director of horsemen’s relations and the unofficial “Mayor of the Backside” at Churchill Downs will be held at the track Wednesday, Dec. 28.
Wheat, 78, died on Dec. 21 at University of Louisville Hospital of complications from injuries suffered in a fall at his home a day earlier. His life was linked to Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby, and the horse industry for more than six decades.
The memorial service will begin at 1 p.m. (all times Eastern) in the Triple Crown Room in Churchill Downs’ Jockey Club Suites. Visitation for Wheat is set for Tuesday, Dec. 27, from 12-8 p.m. at Highlands Funeral Home, 3331 Taylorsville Road. Additional visitation is scheduled Wednesday in the Triple Crown Room from 11 a.m. until the memorial service begins.
Those attending the visitation and memorial service at Churchill Downs should enter the track via Gate 1, which is located off Central Avenue adjacent to the Kentucky Derby Museum.