Robert Decker, previously executive vice president and chief financial officer for Churchill Downs Inc., has opened a Louisville, Ky., consulting practice that will provide advisory services to racetrack companies and racing support companies, as well as Kentucky-based firms in other industries.Decker, CDI's financial point man through a period of strong growth for the company, said he would offer general financial guidance, development of business plans and strategic plans, negotiation of financial instruments, and assistance with mergers and acquisitions. In addition, Decker said he would consult on simulcast and in-home wagering signal deployment, international business development, integration of new technologies, and initiation of joint ventures and strategic alliances."The racing industry faces a myriad of challenges and opportunities that demand complex solutions from experienced professionals," Decker, a certified public accountant, said in a release. "Racing companies, like all businesses, must adapt their strategic plans, business plans, financing techniques, and integration of new technologies to meet the competitive challenges they face, and I look forward to providing my clients with solutions that will maximize their opportunities for success."From 1997 through 2002, Decker directed the company's financial, treasury, investor relations, information technology, and administrative functions. He managed the company's acquisitions of Ellis Park, Calder Race Course, and Hollywood Park, as well as its merger with Arlington International Race Course. Decker also directed the spin-off of Churchill Downs Simulcast Network as a separate operating unit and served as its first president.The new practice is called Robert L. Decker LLC.