Saratoga Casino and Raceway

Saratoga Casino and Raceway

Skipn Dickstein

CDI Gets 5-Year Contract with Saratoga Casino

Churchill Downs to manage the Saratoga Casino and Raceway; pursues 25% equity stake.

Churchill Downs Inc., and Saratoga Harness Racing Inc., have executed a binding term sheet and are close to finalizing a five-year contract for CDI to take over management of the Saratoga Casino and Raceway in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and the Saratoga Casino Black Hawk in Black Hawk, Colo. The two companies had announced the developing partnership in May.

Once the contract is finalized, CDI will need to obtain the necessary licenses and approvals in New York and Colorado. The management contract becomes effective as soon those licenses are approved.

"We are very excited about the expansion of our relationship with Churchill Downs," said James D. Featherstonhaugh, secretary and chief legal officer of Saratoga Harness Racing. "We look forward to a long and successful partnership between two iconic names in the racing and gaming world."

CDI and Saratoga Harness Racing are also involved in a joint bid to build Capital View Casino & Resort, a proposed world-class destination resort casino in East Greenbush, N.Y., which CDI would also manage. A binding term sheet for this management agreement was included with CDI and SHRI's New York casino license application submitted June 30.

"We are proud to take an ownership interest in Saratoga Harness Racing Inc., which shares with us a passion for offering premier racing and gaming entertainment," said CDI president Bill Carstanjen. "We are excited to expand our operations into New York and Colorado and hope to become more involved in the Capital Region if we are fortunate enough to be awarded a license to build and operate Capital View Casino & Resort."

In other business, CDI has begun negotiating on a stock purchase agreement that will give the Louisville-based company 25% economic and voting interests of Saratoga Harness Racing. In addition to its flagship Saratoga Casino and Raceway, the harness and casino company owns a controlling interest in Saratoga Casino Black Hawk; a 50% interest in a joint venture with Delaware North Companies to manage the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Resort in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and a minority interest in Ellis Park, a Thoroughbred racing and instant racing machine facility in Henderson, Ky.

Saratoga Harness Racing has filed a second New York casino application with partner Rush Street Gaming for a New York casino in Newburgh, N.Y. in the Hudson Valley-Catskills Region.