Churchill Downs Inc. has appointed Ted Nicholson to oversee operations at Calder Race Course on an interim basis, one day after CDI implemented a company-wide personnel overhaul.
Nicholson, a vice president at CDI, is taking over the duties of Ken Dunn, Calder’s former president who stepped down from that post on April 9. Dunn has remained Calder’s top on-site official while working as a consultant to CDI. His last day at Calder is scheduled for July 31.
Nicholson has been at Calder during the week of July 14. Calder officials expect he will be on-site on a full-time basis on or around Aug. 1. CDI has not issued a timetable for naming a permanent successor to Dunn, who had been Calder’s president since 1990.
A Calder official added: “Yesterday (July 17), CDI reduced the size of its workforce, including some full-time positions at Calder. The restructuring at Calder affected mainly our accounting department, as many of the finance capabilities are being relocated to the CDI finance team. None of the reductions were job performance related.”
CDI spokesman Kevin Flanery declined to give specific details of the company’s personnel changes, which were incorporated at all of the company’s racetracks. The changes include some terminations.
“It’s not performance based,” said Flanery in a July 17 telephone interview with The Blood-Horse. “It’s for the most part our ordinary efforts to examine how we best run our business.”
Churchill Downs realized an estimated 11.5% decline in handle during its meet that ended July 6 while Calder has experienced wagering dips of more than 70% during its current meet, both impacted heavily by signal restrictions due to battles with horsemen over revenue sharing.