Will Farish, appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Will Farish, appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Associated Press

Farish and Churchill Downs Wait on Confirmation

If Lane's End Farm owner Will Farish is confirmed next week as the next U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, it will take Churchill Downs two or three weeks to replace him as chairman of the board.

Farish had his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday morning at the same time Churchill Downs convened its annual shareholders meeting in Louisville, Ky. The senate committee is not expected to vote on Farish's confirmation until it meets next week, but unanimous approval is anticipated, according to a press officer for Committee Chairman Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del).

Once Farish is confirmed as ambassador, he will be required to immediately resign as Churchill Downs' chairman and resign from the board of directors, according to company spokeswoman Julie Koenig.

"His resignation is the trigger," Koenig said. "Once that happens then all the dominoes start to fall."

Churchill Downs' executive committee will meet shortly after Farish resigns and select a nominee. The executive committee members are Charles W. (Stormy) Bidwill Jr., Richard Duchossois, J. David Grissom, and Carl Pollard. After a nominee is selected, the board of directors will meet in person or by teleconference to discuss the nominee and take a vote, according to Koenig. A new chairman could be selected as soon as two weeks after Farish resigns.

During Thursday's shareholders meeting, company president and chief executive Tom Meeker was appointed chairman of the meeting to serve in Farish's capacity while he was in Washington D.C. A Blood-Horse Internet story that ran earlier Thursday incorrectly stated that Meeker had replaced Farish as chairman.

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