Churchill Downs Inc

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Lawmakers to Agencies: Consider Jockeys' Rights

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are calling on the National Labor Relations Board and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to take action to protect jockeys, exercise riders, and others who work with racehorses.

Live Racing Up in the Air; Gulfstream Takes Horses

Restoration of power is the key to whether Calder Race Course can resume simulcast operations in time for the Oct. 29 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park, and the South Florida racetrack's live racing schedule remains up in the air in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma, which damaged a number of barns in the stable area.

Ellis Park's Paul Kuerzi to Step Down

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Paul Kuerzi, who has served as vice president and general manager of Ellis Park since 1999, has announced plans to leave the Henderson, Ky., track at the end of the year.

'Big Three,' Others to Renew NTRA Membership

The three major racetrack operators -- Churchill Downs Inc., Magna Entertainment Corp., and the New York Racing Association -- have confirmed along with other racing associations and horsemen's groups the renewal of their membership in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

Churchill Downs Completes Sale of Hollywood Park

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Churchill Downs Inc. and Bay Meadows Land Company completed the sale of Hollywood Park racetrack and surrounding acreage at the Inglewood, Calif., site to Hollywood Park Land Company, an affiliate of BMLC, for $257.5 million. CDI will use the proceeds of the sale to pay down debt.

NTRA Approaches Critical Point on Memberships

With 2006 a little more than three months away, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association continues to push for membership renewals and seek new members in advance of its annual meeting, scheduled for Oct. 10-12 in Lexington.

Churchill, Horsemen Agree on 37-Day Meet in Louisiana

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Churchill Downs Inc. Tuesday announced the company had reached a preliminary arrangement with the leadership of the Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association ("LAHBPA") on details for a shortened Fair Grounds race meet from Nov. 19, 2005, to Jan. 22, 2006, for a total of 37 race dates.

Fair Grounds Security Official Recalls Katrina

Fair Grounds' assistant security chief Jim Schanbien, along with seven co-workers, showed dedication to their city and the historic New Orleans racetrack by volunteering to remain to help firefighters during the blustery violence of Hurricane Katrina and its watery aftermath.

CDI Eliminates 18 Positions at Hollywood Park

Churchill Downs Inc. is eliminating 18 positions at Hollywood Park, including four department heads, in anticipation of completing the Inglewood, Calif., racetrack's sale to Bay Meadows Land Co. The sale is scheduled to close Sept. 23.

Kentucky Horsemen Question Ellis Park Purse Cut

The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has taken issue with an Ellis Park purse reduction that has put the minimum purse to near $5,000 for the first time in recent memory at any Thoroughbred racetrack in Kentucky.

Meeker Addresses Problems Facing Industry

Although competition from casinos and the desire to obtain alternative gaming at racetracks generate the most buzz about problems facing North American horse racing, Churchill Downs president and CEO Tom Meeker says there are other issues facing the industry that must be resolved.

Churchill Downs Sells Hollywood Park

Saying that California "has forsaken racing and its needs," the president of Churchill Downs Inc. announced July 6 that the company has sold historic Hollywood Park to Bay Meadows Land Company for $260 million.

Horsemen Seek Stability as Hollywood Deal Looms

Officials maintained a taut no-comment stance on reports that Churchill Downs Inc. is close to a deal with the owner of Bay Meadows for the sale of Hollywood Park, but a spokesman for California's major trainers' organization expressed comfort in the news.

CDI: Internal Growth, Several External Challenges

Churchill Downs the company hopes to reap the rewards of what president Tom Meeker calls a "culture change," and it also plans to utilize its resources to deal with three lingering industry problems: the tote system, offshore wagering, and short fields.

Churchill Loses $13.9M in First Quarter of 2005

Churchill Downs Inc. posted revenue gains for the opening quarter of 2005 thanks to the addition of 61 racing dates at the newly acquired Fair Grounds, but higher corporate expenses resulted in a net loss of $13.9 million, the company reported May 10.

Allred Pulls Out of Los Alamitos Plan

Ed Allred, the owner of Los Alamitos Race Course, has reportedly backed out of a plan that could have brought Thoroughbred racing to his Quarter Horse facility in the event Hollywood Park were to be sold to development interests.

CDI Secures $1 Million Policy for Jockeys

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Churchill Downs Inc. has finalized agreements with AIG Insurance to provide $1 million in on-track insurance coverage for jockeys who compete at CDI racetracks located in states where jockeys are not currently covered by workers' compensation programs.

Barden Named Assistant GM at Hollypark

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Tim Barden, Hollywood Park's management liaison since 2000, has been promoted to assistant general manager of the Los Angeles-area racetrack, general manager Eual Wyatt Jr. announced on behalf of Hollywood Park and parent company Churchill Downs Inc.

Guild Files Counterclaim Over CDI Lawsuit

The Jockeys' Guild, in an answer and counterclaim filed March 24 in United States District Court for the western district of Kentucky, charges Churchill Downs Inc. used "exploitative tactics" in dealing with jockeys at company-owned Churchill Downs and Hoosier Park.

CDI: No Hollywood Comment Pending Deliberations

Churchill Downs Inc. officials discussed the company's financial picture, alternative gaming initiatives, and the industry's tote system during a March 17 teleconference but shed little light on their intentions for Hollywood Park, the Southern California racetrack that is the subject of sale rumors.

TOC: No Choice But to Evaluate Options

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The Thoroughbred Owners of California, faced with the possibility of losing a major racetrack partner, has been discussing its options for the future given ongoing rumors Hollywood Park may be sold and no longer offer horse racing.

Churchill Sues Guild, Cuts Off Contributions

Churchill Downs Inc. has cut off its voluntary financial contributions to the Jockeys' Guild and has sued the organization over what it believes were violations of federal and state law when jockeys opted not to ride last fall at Churchill Downs and Hoosier Park.

CDI Cuts Off Betting Services, Tightens Standards

Churchill Downs Inc. has suspended its business relationship with wagering services named in an indictment over alleged illegal gambling and race-fixing, and also is tightening standards for all account wagering services that take signals from the company's racetracks.

Churchill Names New Director of Marketing

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Churchill Downs has appointed Stacey Meier to serve as the track's director of marketing. The native of Fort Wayne, Ind., most recently served as director of marketing for the Churchill Downs Simulcast Network, a post she had held since 2003.

Smarty Jones Derby Items to Benefit War Fund

Churchill Downs Inc. is offering rare memorabilia of 2004 Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones in an eBay auction to benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. A ticket package to the 2005 Kentucky Derby and Oaks will also be offered in the auction, which is scheduled to begin on Nov. 26.

Smarty Jones Derby Items to Benefit War Fund

  • News

Churchill Downs Inc. is offering rare memorabilia of 2004 Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones in an eBay auction to benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. A ticket package to the 2005 Kentucky Derby and Oaks will also be offered in the auction, which is scheduled to begin on Nov. 26.

Churchill Downs Inc. Makes Financial Adjustments

Churchill Downs Inc. has revised its financial statements to reflect reductions in pre-tax earnings for 2002 and 2003 of $2.2 million and $1 million, respectively, because of purse overpayments. The company also noted impairment charges of $6.2 million at Ellis Park because of "poor" live meet results this summer.

Hoosier Ejects Jockeys, Guild Officials Over Walkout

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Hoosier Park in Indiana lost its entire 12-race card the evening of Nov. 12 after all but a few members of the jockey colony refused to ride. The jockeys are protesting over what they believe is a lack of adequate medical insurance, and they also called on the track to install a safety rail.

Calder Veteran Abes Named New General Manager

Calder Race Course president Ken Dunn Monday announced the appointment of Michael D. Abes as vice president and general manager for the Thoroughbred track in Miami, Fla. Abes has been treasurer at Calder since 1991 and will retain that position when he assumes his new duties.

Jockeys' Guild Continues Push on Scale of Weights

A controversial plan to increase the scale of weights for Thoroughbreds racing in California has been delayed until at least Dec. 2. But an attorney for the Jockeys' Guild, which is pushing the proposal, said riders remain determined to see it adopted.

Partners in Triple Crown Productions at Odds

A rift has developed among the partners in Triple Crown Productions, which holds the television rights to the three grade I Visa Triple Crown events: the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, and the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park.

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