For the first time since 2000, the Breeders' Cup World Championships returns to Churchill Downs Nov. 4. The historic track has held the event five times in the past, and the six-year gap between hosting duties is the longest it has faced.
As soon as ESPN and the NTRA announced that Trevor Denman would replace Tom Durkin as the racecaller for the 23rd Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Denman's phone started to ring.
Right before the draw of the Breeders' Cup races takes place on the fourth floor of the clubhouse at Churchill Downs, Lisa Underwood surveys the scene. She's not eating breakfast from the buffet, but that's not to say she doesn't have a lot on her plate.
The Breeders' Cup board of directors has made no decision on limiting the racetracks that could be considered as future host sites for the World Championships, but during an Oct. 31 luncheon in Louisville, Ky., officials couldn't say enough about having the event at Churchill Downs.
Bernardini had his final workout at Belmont Park Oct. 31 and is ready for his start in the biggest race of the year.
Rev. Ed Donally is standing outside Barn 36 with an armful of new halters, watching as Lava Man cools out from his morning gallop. Donally, with the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, is in from California to coordinate the White Horse Award Luncheon.
The turf at Churchill Downs on Breeders' Cup day should be firm--that is, if the long-range forecast holds up.
Along with Classic contenders Sun King and Flower Alley putting in their final drills for Saturday's World Championships at Churchill Downs, several other runners stretched their legs under the Twin Spires.
A bronze statue of Hall of Fame Jockey Pat Day, his arms raised in triumph, was unveiled during a noon ceremony Sunday at Churchill Downs. The sculpture, created by Louisville artist Raymond Graf, was inspired by Day's victory in the 1992 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) aboard Lil E. Tee.
A pair of contenders for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), along with some of their stablemates in other World Championship races, took a tour of Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
Breeders' Cup officials hoping the Nov. 4 World Championships at Churchill Downs will produce a record crowd for the event should be pleased with the long-range forecast.
A few minutes after King of the Roxy broke his maiden in his second start July 2 at Hollywood Park, Barry Irwin was on the phone speaking with his Team Valor partner, Jeff Siegel. Now they have a contender for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Oct. 26 that a John Deere X304 riding mower tractor with a retail value of $3,499 will be given away at the November 4 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Todd Pletcher is taking his record-breaking role of pre-entering 18 Breeders' Cup World Championship starters all in stride. Pletcher is expected to have at least one starter in seven of the eight championship day races, with the lone exception the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
Trainer Todd Pletcher called the exclusion of Flower Alley from the body of the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) 'a joke' during a National Thoroughbred Racing Association/Breeders' Cup media teleconference Oct. 25 to announce the pre-entries for the eight-race $20-million event.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien spoke out about the chances of his star 3-year-old George Washington in the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), calling him "possibly the best horse we've ever, ever had."
Trainer Aidan O'Brien pre-entered five horses for the Breeders' Cup World Championships. Based at Ballydoyle in Ireland, O'Brien holds a strong pair for the NetJets Mile (gr. IT) despite the fact one of Europe's top milers, George Washington, has been entered to run in the $5-million Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at 10 furlongs.
Considering Churchill Downs' success as host of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, track and event officials are anticipating the possibility of a record crowd when the eight races with record purses of $20 million are held at the Louisville track Nov. 4.
Officials of Breeders' Cup and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Oct. 24 the race order, post times, and wagering menu for the 23rd Breeders' Cup World Championships, to be held Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
Thomas Meeker, who guided Churchill Downs through a racing renaissance and led the transformation of Churchill Downs, Inc. into one of the world's major racing companies, will be presented with the 2006 "Warner L. Jones Jr. Horseman of the Year Award" by Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners Nov. 11 at the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville.
Trainers Murray Johnson (Perfect Drift) and Eddie Kenneally (Bushfire and Kelly's Landing) will be guests of the Louisville Thoroughbred Club at its Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Celebration.
Two Churchill Downs-based horses were confirmed as being part of the cast for the Breeders' Cup World Championships on Nov. 4 as Jay-Em-Ess Stable's Suave was pre-entered on Monday to run in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic powered by Dodge (gr. I) and Phoebe Mueller's Rush Bay was pre-entered in the $3 million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Churchill Downs is putting the finishing touches on quarantine and isolation facilities that will house foreign participants set to compete in the 23rd Breeders' Cup World Championships at the historic track.
Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News became a five-time winner and three newcomers earned top honors as Churchill Downs announced the winners of its 2006 Red Smith Kentucky Derby Writing Contest, which annually recognizes the best in print media coverage of America's greatest race.
Churchill Downs will accept entries for races during its upcoming Oct. 29-Nov. 25 Fall Meet and subsequent race meets three days in advance of those races.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Limited have selected EarthLink to be an official sponsor of the Breeders' Cup World Championships and the event's exclusive Internet service provider partner.
Breeders' Cup officials have confirmed that Lava Man, the 5-year-old gelding who is the top contender for the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) has been nominated to the Breeders' Cup program as a horse of racing age.
Academy Award-winning actor Joe Pesci will be the featured speaker at a luncheon Oct. 30 at the Galt House that will launch the weeklong celebration of the return of the Breeders' Cup World Championships to Churchill Downs for a record sixth time.
The Rolling Stones didn't play "Wild Horses" during their groundbreaking concert at Churchill Downs Friday night. But they did perform "Dead Flowers," which featured Mick Jagger singing about roses and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) Day, as rain fell on the Twin Spires.
Churchill Downs' anticipated sale of Ellis Park to a company headed by Kentucky businessman Ron Geary is complete, finalizing a deal that was announced in July.
The Kentucky Lottery and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association have teamed up to send 10 lottery players to the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs. The players are winners of the second-chance drawing held as a promotion for the Kentucky Lottery $2 Breeders' Cup scratch-off ticket.
With the 2006 Breeders' Cup World Championships five weeks away, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association will launch the "Emirates Airline Countdown to the Breeders' Cup" series this Saturday on ESPN. Scheduled for three consecutive Saturdays, the shows will present key prep races to sort out the contenders from the pretenders for racing's championship day.
Breeders' Cup officials are working with Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to ensure wagering on this year's World Championships is available at two Indiana off-track betting parlors near the Kentucky border.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority unanimously voted to deny a waiver of the state's new helmet rule for international riders participating in the Breeders' Cup World Championships Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.
Free online video race replays are now available for all Churchill Downs live facilities, the company announced on Friday.
A life-size bronze sculpture of retired Kentucky Derby (gr. I)-winning jockey Pat Day is on schedule for a formal unveiling and dedication at Churchill Downs during the opening week of its Oct. 29-Nov. 25 fall meet. Day is the all-time leading rider at Churchill Downs and a member of Thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame.
The world of fashion will be turned on its ear at Churchill Downs Sept. 13, as the official logo for Kentucky Derby 133 is unveiled.
Two Churchill Downs Inc.-owned racetracks - Churchill Downs and Fair Grounds - have named Ben Huffman and Sam Abbey as their respective racing secretaries.
- By Claire Novak
Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of 2006 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Jazil, has been named this year's MS Champion by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Kentucky-Southeast Indiana Chapter.
Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. will co-host the Taylor Made Farm White Horse Heroes Luncheon and the presentation of Race Track Chaplaincy of America's fourth White Horse Award, held in conjunction with the Breeders' Cup World Championships this fall at Churchill Downs.
Trevor Denman has joined the ESPN announcer team for coverage of the 2006 Breeders' Cup World Championships, ESPN said Sept. 6.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - Last time I looked there were no sure things in racing. There are, however, some pretty safe bets. Here are a few I see.
Besides being seen on a new network this year, the Breeders' Cup World Championships will have a different sound as well. For the first time since the event's inception in 1984, Tom Durkin will not be calling the Breeders' Cup races for television viewers.
Doug Bredar, racing secretary at Churchill Downs and Ellis Park since 2002, has been dismissed from his position, according to the Daily Racing Form.
By Tammy Thomas Curlin - When I read about Churchill Downs' reluctance to re-open Fair Grounds in New Orleans for live racing this year I was reminded of that famous line "If you build it, he will come" from the wonderful movie Field of Dreams.
Taylor Made Sales Agency will be the principal sponsor for this year's White Horse Heroes Luncheon, at which Race Track Chaplaincy of America will announce the winner of its fourth White Horse Award.
- By Ron Mitchell
The continuing consolidation of racing interests seeking the franchise currently held by the New York Racing Association took a quantum leap Wednesday when it was announced that Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment were joining the Empire Racing team.
Churchill Downs, Inc. reported net earnings from continuing operations for the second quarter of $33.4 million, or $2.45 per diluted share, significantly higher than the $22.7 million, or $1.69 per diluted share, earned during the same period in 2005.
Churchill Downs announced Monday that the legendary rock group The Rolling Stones will play at the Louisville, Ky. track on the evening of Sept. 29.
Churchill Downs Incorporated and Magna Entertainment Corp., the two largest track-operating companies in the U.S., announced Friday that they have entered into an agreement to cooperate in the bidding process for the New York racetrack franchise, which is currently held by the New York Racing Association and will expire Dec. 31, 2007.
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