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.
- By Tom Precious
Bidders vying for the major Thoroughbred franchise in New York blew their own horns -- and did a bit of not-so-subtle bashing of each other -- before an Aug. 1 who's who of racing industry insiders, including members of a state panel considering the bids to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
Lawyer Ron, a 2 ¾-length winner of the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), recorded his first workout since surgery after running in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) yesterday. The 3-year-old colt was timed in a zippy :34 1/5 for three furlongs, galloping out four furlongs in :46 and change over the main track at Churchill Downs.
One day after being named chief executive officer and president of Churchill Downs Inc., Robert Evans told a group of assembled media he is ready to lead the Louisville, Ky.-based racetrack company into the future.
The board of directors of Churchill Downs Inc. announced Wednesday that Robert L. Evans, a horse owner and breeder who has a background in technology, manufacturing and private equity capital, will succeed Tom Meeker as company president and chief executive officer.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority is considering changes to the rules regarding claiming races in an effort increase field sizes at the state's racetracks.
Churchill Downs Inc. has reached a definite agreement to sell Ellis Park in western Kentucky to a company owned by Ron Geary, a horse owner who recently retired as president and chief executive officer of ResCare, a Louisville, Ky., based, publicly-held provider of training services and services to persons with developmental and other disabilities.
Churchill Downs concluded its 57-day Spring meet today with gains in total and off-track wagering and declines in on-track attendance and average daily on-track wagering.
At age 23, Julien Leparoux became the second apprentice in Churchill Downs' 131-year history to earn a leading rider title when he finished the 2006 spring meet with 87 winners on July 16.
An issue with the totalisator system at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, July 4 resulted in a delay of payouts on winning tickets in three Pick 3 wagers.
- By Tom Precious
A who's who of racing industry heavyweights formally notified New York state June 30 of their interest in obtaining the franchise now held by the New York Racing Association to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
Trainer Bob Baffert, who was fined $500 by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority for incidents involving security guards at this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), said he would like for Churchill Downs to have security personnel who recognize horsemen positioned in key areas, such as the paddock.
Churchill Downs recently promoted two members of its corporate support team to the position of vice president. Ted Gay has been promoted to vice president of business development, while Julie Koenig Loignon has been promoted to vice president of communications.
- By Tom Precious
The New York Racing Association will include a for-profit partner in its bid to hold onto the state franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks, NYRA president Charles Hayward said June 26.
Ribbon-cutting ceremonies for a new non-denominational chapel located in the Churchill Downs stable area will be held today, Monday, June 19, at 7 p.m.
- By Ron Mitchell
As the search for his successor continues, Churchill Downs Inc. president and chief executive officer Tom Meeker presided over his 22nd and final shareholders' meeting Thursday, painting a positive picture of the racetrack operating company's future while also accepting plaudits from fellow directors and company employees.
- By Tom Precious
The long-awaited Request For Proposals for the franchise to operate racing at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga was approved for release June 13 by a state government panel, though it appears increasingly unlikely the winning bidder will be selected this year.
Brass Hat, winner of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) and runner-up in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), and Buzzards Bay, winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), were assigned high weight of 121 pounds apiece for Saturday's $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- For the second consecutive year, no contemporary horses were elected to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. That is astonishing, considering some of the champions named on the ballot.
Churchill Downs must receive ticket applications for the 2006 Breeders' Cup World Championships by June 1 in order to be included in a random drawing that determines the order those applications will be processed.
- By Ron Mitchell
Churchill Downs Inc. has restructured some of the company's corporate staff, resulting in the elimination of several positions and consolidation of the corporate and racetrack communications and marketing departments.
Ronald H. Rodriguez of Chicago defeated 125,211 fellow handicappers to claim a $10,000 prize by selecting the winning Kentucky Derby 132 superfecta in the $1 million Kentucky Derby "Super" Challenge, a free contest sponsored by Churchill Downs Incorporated.
- By Tom LaMarra
Churchill Downs Inc. officials are encouraged by a rebound of their Louisiana operations in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but it appears slot machines at Fair Grounds won't be operating until mid-2008 at the earliest.
TV Games Network set a one-day handle record of $7,555,958 Kentucky Derby day, May 6. The amount was up 18% from Derby day in 2005.
Yum! Brands, the new presenting sponsor of the grade I Kentucky Derby, said it gained almost $2.7 million in "total comparable exposure value" on air during the May 6 broadcast of the event.
Youbet.com, the online wagering company with headquarters in Southern California, handled $5.6 million Kentucky Derby day, May 6, an increase of 34% from 2005 and the highest one-day amount in the history of the company.
As trainer Michael Matz savored Saturday's impressive victory by Lael Stables' Barbaro in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainers of the horses that finished behind the son of Dynaformer reflected Sunday morning on what went wrong and what lies ahead.
Wagering on Saturday's 132nd Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Churchill Downs shattered several records, including a North American mark for total betting on a single race, as an on-track crowd of 157,536 saw Lael Stable's unbeaten Barbaro dominate the "Run for the Roses."
On Kentucky Oaks day, if you're lucky enough, try to get down near the winner's circle before the big race.
English Channel, a top turf horse last year as a 3-year-old, may be even better this year, now two-for-two in 2006 after a win Saturday at Churchill Downs in the $454,900 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT).
Who is the favorite in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I)? Well, the public is not sure.
Leaning up against pillar on the second floor concourse is horseman Keith Asmussen. He's flanked by a pair of crutches.
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