Last year, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) favorite was an incredibly high 6-1. Unlike Harlan's Holiday a year ago, Empire Maker was supposed be lower than 2-1. Well, it doesn't look like that is going to happen.
Before a crowd of 100,523, Marylou Whitney's homebred Bird Town stumbled out of the gate but recovered to pull an upset at 18-1 in the $573,800 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Bird Town drew away in the stretch to win by 3 ¼ lengths in a stakes-record time of 1:48.64.
You won't be able to walk very far in any direction this weekend at Churchill Downs without bumping into someone with a camera or a microphone.
Churchill Downs Simulcast Network and the MidAtlantic Cooperative LLC have reached an agreement that authorizes MidAtlantic member tracks to accept simulcast and pari-mutuel wagering on CDSN products. The joint announcement was made by today by CDSN President Karl F. Schmitt Jr. and Martin Lieberman, executive director of the MidAtlantic Cooperative.
Some trainers who are likely to have horses compete in this year's Belmont Stakes on June 7 are criticizing a decision by the New York Racing Association to have all entrants in the classic stabled in a single barn the day before the race.
According to the 10-day forecast from The National Weather Service, it is a good thing we already know that Empire Maker can run on an off track.
Seven members of the United States Navy will present the garland of roses to the winner of the Kentucky Derby as part of Churchill Downs' 'Operation Sea Heroes.'
The Mid-Atlantic Cooperative and the Churchill Downs Simulcast Network continued negotiations April 24 in the wake of a standoff that threatens simulcast of the May 3 Kentucky Derby to wagering outlets in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker, who looms a strong favorite for the May 3 Kentucky Derby, has made the cover of a popular mainstream magazine.
The New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation and Churchill Downs are teaming up to giveaway 2,500 "mystery vouchers" on April 25. The vouchers will be distributed in front of NASDAQ headquarters at 43rd St. and Broadway before the opening of the market. Raymond Casey, president and CEO of NYCOTB and Tom Meeker, president and CEO of Churchill Downs, will assist in the giveaway.
Churchill Downs is offering fans a chance to be a part of its history – and its future. The Churchill Downs Brick Campaign, launched April 22, will allow individuals to engrave their names on the grounds of Churchill Downs to be seen for generations to come. All proceeds will benefit the Churchill Downs Foundation.
Trainer Manny Tortora said Thursday morning that as of now, he is taking Supah Blitz to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
B. Wayne Hughes and Biscuit Stable's Atswhatimtalknbout breezed four furlongs in his first-ever workout in blinkers and Scrimshaw breezed a sharp half-mile for trainer D. Wayne Lukas shortly after Churchill Downs' track opened for training Wedneday.
All racetracks operated by Churchill Downs Inc. will revert to the normal wagering cut-off time by accepting wagers up until the starting gate opens.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopeful Lady Tak, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) and runner-up in the Ashland, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 Monday for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Contestants can win $5 million for picking the exact order finish for the entire field in this year's Kentucky Derby.
Churchill Downs Incorporated and developer Charles J. Betters announced Tuesday that they have entered into a letter of intent in which CDI will be a partner and investor with Betters in the construction and development of Pittsburgh Palisades Park, a Thoroughbred racetrack operation proposed for the Hays area of Pittsburgh's south side.
A new training schedule will be in place at Churchill Downs following the close of this season's spring meet in order to allow more time for construction crews to move forward on phase II of the $95 million renovation project.
Churchill Downs has announced that it will continue the enhanced hospitality and security procedures adopted for the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks for this year's running of the "Run for the Roses" and its sister race.
Racing and breeding news and information.
The week before the Kentucky Derby, 40 student journalists will learn about racing at Churchill Downs.
Scientific Games Corp. announced fourth quarter financial results (year ending Dec. 31, 2002) Feb. 28 and reported a 10% gain in revenue for the quarter.
Reflecting the lack of a solid favorite, or any favorite at all, Kentucky Derby Future Wager bettors hammered the field down to the even-money favorite after the first day of wagering in pool one Thursday.
A look at the financial dealings of the multimillion-dollar Kentucky Health and Welfare Fund, a benevolence organization that already has been the subject of a review by the Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts, will continue later this year, legislators said during a Feb. 12 hearing.
Churchill Downs Inc. reported a gain in earnings for 2002 but indicated it's looking to sell Ellis Park, the western Kentucky racetrack it purchased in 1998 as part of a $22 million package. The company's financial statement for 2002 was released Feb. 11.
Handicapper Mike Battaglia has established the mutuel field as the favorite for the first round of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool that opens at noon on Thursday, Feb. 13 and continues through Sunday, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Racing and breeding news and information.
Churchill names VP of guest services and is honored for community contributions; sprinter Slewsbox dies of colic; columnist Fred Russell dies.
Bits and pieces from around the industry
Churchill Downs Inc. has promoted Mark Midland to vice president of marketing. The announcement was made today by Andrew G. Skehan, the Company's senior vice president of sales and marketing, to whom Midland will continue to report.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager will return to Churchill Downs this year, as will a new bet tied to the Kentucky Oaks.
The countdown to the 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) has officially began with the launching of the redesigned Kentucky Derby web site, www.kentuckyderby.com.
A Kentucky legislator plans to introduce a bill for racetrack-based gaming, but he said the state might have to look to casino gambling at locations other than tracks in the future.
Gulfstream Park reportedly has requested a racing schedule for 2003-2004 that would overlap with the dates historically raced in South Florida by Calder Racecourse.
Churchill Downs Inc. president and chief executive officer Thomas H. Meeker said Friday that the Louisville, Ky. racetrack operating company had no plans to relocate corporate headquarters.
Churchill Downs has unveiled a stakes schedule for 2003 that includes a record $8.5 million in total purses, five grade I stakes races and three days of multiple stakes competition headed by the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).
Robert Decker, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Churchill Downs Inc., and president of the Churchill Downs Simulcast Network, is leaving to pursue other career opportunities, the company announced Dec. 16.
Cliff Goodrich and Steve Sexton will head Arlington Park and Churchill Downs, respectively, Churchill Downs Inc. announced late the afternoon of Dec. 10.
Thomas H. Meeker, president and chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Inc. and president of Triple Crown Productions, issued a statement regarding the recent death of Roone Arledge, who previously served as president of ABC News and ABC Sports during his career.
Pat Day owns Churchill Downs, and the track's all-time leading rider nursed Allamerican Bertie home to upset Take Charge Lady in the Falls City Handicap (gr. III) on Thanksgiving Day.
Peter Crane's Hail the Chief, a British import who stamped himself as one of the rising stars in America's handicap division in the spring, will make his anticipated return to racing in Friday's Clark Handicap (gr. II
A number of racetracks have stakes races or special events on Thanksgiving Day, including Aqueduct, Churchill Downs, Calder, and Thistledown.
Select Stable's Take Charge Lady, one of the brightest stars in an outstanding crop of 3-year-old fillies, looms as a solid favorite as she faces older rivals in the grade II, $250,000 Falls City Handicap on Thanksgiving Day.
A pair of unbeaten contenders for Saturday's $250,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II), Cat Genius and Ten Cents A Shine, turned in their final pre-race works on Tuesday at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Todd Pletcher is considering both the $400,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs and the $350,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I)at Aqueduct for Harlan's Holiday. The Clark will be contested on Friday and the Cigar on Saturday.
Viewers of the Television Games Network (TVG) can expect a real horseracing feast this Thanksgiving Holiday weekend as the network will present nine graded stakes races from the West to East Coast. Included are three grade I races, three grade II events and three grade III features, with live racing action from Hollywood Park, Churchill Downs, and Aqueduct.
The California Horse Racing Board Thursday surprisingly denied Hollywood Park permission to close all betting when the post time clock clicks to "zero."
Grade I winner Booklet was victorious in his return to the track in a $59,500 allowance race for 3-year-olds and up Tuesday at Churchill Downs. Under jockey Pat Day, the son of Notebook covered the mile distance in 1:34.68, crossing the wire three-quarters of a length in front of Rock Slide, with Dash for Daylight another three-quarters of a length back in third.
Crafty Shaw's victory in the Nov. 16 Schaefer Mile at Hoosier Park has earned the 4-year-old son of Crafty Prospector a shot at the Nov. 29 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, third in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and winner of the Spiral (gr. II) and Indiana Derby (gr. III), continued his training for the Clark Handicap (gr. II) with a sharp six-furlong breeze Saturday at Churchill Downs' Trackside Louisville training center.
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