homas H. Meeker, president and chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Inc., has been named "Business Leader of the Year" for a large business by the Louisville, Ky.-based Business First publication in its inaugural "Business of the Year" Awards.
The 21-day fall meet at Churchill Downs, the first at the historic track since the completion of its $121 million renovation and the first since 2002 that was not limited by construction, concluded on Nov. 26 with gains in both on-track and total wagering and on-track attendance.
The 23-year-old Rafael Bejarano and 46-year-old veteran Mark Guidry rode to a tie in the seesaw race for the fall riding title at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
He may have been one race away from ending his riding career, but Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens found a way to the Churchill Downs winners' circle before his last mount, Louve Royale, drove to a second-place near miss in the twelfth race on Saturday.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens announced his retirement from riding Friday, but will not be leaving the sport. In a Churchill Downs press conference, Stevens said he would be joining the Television Games Network (TVG) as a racing analyst.
Fans of Churchill Downs can now obtain information about the home of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), its special events, and racing program by downloading podcasts containing that information from the Internet and then listening to those audio files when and where they choose.
A Pick Six pool at Churchill Downs that had grown to a record of nearly $5.7 million ended its 10-day run on Saturday when 125 winning tickets were purchased at the track and at simulcast outlets across North America.
Bettors failed to take down the Pick Six for a ninth consecutive day at Churchill Downs on Friday, pushing the carryover pool to a record $1,694,336.41, the largest seen at the Louisville track since it began offering the multi-race wager in 1984.
Racing fans failed to take down the Pick Six at Churchill Downs for an eighth consecutive day on Thursday and the resulting carryover pool of $701,585 for Friday's racing program is one of the largest in track history.
Churchill Downs will be the scene of a charitable fundraising roast and salute to legendary jockey Pat Day this Saturday.
Churchill Downs Inc. reported net earnings of $71.6 million for the third quarter of 2005, up from a loss of $3.8 million for the same period last year, thanks to the sale of Hollywood Park in Southern California.
National television ratings for NBC's telecast of the Oct. 29 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships from Belmont Park in New York increased slightly from last year's numbers.
Racing fans at Churchill Downs will be the first in America to have the opportunity to participate in Fanta-Bet, a competition wagering concept from United Tote beginning on Nov. 3.
The logo for the 132nd Kentucky Derby (gr. I) was introduced Nov. 1 at Churchill Downs. The silhouette of a jockey aboard a Thoroughbred in full stride, with both figures flashing past a stylized version of the historic track's legendary Twin Spires, is the focus of the official event logo for next year's classic.
Churchill Downs will bow to youth Nov. 5 when it cards its first "Stars of Tomorrow" program--all the races in the condition book are for 2-year-olds, including two grade III stakes.
Churchill Downs will adopt net pool pricing to calculate pay-outs on winning wagers during its Oct. 30-Nov. 26 fall meet.
Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse was honored with his fourth Red Smith Award writing award Friday, it was announced by Churchill Downs.
Ellis Park is seeking to reduce its number of race days per week in 2006 from five to four, but approval of the change has been stalled by opposition from the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Agency.
Churchill Downs' John Asher was named 2005 Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners Warner L. Jones, Jr. Horseman of the Year. Asher will be honored by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners (KTO) at their annual award dinner Nov. 11 at the Kentucky Derby Museum.
Retired riding legend Pat Day, the all-time leading jockey at Churchill Downs and a member of racing's Hall of Fame, will be honored when the home of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) salutes his career and contributions to racing with a special "Pat's Day" celebration at the track Saturday, Nov. 12.
Churchill Downs Incorporated and Bay Meadows Land Company announced completion of the sale of Hollywood Park racetrack and surrounding acreage at the Inglewood, Calif., site Sept. 23 for $257.5 million.
The Jockey Club Foundation, which assists needy individuals throughout the Thoroughbred racing industry, has made a $100,000 contribution to the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts being spearheaded by two industry organizations.
Sportswear designer Ashworth, Inc. announced Tuesday that its subsidiary The Game has signed an exclusive merchandise vendor agreement with Licensing Partners International o support its licensing partnership with Churchill Downs Inc.
Churchill Downs Inc. has located approximately 40% of its Louisiana workforce displaced by Hurricane Katrina. As of Monday, Sept. 5, 203 employees had been located through the company's toll-free hotline or through Fair Grounds' Web site.
- By Ron Mitchell
As a result of damage to Fair Grounds Race Course from Hurricane Katrina, there will be no live racing there this year and plans are being made for a "unique" meet at Louisiana Downs in its place, according to Churchill Downs president and CEO Tom Meeker.
Churchill Downs Incorporated announced Friday the company is exploring options to conduct a portion of Fair Grounds Race Course's 2005-2006 live race meet at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La.
The Gary Birzer Benefit featuring a silent and live auction will take place at River Downs Sept. 4, to help raise funds for the 28-year-old jockey who remains paralyzed from the waist down after a spill July 20, 2004 at Mountaineer Park in Chester, W.Va.
- By Ron Mitchell
Churchill Downs Inc. announced Wednesday it has activated a toll-free information hotline for its Louisiana employees displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The number, which will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is (877) 244-5536.
As the Churchill Downs bugler played "My Old Kentucky Home," an emotional Pat Day officially hung up his saddle today during a press conference at the Louisville, Ky. track, where he is the all-time leading rider with 2,481 wins, including 155 stakes wins.
The anonymous bidder who recently purchased the gold winner's trophy earned by Majestic Prince in the 1969 Kentucky Derby is no stranger to such hardware.
Churchill Downs Inc. reported Tuesday that net earnings for the second quarter were $24.2 million or $1.80 per share diluted, compared to $27.7 million or $2.06 per share diluted for the same period in 2004.
- By Tom LaMarra
Kentucky legislators received assurances July 13 the state is well equipped to handle future equine disease outbreaks, but they got no answers to questions about the origin of the strangles cases earlier this spring at the Churchill Downs Trackside Training Center.
The spring meet at Churchill Downs, the first race meet since the completion of its ambitious $121 million renovation, ended its 52-day run on Sunday with double-digit gains in on-track attendance and wagering and a slight decline in off-track betting.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has left his mark on many stakes races at Churchill Downs, but none have felt his impact more than the $100,000-added Debutante Stakes (gr. III).
A 4-year-old filly stabled at Ellis Park has been diagnosed with strangles. Rusty Ford, equine programs manager for the office of the state veterinarian, said the filly presented June 30 with an elevated body temperature and has since been removed from the grounds and taken to a private quarantine facility near Lexington.
Ellis Park will randomly test horses before every race during its 2005 meet for alkalizing agents known as milkshakes.
Jockey Mark Guidry was released from Norton Audubon Hospital Monday afternoon following examination for possible injuries suffered in a post parade mishap before the running of the second race at Churchill Downs.
The Kentucky Derby Museum's Klein Family Learning Center honored the first graduates of its "Groom Elite 101" class Tuesday during an annual horseman's picnic in the infield at Churchill Downs.
- By Tom LaMarra
Friends of New York Racing, a nonprofit entity formed to devise a new economic model for New York racing, has proposed a profitable public/private structure for the New York Racing Association and installation of video lottery terminals at Belmont Park.
A field of six sprinters has drawn for Saturday's $150,000 Aristides Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. Run in honor of the first Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner in 1875, graded stakes winners Battle Won, Bwana Charlie, and Gators N Bears head an even half-dozen going six furlongs over the main track.
The Klein Family Learning Center, a non-profit initiative of the Kentucky Derby Museum that provides educational opportunities to Churchill Downs' backside employees, has received a $20,000 grant from The Race for Education.
The owner of Bay Meadows race track in San Mateo has emerged as the leading candidate to acquire Hollywood Park with a bid of about $275 million, according to a report in the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Test results on the last three horses remaining in equine herpes virus quarantine at Churchill Downs found that all traces of the virus are gone from their systems and all three have been cleared to rejoin the general horse population at the track.
It's been a rough week for trainer Bobby Frankel. On Monday his 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper was retired due to injury, but things could improve dramatically by the weekend when he sends out Saint Liam and Badge of Silver in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.
The rivalry between Shadow Cast and Island Sand will head into its third act Saturday at Churchill Downs when the pair of 4-year-old stakes winning fillies line up for the Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.
A well-matched group of eight 3-year-olds will go postward in Saturday's Jefferson Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT), the first of five graded stakes on the Churchill Downs' program.
Sweet Talker, who clearly loves the turf course at Churchill Downs, should be the solid favorite Saturday in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Summerly, winner of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. I), turned in a strong six-furlong work Tuesday at Churchill Downs in preparation for a planned start in the June 25 Mother Goose (gr. I) on June 25 at Belmont Park.
Eclipse Award turf champion and a rising turf star turned in works at Churchill Downs in preparation for scheduled runs in the July 4 Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Barbara Cesare's Second of June, runner-up in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), has been knocked out of Saturday's Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs an ailment in the colt's left hind ankle.
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