Kevin Flanery

Breeders' Cup Selects Churchill Downs To Host 2011 World Championships

For the first time in its history the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held at Churchill Downs, Inc (“CDI”) in consecutive years as officials from Breeders’ Cup Ltd, Churchill Downs and Commonwealth of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear made the announcement at a news conference this morning at the racetrack.

The 2011 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious two-day event, annually attracts the best horses from North America and Europe. It is the richest prize money event in sports, with more than $26 million in purses offered over the two-day event, which will be held on Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5. 2011. The Breeders’ Cup will be televised on ABC/ESPN and to more than 130 countries around the world.

The 28th Breeders’ Cup will mark a record eighth time that the Championships will be held at Churchill Downs - the legendary home of the Kentucky Derby. This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be conducted on Nov. 5, 6.  Previous editions of the Breeders’ Cup were held at Churchill Downs in 1988, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000 and in 2006.   The previous six runnings have had an average attendance of 73,556, with an all-time single day Breeders’ Cup crowd of 80,452 at the 1998 event. The 2006 event, which was attended by 76,132 fans, also produced all-time Breeders’ Cup records for single day on-track handle, $18,259,971, and the total worldwide single day wagering mark of $140,332,198. 

“I am thrilled that Kentucky’s iconic Churchill Downs, home of the legendary Kentucky Derby, has been selected to host the 2011 Breeders’ Cup World Championships,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “The 28th Breeders Cup will mark a record eight times that Churchill has hosted the Breeders’ Cup and will be the first time it has hosted this prestigious race for two consecutive years. Jane and I congratulate Churchill Downs on this accomplishment and we look forward to joining the thousands of spectators who will attend these events.”

Governor Beshear was joined by Breeders’ Cup Chairman William S. Farish Jr. and Breeders’ Cup President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Avioli, Churchill Downs Incorporated President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Evans, Bill Carstanjen, Chief Operating Officer of Churchill Downs, Inc., and Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery.

“The prospect of consecutive years at Churchill Downs combined with Kentucky’s strong business climate and legislative incentives are sure to make the event a tremendous success for the Breeders’ Cup, greater Louisville and the state,” said Breeders’ Cup Chairman William S. Farish, Jr.  “Churchill Downs continues to be one of the world’s greatest racing facilities, and is extremely popular with our horsemen and fans. We are enjoying an excellent relationship with Bob Evans and the Churchill management team. On behalf of our Board and Trustees and the racing and breeding industry which benefit the Breeders’ Cup, we appreciate Churchill’s continued enthusiasm and support in extending our relationship for the 2011 World Championships.”

“The return of the Breeders’ Cup for a second consecutive year in 2011 is good news for Kentucky and Churchill Downs as it underscores the importance of the event and our track to life and the economic vitality in our state and region,” said Evans.  “Nearly a half-million fans from around the world have witnessed some of racing’s most dramatic moments during the record six previous visits by the Breeders’ Cup to our historic track.  From its first stop in 1988, the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs has been one of our industry’s greatest celebrations and its return in 2011 provides another wonderful economic development opportunity for our city, state and region.  We are pleased to welcome the two-day Breeders’ Cup championship in 2011 to complete its first back-to-back visits to Churchill Downs and our city.”

Over the past four years, the, Breeders’ Cup World Championships has experienced unprecedented growth, with total races expanding from eight to 14, and total purses increasing from $14 million to $26 million. This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be the first at Churchill under the two-day format. It will also be the first Breeders’ Cup in which both days of the Championships will finish under the lights. 

Dates Announced For 2010 Kentucky Derby, Oaks Future Wagers

Churchill Downs will offer fans of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) a trio of opportunities in February and March to make a lucrative early bet on the winner of this year’s “Run for the Roses” and one chance to take a stand on the 3-year-old filly that will succeed Rachel Alexandra as the winner of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI).

The historic Louisville track has announced dates for three wagering pools for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”), which is entering its 12th year, and a single pool for the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”), now in its eighth year.  In a significant change, all Kentucky Derby and Oaks future pools will consist of three days of wagering.  Previous pools for both wagers had been four-day events.

Dates for the three Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools (pending final approval by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission) are:

  • Pool 1 – Feb. 12-14
  • Pool 2 – March 5-7
  • Pool 3 – March 26-28

The single pool for the Kentucky Oaks Future wager will coincide with the March 5-7 KDFW Pool 2.  Betting will open each day of the Derby and Oaks pools at noon (all times Eastern).  The Kentucky Derby pools will close at 6 p.m. on Sunday, while betting on the lone Kentucky Oaks pool will conclude at 6:30 p.m., 30 minutes after Pool 2 Derby Future betting is wrapped up.

Exacta wagering, a popular addition to the Kentucky Derby Future Wager betting menu in 2009, will be offered during all three KDFW pools in 2010.  The exacta option was offered on the latter two Derby Future pools in 2009 along with its traditional win option.  The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will not offer exactas in 2010.

“Last year’s results proved just how unpredictable and exciting the Kentucky Derby and Oaks Future Wagers can be as Mine That Bird, a 50-1 longshot winner on Derby Day, returned a winning payout as an ‘all others’ wager in all three Derby pools, and the dominant Rachel Alexandra was actually a bettor’s bargain as the second betting choice in the only Oaks pool,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs racetrack.   “Exacta wagering was a welcomed addition to the Derby Future pools last year, and we think the shorter three-day future pools we’ve scheduled for 2010 for both wagers will sharpen the focus of our players, generate new excitement and add to the fun of betting experiences that are now a part of the traditions of both the Kentucky Derby and Oaks.”

The KDFW and KOFW pools consist of 24 wagering interests that include 23 individual horses and a mutuel field, or “all others” interest.  In the Kentucky Derby wager, the mutuel field includes all other 3-year-olds.  The mutuel field in the Kentucky Oaks bet includes all other 3-year-old fillies.

All bets in the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Future Wagers are $2 minimum wagers.  There are no refunds on any wagers made during the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks future pools.  If it is determined during those pools that one of the individual horses has suffered an illness, injury or other circumstance that will prevent that horse from competing in either race, wagering on that betting interest will be suspended at that point.

The 136th running of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands is scheduled for Saturday, May 1 at Churchill Downs.   The Kentucky Oaks, America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, will be renewed for the 136th time on Friday, April 30.  Both races have been held without interruption since the first racing meet at Churchill Downs was conducted in 1875.  

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Statistics- Download the PDF

Kentucky Derby, Oaks Infield Club Returns With Several Enhancements

Churchill Downs’ exclusive Infield Club, which offered a new guest experience for fans of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks in 2009, will return for this year’s renewals with several venue enhancements, including the creation of a new VIP Lounge plus additional seating, more and larger tented areas, additional jumbo televisions and bar locations.

“We’re constantly looking for new and innovative ways to enhance the Derby and Oaks experience,” Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery said. “The Infield Club and its comfortable, sports-bar atmosphere was a popular new addition in 2009 as the area sold out, proving there is exceptional demand for unique Derby and Oaks hospitality areas. After listening to customer feedback, we’ve made a number of Infield Club enhancements and tailored our venue design to best create added comfort and take the overall experience to new levels.”

Much like its 2009 debut, the Infield Club will be a temporary outdoor hospitality area totaling 93,000 square feet, located in the center of the world-famous Churchill Downs infield. The private space, secured by decorative eight-foot lattice, will allow fans of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks the opportunity to enjoy the exuberant party atmosphere of the infield in an exclusive setting.

The internal design of this year’s all-new Infield Club has been reconfigured and enhanced by Churchill Downs and M Scenic Group Studios. In addition to its variety of staffed betting windows, self-serve betting machines, food concession booths and executive restroom facilities, the Infield Club’s 2010 added amenities will include:

§    A new Infield Club VIP Lounge. The VIP Lounge will be a reserved-seating area that features cocktail service, half-priced menu items, four elevated jumbo television screens, plasma monitors located at every table station, eight private betting windows and executive restrooms;
§    One seat for every ticket sold. The number of tickets sold will match the number of seats available compared to last year when seating was only available to approximately 20 percent of the customers who purchased access to the Infield Club. First-come, first-served seating options will include large and cabaret tables with chairs, high-top tables with barstools, stadium-style seating, bleachers and picnic tables;
§    32,000-square feet of tented areas. The additional tented structures within the Infield Club will be a 50 percent increase in covered area from 2009;
§    12 jumbo television screens with enhanced resolution and surround-sound audio. Customers will be able to watch the day’s racing action from a dozen elevated jumbo televisions with enhanced resolution, view points and surround-sound audio of track commentary, race calls and music. In 2009, there were only two jumbo televisions; and
§    Five bar locations. Patrons won’t have to travel far for mint juleps and other beverages with five full-service convenient bar locations through the complex.

    Tickets to the Infield Club are currently on sale at Churchill Downs’ new online box office http://tickets.churchilldowns.com. The tickets have been bundled to include all-day admission for both the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 1, and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, April 30. Two-day general admission is $250 per person, while the Infield Club VIP Lounge package, which includes admission, a reserved seat, programs on both days and a special commemorative gift, costs $375 per person.

    Availability is limited and ticket packages will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last. Tickets must be purchased with a Visa credit or debit card. Minimal ticket processing charges will apply with an online purchase.

    Customers should be aware that the Infield Club does not offer a direct view of the racetrack. Food and beverage are not included in Infield Club ticket package prices. Lawn chairs and coolers are not permitted in the Infield Club.

    Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will host the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 1 and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, April 30. The track will conduct its 2010 Spring Meet from Saturday, April 24 through Sunday, July 4. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Churchill Downs tickets are available at tickets.churchilldowns.com or by calling (502) 636-4400. Additional information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

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Owner/Breeder LaPenta Sponsors The Cliff's Edge Derby Trial; Final Derby Prep's Purse Now $200,000

Prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder Robert LaPenta will honor one his most accomplished horses and boost the significance of the final major prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) after reaching an agreement with the historic track to sponsor this year’s 86th running of the $200,000-added The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII).

The 2010 renewal of the race, which was restored to Grade III status in 2009 by the American Graded Stakes Committee, will carry a purse of $200,000-added – which doubles the purse offered a year ago – and will return to its previous distance of one mile.  It was run at 7 ½ furlongs from 2007-09.  The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial, named in honor of LaPenta’s Grade I winner The Cliff’s Edge, is scheduled for Saturday, April 24 – opening day of the 42-day Spring Meet and one week before the Kentucky Derby – and is the final graded prep race before the famed “Run for the Roses” on Saturday, May 1.

The major increase in the purse for The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trail will undoubtedly make the race more attractive to some owners and trainers who hope to land a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby, which is limited to 20 starters with preference to horses who have compiled the highest total earnings in graded stakes races.

The Cliff’s Edge, who continues a breeding career as a member of the stallion roster at Margaux Farm in Midway, Ky., compiled a record of 4-5-2 in 13 career starts with earnings of $1,265,258.  Trained for LaPenta by two-time Kentucky Derby-winner Nick Zito, he won the 2004 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI) at Keeneland and swept Churchill Downs’ 2003 Fall Meet stakes races for the 2-year-olds, the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) and Iroquois (GIII).  The Cliff’s Edge was the morning line favorite for the 2004 Kentucky Derby, but finished fifth to Smarty Jones following an eventful run over a “sloppy” track during which he lost both front shoes and suffered a bruised foot.

“Our sponsorship of The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial is very exciting in that it allows our racing operation to contribute to the success and allure of a race that has a wonderful tradition as a Kentucky Derby prep as we honor one of our more successful horses, The Cliff’s Edge, and provide a boost to his ongoing career as a stallion,” LaPenta said.  “Despite an unlucky run in the 2004 Kentucky Derby, The Cliff’s Edge enjoyed the finest moments of his racing career at Churchill Downs and in the state of Kentucky.  We look forward to seeing his name and legacy being an important part of the week leading up to the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby and the possibility that a major contender for this year’s Derby could emerge with a big effort in this final important prep.”

"We thank Robert LaPenta for his enthusiastic support of Churchill Downs racing and the Kentucky Derby,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack.  “His sponsorship of The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial will significantly enhance the attractiveness and prestige of this historic final prep for America’s Greatest Race.  Graded earnings are an increasingly important factor as the field for the Kentucky Derby takes shape in the days before the race and we expect that Mr. LaPenta’s efforts, along with the boost in purse and adjustment in distance, will serve to make the 2010 renewal of The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial one of its most notable in years.”

The one-mile The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial has served as the final prep for an impressive group of 13 Kentucky Derby winners through the decades.  The race was first run in 1924 and that inaugural running was won by Black Gold, who returned to win the Derby.  Others who swept both races include Triple Crown winner Citation (1948), Hill Gail (1952), Dark Star (1953) and Tim Tam (1958).

Horses that failed to win the Derby Trial but won the Kentucky Derby include Triple Crown winners Whirlaway (1941) and Assault (1946), Lawrin (1938), Gallahadion (1940), Ponder (1949), Middleground (1950), Determine (1954) and Iron Liege (1957).  Assault and Iron Liege finished off-the-board in their respective runnings of the Trial, while the others were runners-up in their renewals.

The most recent Derby Trial winner to play a significant role in the Kentucky Derby was B. Wayne Hughes’ Don’t Get Mad, who finished fourth to Giacomo in the 2005 Derby.

Other notables to win The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial through the years include Ack Ack, Caveat, Key to the Mint, Hill Rise, Crozier, Federal Hill, Housebuster, Cherokee Run and Richter Scale.  Recent Trial winners include the then unbeaten Hull, who defeated Jim Dandy (GII) and Dwyer (GII) winner Kensei to take the 2009 renewal, and 2008 winner Macho Again, who later finished second in the Preakness (GI) and won the 2009 running of Churchill Downs’ Stephen Foster Handicap (GI).   

Churchill Downs' Online Offering of Select Kentucky Derby, Oaks Tickets Sells Out

Churchill Downs’ exclusive online offering of 3,000 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks reserved seat packages sold out Wednesday in 48 minutes.

    The limited number of two-day ticket packages, which ranged in price from $172 for individual first floor grandstand bleacher seats to $6,390 for a six-seat box in the third floor clubhouse with daily access to the exclusive Secretariat Lounge, were made available exclusively at Churchill Downs’ new online box office, http://tickets.churchilldowns.com.

    Tickets went on sale at 12 p.m. EST and were sold out by 12:48 p.m.

“The demand for both Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks tickets is truly exceptional,” Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery said. “The rapid sell-out of this limited offer reaffirms that these two premier racing events comprise America’s hottest, most extravagant and glamorous springtime sports party. Our online approach gave everyone a fair shot to purchase highly coveted reserved seats, and we’re truly appreciative by the level of support shown by sports fans and entertainment seekers around the world.”

The online sale of Derby and Oaks inventory was originally scheduled for Dec. 16, but was temporary delayed due to track officials’ concerns about a potential data error that could have resulted in customer service issues for some patrons. Early internal monitoring of Wednesday’s process showed no significant system troubles.

“There was extraordinary demand with more than 50,000 online requests within the first five minutes,” Flanery said. “We’re thrilled for those who were fortunate to purchase reserved seats and sympathize with those who didn’t have the luck of the draw this time around.”

    Churchill Downs’ new online box office, http://tickets.churchilldowns.com, is an easy-to-navigate, one-stop shop Website that allows patrons to seamlessly view, choose and purchase exact reserved seat locations throughout the vast facility.

    Customers can advance purchase general admission tickets to the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands for $40 and the Kentucky Oaks for $25, as well as reserved seats to other 2010 on-track events, including six special “Downs After Dark” nighttime racing programs.

    Customers are advised to visit http://tickets.churchilldowns.com frequently as inventory is continually added.

    Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will host the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 1 and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, April 30. The track will conduct its 2010 Spring Meet from Saturday, April 24 through Sunday, July 4. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Churchill Downs tickets are available at http://tickets.churchilldowns.com or by calling (502) 636-4400. Additional information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

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Reminder: Rescheduled Online Sale of Kentucky Derby, Oaks Tickets is Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 12 p.m. EST

A limited number of two-day ticket packages to this year’s Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks will go on sale at http://tickets.churchilldowns.com on Wednesday (Jan. 6) at noon EST.

The online sale of Derby and Oaks inventory was originally scheduled for Dec. 16, but was delayed by a potential data error. “After exhaustive testing, we’re ready to go, and we fully anticipate our limited inventory to move fast,” Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery.

A total of 3,000 seats have been allocated for this online exclusive and include:

¨    Third-floor clubhouse box seats in sections 312-314 and access to the Secretariat Lounge, an exclusive, upscale, indoor hospitality area that will feature premium gourmet food, an open bar, televisions, betting kiosks and live music between races (50 boxes or 300 seats which range from $6,132-$6,390 per six-seat box);
¨    First-floor clubhouse box seats in section 111 (166 boxes or 996 seats which cost $1,500 per six-seat box);
¨    Second-floor grandstand bleacher seats in sections 222-225 (300 seats which range from $214-$225 per seat); and
¨    First-floor grandstand bleacher seats in sections 121-128 (1,404 seats which range from $172-$207 per seat).

Ticket prices vary based on location. There is a purchase limit of six seats or one box per order. Those who want to purchase box seats must purchase the entire box, which includes seats for six. Tickets must be purchased with a Visa credit or debit card. Minimal ticket processing charges will apply.

    This offer is exclusive to http://tickets.churchilldowns.com; no sales will be made in person or by submitting letters, e-mail or telephone calls to Churchill Downs.

    Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will host the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 1 and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, April 30. The track will conduct its 2010 Spring Meet from Saturday, April 24 through Sunday, July 5. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Churchill Downs tickets are available at tickets.churchilldowns.com or by calling (502) 636-4400. Additional information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

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Online Kentucky Derby, Oaks Ticket Sale Rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 12 p.m. EST

Churchill Downs’ online sale of limited two-day Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks ticket packages, which was delayed Wednesday by a potential data error with its new online box office, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 6 at noon EST. A total of 3,000 seats have been allocated for this online exclusive at http://tickets.churchilldowns.com.

“Our concern regarding a potential data error that temporarily delayed our online sale of Kentucky Derby and Oaks tickets has been erased, and we’re pleased to announce that those coveted tickets will go on sale shortly after the holidays on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at noon,” Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery said. “The customer experience with this first-of-its-kind online offering is paramount, and we truly appreciate our patrons’ patience as we worked through this process.”

    As promised, reserved seating packages to be sold, which include tickets to both the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, April 30 and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 1, include:

¨    Third-floor clubhouse box seats in sections 312-314 and access to the Secretariat Lounge, an exclusive, upscale, indoor hospitality area that will feature premium gourmet food, an open bar, televisions, betting kiosks and live music between races (50 boxes or 300 seats which range from $6,132-$6,390 per six-seat box);
¨    First-floor clubhouse box seats in section 111 (166 boxes or 996 seats which cost $1,500 per six-seat box);
¨    Second-floor grandstand bleacher seats in sections 222-225 (300 seats which range from $214-$225 per seat); and
¨    First-floor grandstand bleacher seats in sections 121-128 (1,404 seats which range from $172-$207 per seat).

Ticket prices vary based on location. There is a purchase limit of six seats or one box per order. Those who want to purchase box seats must purchase the entire box, which includes seats for six. Tickets must be purchased with a Visa credit or debit card. Minimal ticket processing charges will apply.

    This offer is exclusive to http://tickets.churchilldowns.com; no sales will be made in person or by submitting letters, e-mail or telephone calls to Churchill Downs.

Already available for purchase on the Website are advance general admission tickets to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, which cost $40 and $25, respectively, as well as reserved seat packages to other 2010 events, including six “Downs After Dark” nighttime racing events scheduled for June 11, June 18, June 25, July 2, Oct. 31 and Nov. 19.

    Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will host the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 1 and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, April 30. The track will conduct its 2010 Spring Meet from Saturday, April 24 through Sunday, July 5. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Churchill Downs tickets are available at tickets.churchilldowns.com or by calling (502) 636-4400. Additional information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

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Limited Two-Day Derby, Oaks Ticket Packages Go On Sale Wednesday, Dec. 16 at Noon

For the first time in its storied history, Churchill Downs will give the general public an opportunity to purchase special two-day ticket packages to its world-famous Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks via the racetrack’s new online box office, http://tickets.churchilldowns.com.

A limited number of seats – 3,000 for Oaks Day on Friday, April 30 and 3,000 for Derby Day on Saturday, May 1 – have been allocated for this online exclusive and will go on sale Wednesday, Dec. 16 at noon EST.

Prices for the two-day bundled seat packages range from $172 for individual first floor grandstand bleacher seats on both days to $6,390 for a six-seat box in the third floor clubhouse with daily access to the exclusive Secretariat Lounge.

“The Kentucky Derby and its sister race, the Kentucky Oaks, are extraordinary spectacles that people all over the world hope to experience at least once in their lifetime,” said Kevin Flanery, Churchill Downs Racetrack president. “This holiday season, we’ve set aside approximately 6 percent of our inventory to make it easier for the Louisville community, sports fans and entertainment seekers to obtain these usually hard-to-get reserved seats through our new and convenient online box office.

“For the last few years, we’ve tried to make more tickets available to the general public through last minute ticket lotteries and select on-track promotions. People camped out overnight in the cold and waited in long lines just to have a chance to grab Derby tickets in our on-track lottery. They don’t have to do that now; the tickets are just a mouse-click away. This is a more convenient continuation of that effort, with modest and premium price points available in our supply.”

This online exclusive offer will include third-floor clubhouse box seats in sections 312-314 (50 boxes or 300 seats); first-floor clubhouse box seats in section 111 (166 boxes or 996 seats); second-floor grandstand bleacher seats in sections 222-225 (300 seats); and first-floor grandstand bleacher seats in sections 121-128 (1,404 seats). Those who want to purchase box seats must purchase the entire box, which includes seats for six.

The third-floor clubhouse box seat packages include admission to the luxurious Secretariat Lounge, an exclusive, upscale, indoor hospitality area that will feature premium gourmet food, an open bar, televisions, betting kiosks and live music between races.

Customers can also advance purchase general admission tickets to the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands for $40 and the Kentucky Oaks for $25.

Ticket prices vary based on location. There is a purchase limit of six seats or one box per order. Tickets must be purchased with a Visa credit or debit card. Minimal ticket processing charges will apply.

This offer is exclusive to http://tickets.churchilldowns.com; no sales will be made in person or by submitting letters, e-mail or telephone calls to Churchill Downs.

Two-Day Kentucky Derby & Kentucky Oaks Reserved Seat Tickets (Limit 6 Per Person)

First-Floor Grandstand Bleacher Seats
(Sections 121-128; total of 1,404 seats)
§    Section 128 – $172 per seat (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)
§    Section 127 – $183 per seat (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)
§    Section 126 – $188 per seat (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)
§    Section 125 – $195 per seat (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)
§    Section 124 – $197 per seat (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)
§    Section 123 – $200 per seat (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)
§    Section 122 – $202 per seat (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)
§    Section 121 – $207 per seat (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)

Second-Floor Grandstand Bleacher Seats
(Sections 222-225; total of 300 seats)
§    Section 225 – $214 per seat (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)
§    Section 224 – $218 per seat (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)
§    Section 223 – $222 per seat (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)
§    Section 222 – $225 per seat (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)

First-Floor Clubhouse Box Seats
(Section 111; total of 166 boxes or 996 seats)
§    Section 111 – $1,500 per six-seat box (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)

Third-Floor Clubhouse Box Seats with Access to Exclusive Secretariat Lounge
(Sections 312-314; total of 50 boxes or 300 seats)
§    Section 312 – $6,132 per six-seat box (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)
§    Section 313 – $6,204 per six-seat box (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)
§    Section 314 – $6,390 per six-seat box (includes Oaks Day and Derby Day)

    It has never been easier to purchase tickets to Churchill Downs, thanks to the fresh technology at http://tickets.churchilldowns.com. The easy-to-navigate, one-stop shop Website designed by SeatAdvisor, Inc. allows patrons to seamlessly view, choose and purchase exact reserved seat locations throughout the vast facility.

    In addition to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, customers can purchase packages to other 2010 events at Churchill Downs, including six “Downs After Dark” nighttime racing events scheduled for June 11, June 18, June 25, July 2, Oct. 31 and Nov. 19.

    Customers are advised to visit http://tickets.churchilldowns.com frequently as inventory is continually added.

    Purchasers of tickets through this online offer will agree to not resell these tickets at a premium in excess of the amount shown on the ticket or to package these tickets for resale together with hospitality, travel or other services and to not purchase – either directly or indirectly – more than the “per person” ticket limit (six seats) established for this online offer. Churchill Downs reserves the right, at its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel ticket purchases, including without limitation, voiding online transactions and refunding amounts paid by persons violating these conditions of sale. See http://tickets.churchilldowns.com for the complete terms and conditions of this online offer.

    Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will host the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 1 and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, April 30. The track will conduct its 2010 Spring Meet from Saturday, April 24 through Sunday, July 5. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Churchill Downs tickets are available at tickets.churchilldowns.com or by calling (502) 636-4400. Additional information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

Churchill Downs Offers New, Integrated Online Box Office as a Convenient Platform for Customers to Purchase Tickets

Churchill Downs’ customers now have a new and convenient platform to purchase ticket packages in advance of racing events thanks to fresh technology at the historic racetrack’s new, integrated online box office: tickets.churchilldowns.com.

    The latest, easy-to-navigate Website designed by SeatAdvisor, Inc. allows patrons to seamlessly view, choose and purchase exact reserved seat locations throughout the vast facility, including the Matt Winn Dining Room, third-floor box seats, Millionaires Row, Jockey Club Suites, Finish Line Suites, Skye Terrace and more.

    “The favorite Churchill Downs ticket packages are now just a mouse-click away,” Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery said. “We are thrilled to launch our online Churchill Downs Ticket Office and partner with SeatAdvisor Inc. to provide our fan-base with a convenient, one-stop shop for comprehensive ticket information to the world’s most legendary racetrack.”

    Remaining ticket inventory for the 2009 Fall Meet, which continues through Saturday, Nov. 28, is available for purchase along with select 2010 events such as advance general admission tickets to Kentucky Derby 136 ($40, May 1), Kentucky Oaks 136 ($25, April 30) and six “Downs After Dark” nighttime racing events ($10 cover charge to each, June 11, June 18, June 25, July 2, Oct. 31 and Nov. 19).

    A special discounted cover charge (general admission) pass for entrance on all six Downs After Dark events is available for $45 (a $15 savings). Also, customers also have the opportunity to purchase a special $20 Downs After Dark package that includes general admission, a box seat in the third-floor clubhouse and an official program. Additionally, Downs After Dark “Date Night” dinner and dancing packages are available for $59.90 and include a reserved seat in Millionaires, an official program and buffet dinner.

    Customers are advised to visit tickets.churchilldowns.com frequently as inventory is continually added. Patrons have the convenience of printing purchased tickets themselves. Minimal ticket processing charges will apply.

    SeatAdvisor, Inc. is a business-to-business application service provider for the ticketing and box office market. The SeatAdvisory proprietary box office system technology provides venues with the first fully functional Internet-based ticketing system that includes box office sales, telephone and Internet ticket sales, subscriptions and a private label web presence.

    Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 1, 2010 and the Kentucky Oaks on April 30, 2010. The track will conduct its 2009 Fall Meet from Sunday, Nov. 1 through Saturday, Nov. 28. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Churchill Downs tickets are available at tickets.churchilldowns.com or by calling (502) 636-4400. Additional information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.
    
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Churchill Downs to Host Six Night Racing Programs in 2010

Following the overwhelming popularity of a three-date market test this spring, Churchill Downs, the legendary home of the Kentucky Derby, will stage six special “Downs After Dark” nighttime racing programs under the lights in 2010.

The announcement was made Nov. 17 during a news conference at the historic Louisville, Ky., racetrack that also revealed Musco Lighting® as the winning contract bidder to install permanent track lighting at Churchill Downs and a new online platform for patrons to purchase tickets to the track.

Churchill Downs will host its unique Downs After Dark programs – the perfect blend of an upscale night on the town with the excitement of Thoroughbred racing – on the final four Fridays of the 42-date Spring Meet and two evening cards during the 20-date Fall Meet, including opening night which doubles as Halloween.

A complete list of the 2010 Downs After Dark dates (with scheduled first post time), pending final approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission:

* Friday, June 11, 2010 (6 p.m. ET)
* Friday, June 18, 2010 (6 p.m. ET)
* Friday, June 25, 2010 (6 p.m. ET)
* Friday, July 2, 2010 (6 p.m. ET)
* Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010 (4:30 p.m. ET)
* Friday, Nov. 19, 2010 (4:30 p.m. ET)

Churchill Downs hosted night racing events on June 19, June 26 and July 2. The average attendance was 29,705 and the three-night total was 89,115. A modern day track record of 33,481 attended the finale on July 2 – the largest crowd for a Churchill Downs racing program other than a Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks or Breeders’ Cup. It topped the old mark of 28,396 for a pre-simulcast wagering era million-dollar Pick 6 carryover on Nov. 14, 1987.

The event’s popularity helped signal the go-ahead on a multi-million dollar project to install permanent track lighting at the home of the Kentucky Derby.
 
“We want to keep Downs After Dark a special and unique experience for our fans,” Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery said. “For three nights this past spring, Churchill Downs was transformed into Louisville’s ultimate nighttime hot spot. The track was the place to be and offered the biggest party in town. Our distinctive events under the lights helped redefine the on-track racing experience and generated a tremendous buzz in the community and within the horse racing industry. It could not have been accomplished without the teamwork and support of our horsemen’s groups, neighborhood associations and employees and the fantastic support and participation we received from the Greater Louisville community. Our goal for the coming year is to deliver that same level of excitement to core customers, casual patrons and entertainment-seekers within these six special Downs After Dark events in 2010.”

    Reserved ticket packages to 2010 Downs After Dark events are available for purchase online at tickets.churchilldowns.com – Churchill Downs’ new and convenient online box office platform.

    Cover charge (general admission) to all Downs After Dark events will be $10. A special discounted general admission pass for entrance on all six nights is available for $45 (a $15 savings). Customers also have the opportunity to purchase a special $20 package that includes general admission, a box seat in the third-floor clubhouse and an official program. Additionally, Downs After Dark “Date Night” dinner and dancing packages are available for $59.90 and include a reserved seat in Millionaires Row, an official program and buffet dinner.

    Downs After Dark combined live Thoroughbred racing with subtle facility changes and abundant ancillary activities that helped create a special and festive atmosphere in an evening setting under the stars. Food, fashion, music, parties and entertainment were showcased elements that added to the merrymaking.

    The Churchill Downs facilities were adorned by mood lighting, spotlights and seasonal greenery. Colorful bunting flowed throughout the grounds and entrances. With sleek and comfortable conversational seating options, stand-up cocktail tables, unique food and beverage stations and music added to the mix, the racetrack – particularly the paddock area – had the look and feel of an upscale night club.

    To set the tone for the party, there was high energy live music between races for the thousands who caroused near the paddock. The revelry went to new levels late in the night when a deejay mixed sounds of modern rock, pop and hip-hop. All the while, private VIP party guests on the Clubhouse balconies danced to live salsa music and Jockey Club Suites patrons were sung standards inside the Triple Crown Room.

    Patrons had the option to taste non-traditional racetrack offerings like flavorful grilled shrimp, chicken and steak skewers and vegetable kabobs. Evening appetites were satisfied by scrumptious multi-course premium “Date Night” dining and dancing offerings available for purchase inside Millionaires Row and the Skye Terrace. The historic first night even featured a limited number of high-end, elegant “Dinner by Design” packages with celebrity chefs inside the Stakes, Aristides and Directors Rooms.

    Other ancillary activities included red carpet entrances, entertainment and interviews on the infield video boards and a new sweepstakes promotion call “Bet or No Bet” that randomly asked fans to either take $100 in cash or place a free $1,000 win bet on a horse in the upcoming race.

    Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 1, 2010 and the Kentucky Oaks on April 30, 2010. The track will conduct its 2009 Fall Meet from Sunday, Nov. 1 through Saturday, Nov. 28. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Churchill Downs tickets are available at tickets.churchilldowns.com or by calling (502) 636-4400. Additional information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.
    
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