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Churchill Downs Sets Dates for 2012 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pools

Churchill Downs has set the dates for its trio of three-day betting pools for its 2012 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) and a single pool for the historic track’s Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”).

Dates for the pools for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which is now in its 14th year, are:

  • Pool 1 – Feb. 10-12
  • Pool 2 – March 2-4
  • Pool 3 – March 30-April 1

 Wagering on each of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools will open at noon (all times Eastern) on Friday and close on Sunday at 6 p.m.  The KDFW Pools will feature both win and exacta wagering.

The single three-day pool for the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, now in its ninth year, is scheduled for March 2-4 and will run concurrent to Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.  Betting on the KOFW pool will open at noon on Friday and is set to conclude on Sunday at 6:30 p.m., 30 minutes after the conclusion of betting on the accompanying Kentucky Derby Future pool.  The Kentucky Oaks Future Pool will also offer win and exacta wagering.

The wagers provide fans of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks opportunities to bet on potential competitors in those great American races at odds that could be considerably more attractive than those available on the days on which the respective races are run.  Winning mutuel payouts on both wagers are determined by the odds that are in place at the conclusion of each respective betting pool.

The 138th running of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), America’s greatest race and the 1 ¼-mile first jewel of the coveted Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, is scheduled to be run on Saturday, May 5 at Churchill Downs.  The $1 million-guaranteed Kentucky Oaks, the nation’s top prize for 3-year-old fillies, will be run on Friday, May 4, the eve of the Derby.  Like the Derby, the Kentucky Oaks has been contested annually since 1875 and its 2012 renewal will mark the 138th consecutive year that the 1 1/8-mile “Derby for Fillies” has been run beneath the track’s historic Twin Spires.

Both 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 is made up of all other 3-year-olds – including fillies.  The mutuel field in the Kentucky Oaks bet consists of all other 3-year-old fillies.

All bets in the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Future Wagers are $2 minimum wagers.  No refund will be made on any wager placed during the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Future pools.  If it is determined during an individual pool that any of the individual betting interests has suffered an illness, injury or other circumstance that would prevent that horse from competing in either race, wagering on that betting interest will be suspended immediately.

Wagering on the Derby and Oaks Future wagers is available through TwinSpires.com and other advance deposit wagering platforms and at racetracks and simulcast centers throughout North America.

Team Valor’s Animal Kingdom, who went off at odds of 20-1 and paid $43.80 for a $2 win wager in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, was listed as an individual betting interest only during Pool 3 of last year’s Derby Future Wager.  He closed at odds of 31-1 in that pool and a $2 future wager on trainer Graham Motion’s colt returned $64.40 on Derby Day.  As a member of the “all others” mutuel field in the first two pools of 2011, he returned $6.20 for a Pool 1 bet and $9.40 for a Pool 2 wager.  Both Animal Kingdom and Derby runner-up Nehro were part of the “all others” interest (#24), so the KDFW $2 exacta payouts for the three pools were:

  • Pool 1 – 24-13 (mutuel field over third-place Mucho Macho Man) for $230;
  • Pool 2 – 24-12 (mutuel field over third-place Mucho Macho Man) for $388.20;
  • Pool 3 – 1-12 (Animal Kingdom over runner-up Nehro) for $3,074.60.

 The Derby Day $2 exacta payout for Animal Kingdom over Nehro (16-19) was $329.80.

Eventual Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty was not an individual betting interest in the lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool, but returned $21.80 to win as member of the KOFW mutuel field.  The Peachtree Stable filly trained by Bob Baffert returned $14.60 for a $2 win wager on Oaks Day.  Both Plum Pretty and runner-up St. John’s River were members of the mutuel field, so the KOFW exacta paid to 24-23, with third-place Zazu under the top two “all others” finishers, and returned $142.20 for a $2 bet.  The Oaks Day exacta of Plum Pretty over St. John’s River (12-13) paid $163 for a $2 wager.

Wagering for the three 2011 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pools totaled $1,362,101, the fifth highest total since the Derby bet was introduced in 1999 and its largest three-pool betting total since 2007.  Kentucky Oaks fans wagered $92,902 during the single KOFW pool of 2011, second only to the single-pool total of $117,368 recorded in the wager’s introductory year in 2003.

Wagering interests for the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks future pools will be announced on the Wednesday prior to the Friday start of each pool.  Real-time odds and other information on the KDFW will be available at the official event Web site at www.KentuckyDerby.com, and information on the KOFW will be available at www.KentuckyOaks.com.

Racing Analyst, Commentator Jill Byrne Joins Churchill Downs Full-Time as On-Air Communications Director

Jill Byrne, whose insights as a television racing analyst for Churchill Downs and cable racing network TVG have earned acclaim and a loyal audience throughout Thoroughbred racing, has joined Churchill Downs on a full-time basis as Director of On-Air Racing Communications.

    In her new position, Byrne will continue to serve as the track’s primary racing analyst on its daily live racing simulcast programming, during which she offers commentary on all of the track’s races along with announcer/commentator Mark Johnson.  In her new position Byrne will play an expanded role in providing video and print Web content for the official sites for Churchill Downs (www.churchilldowns.com) and the Kentucky Derby (www.kentuckyderby.com), and in programming offered on TwinSpiresTV, the groundbreaking video interface for TwinSpires.com, the official advance-deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Incorporated and its family of racetracks (www.twinspires.com).
    
    She has served as Churchill Downs’ racing analyst since April 2008, when Byrne succeeded longtime simulcast host and former announcer Mike Battaglia in that role.  Prior to joining Churchill Downs on a full-time basis, Byrne worked as an in-studio on on-site analyst and reporter for Television Games Network (“TVG”).

    Byrne’s role in on-track activities, fan education efforts and as a community representative for the historic track will continue to grow in her full-time position with the historic track.  She currently serves as the weekly host for Churchill Downs’ “Get in the Game” handicapping seminars, in which she interviews special guests while discussing the day’s races on Saturdays at Churchill Downs. The roster of Spring Meet “Get in the Game” guests has included jockeys Calvin Borel and Julien Leparoux, and Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr.  The seminar is conducted each Saturday at noon (EDT) and a telecast is made available to simulcast outlets nationwide via Churchill Downs Simulcast Productions (“CDSP”). Byrne is also co-host, with track Vice President John Asher, of “Churchill Downs Today,” a handicapping show that airs live at 11 a.m. (EDT) during most racing at selected simulcast outlets nationwide and viewed later by on-track patrons.

     Along with her on-air skills and top-notch racing analysis and handicapping, Byrne is an accomplished horsewoman who worked with her husband, trainer Patrick Byrne, in the development of 1997 Horse of the Year and juvenile champion Favorite Trick and Countess Diana, that year’s champion 2-year-old filly.  The Byrne-trained Awesome Again defeated 1997 Kentucky Derby (GI) winner Silver Charm to win the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Churchill Downs in 1998.  

    Jill Byrne launched her career in the Thoroughbred industry as an exercise rider and assistant to her father, Peter Howe, a noted show rider and Thoroughbred trainer who conditioned two Eclipse Award winners.  She climbed into the saddle aboard her first racehorse at the age of 12. She also worked for Hall of Fame trainer Scotty Schulhofer.     

TwinSpires.com, Youbet.com to Offer 2009 Spring Meet Signal From Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs announced today that advance-deposit wagering (“ADW”) companies TwinSpires.com and Youbet.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: UBET) will offer the Churchill Downs signal for the racetrack’s 2009 spring meet, which begins on Friday, April 25.  TwinSpires.com is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (“Company” or “CDI”) (NASDAQ: CHDN).

“Taking care of our customers and making it convenient for them to access our content are among the top priorities of Churchill Downs,” said Kevin Flanery, senior vice president of Churchill Downs Incorporated.  “Today’s announcement brings us closer to those goals.  We are pleased that our fans will have easy access to Churchill Downs content from some of the nation’s most popular ADW platforms, including our own TwinSpires.com, which offers innovations such as Twinspires.tv and superior wagering tools through BRIS.  We hope our customers join us for an outstanding season of racing under the Twin Spires and enjoy wagering on the quality product that we will provide.”

“We are very excited to offer the first leg of the Triple Crown – the most prestigious event in all of horse racing – as content for our customers,” said Youbet.com Chief Executive Officer Michael Brodsky.  “The Churchill Downs Spring Meet, and especially the Kentucky Derby, is a perfect complement to the abundance of global content Youbet has added this year alone.”

Further details of the agreements were not disclosed.  Wagering will be available beginning on opening day and continuing through the close of the Churchill Downs spring meet on July 5, 2009.

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 135th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2009.  The track’s 2009 Spring Meet will take place from April 25 through July 5.  Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

‘All Others’ Favored In Opening Pool Of Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager

Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) begins its 11th year on Thursday when the first of its three betting pools opens with the mutuel field, or “all others,” as the favored betting interest as fans take their shot at picking the winner of the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) months in advance of America’s greatest race.

Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has installed the “all others” betting interest as the 5-2 favorite in Pool 1, which opens at noon (all times EST) on Thursday, Feb. 12 and concludes at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15.  But that’s hardly a surprise as the mutuel field has been favored in the KDFW’s opening pool in each of the first 10 years of the Derby Future bet.  Fans often opt for the “all others” bet rather than make a commitment to an individual horse so early in the Derby campaign and this year’s group of contenders seems more wide-open than most.

Among individual horses, Fox Hill Farm’s Old Fashioned, winner of last fall’s Remsen (GII) at Aqueduct, and Joseph Rauch and David Zell’s Capt. Candyman Can, winner of the recent Hutcheson (GII) at Gulfstream Park and the Iroquois (GIII) at Churchill Downs, are co-favored individual interests in Battaglia’s morning line at 10-1.  That duo is followed by a closely-matched group of young stars at 12-1 that includes 2008 2-year-old champion Midshipman; Stardom Bound, the only filly among the individual betting interests and last year’s champion 2-year-old of her gender; Lecomte (GIII) Risen Star (GII) winner Friesan Fire; CashCall Futurity (GI) and Robert B. Lewis (GII) winner Pioneerof the Nile; Champagne (GI) winner Vineyard Haven; and This Ones for Phil, winner of the Sunshine Millions Dash.  This Ones For Phil is the lone member of Pool 1 that is not yet nominated to the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown.

Other major contenders in the first of this year’s KDFW pools include Beethoven and Giant Oak, the 1-2 finishers in last fall’s Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs.  Both are listed at odds of 15-1.

Kentucky Derby fans will be hoping for generous return on their wager in the Feb. 12-15 pool that would rival the opening pool of 2003, which saw Derby winner Funny Cide return $188 for their $2 Derby Future bet in Pool 1.  The Sackatoga Stable star paid only $27.60 for a $2 win bet on Kentucky Derby Day.  Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager is a $2 minimum wager and a “win” bet only.
Betting interests in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools are selected by a panel that includes Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form national handicapper; Brad Free, West Coast correspondent for the Daily Racing Form; and John Asher, vice president of racing communications at Churchill Downs.

A total of $1,056,520 was wagered on the three Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools in 2008 as total betting on the wager topped the $1 million mark for the ninth consecutive time in its 10-year history.  KDFW Pool 2 is scheduled for March 12-15 and the third and final pool will be conducted April 2-5.  

Real-time odds on Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are available on the official Kentucky Derby Web site at www.kentuckyderby.com. 

 

 

2009 KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE WAGER POOL 1 – Feb.  12-15

Number

Wagering Interest

Morning line odds

1

Beethoven

15-1

2

Big Drama

30-1

3

Capt. Candyman Can (g)

10-1

4

Chocolate Candy

50-1

5

Flying Pegasus

30-1

6

Friesan Fire

12-1

7

Giant Oak

15-1

8

Haynesfield

50-1

9

Hello Broadway

50-1

10

I Want Revenge

50-1

11

Midshipman

12-1

12

Notonthesamepage

30-1

13

Old Fashioned

10-1

14

Papa Clem

20-1

15

Patena

20-1

16

Pioneerof the Nile

20-1

17

Silver City

50-1

18

Stardom Bound (f)

12-1

19

Taqarub

30-1

20

The Pamplemousse

30-1

21

This Ones For Phil (g)*

12-1

22

Vineyard Haven

12-1

23

West Side Bernie

50-1

24

Mutuel Field (“All Others”)

5-2

(f) – filly     (g) – gelding     * – Not nominated to Triple Crown

Morning Line odds by Mike Battaglia

CDI, KHBPA, KTA Reach ADW Agreement at Churchill Downs

Officials of Churchill Downs Incorporated and representatives of the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association have come to an agreement that allows, under specified terms and conditions, Churchill Downs racetrack to offer its live racing signal for distribution to national advance-deposit wagering platforms, including TwinSpires.com.  The agreement covers the 2009 spring meeting at Churchill Downs.

“We are pleased to have reached a mutually acceptable resolution with Kentucky horsemen on this issue,” said Steve Sexton, executive vice president of Churchill Downs Incorporated and president of Churchill Downs racetrack.  “The real winners today are our customers, who finally will be able to enjoy access to Churchill Downs races when live racing resumes in the spring.  We are deeply grateful to our customers for their understanding, loyalty and patience throughout these negotiations.”

“We are pleased to have reached a resolution for the spring 2009 meet at Churchill Downs,” said Rick Hiles, president of the KHBPA.  “We believe the agreement will bring great benefits to our horsemen and will promote Kentucky racing throughout the country.”

“We look forward to moving forward together in an effort to preserve and promote racing in Kentucky and at Churchill Downs,” said David Richardson, president of the KTA.  “This agreement is one step in that important process.”

Churchill Downs’ 52-day Spring Meet opens on Saturday, April 25, 2009.  Wagering will be available through TwinSpires.com beginning on opening day and continuing through the close of racing on July 5, 2009.  The signal will also be offered to certain other national online wagering companies.  Terms for distribution to those ADW companies have not been finalized.   

Churchill Downs Incorporated, headquartered in Louisville, Ky., owns and operates world-renowned horse racing venues throughout the United States. Churchill Downs’ four racetracks in Florida, Illinois, Kentucky and Louisiana host many of North America’s most prestigious races, including the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, Arlington Million, Princess Rooney Handicap and Louisiana Derby. Churchill Downs racetracks have hosted seven Breeders’ Cup World Championships.  Churchill Downs also owns off-track betting facilities and has interests in various advance-deposit wagering, television production, telecommunications and racing services companies, including a 50-percent interest in the national cable and satellite network HorseRacing TV™, that support the Company’s network of simulcasting and racing operations. Churchill Downs trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol CHDN and can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.
 
Information set forth in this news release contains various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”) provides certain “safe harbor” provisions for forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements made in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q are made pursuant to the Act. The reader is cautioned that such forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time and/or management’s good faith belief with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in the statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statement was made. We assume no obligation to update forward-looking information to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include: the effect of global economic conditions, including any disruptions in the credit markets; the effect (including possible increases in the cost of doing business) resulting from future war and terrorist activities or political uncertainties; the overall economic environment; the impact of increasing insurance costs; the impact of interest rate fluctuations; the effect of any change in our accounting policies or practices; the financial performance of our racing operations; the impact of gaming competition (including lotteries and riverboat, cruise ship and land-based casinos) and other sports and entertainment options in those markets in which we operate; the impact of live racing day competition with other Florida and Louisiana racetracks within those respective markets; costs associated with our efforts in support of alternative gaming initiatives; costs associated with customer relationship management initiatives; a substantial change in law or regulations affecting pari-mutuel and gaming activities; a substantial change in allocation of live racing days; changes in Illinois law that impact revenues of racing operations in Illinois; the presence of wagering facilities of Indiana racetracks near our operations; our continued ability to effectively compete for the country’s top horses and trainers necessary to field high-quality horse racing; our continued ability to grow our share of the interstate simulcast market and obtain the consents of horsemen’s groups to interstate simulcasting; our ability to execute our acquisition strategy and to complete or successfully operate planned expansion projects; our ability to successfully complete any divestiture transaction; our ability to execute on our permanent slot facility in Louisiana and permanent slot facility in Florida; market reaction to our expansion projects; the loss of our totalisator companies or their inability to provide us assurance of the reliability of their internal control processes through Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70 audits or to keep their technology current; the need for various alternative gaming approvals in Louisiana; our accountability for environmental contamination; the loss of key personnel; the impact of natural disasters on our operations and our ability to adjust the casualty losses through our property and business interruption insurance coverage; any business disruption associated with a natural disaster and/or its aftermath; our ability to integrate businesses we acquire, including our ability to maintain revenues at historic levels and achieve anticipated cost savings; the impact of wagering laws, including changes in laws or enforcement of those laws by regulatory agencies; the outcome of pending or threatened litigation, including the outcome of any counter-suits or claims arising in connection with a pending lawsuit in federal court in the Western District of Kentucky styled Churchill Downs Incorporated, et al v. Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, LLC, Case #08-CV-225-S; changes in our relationships with horsemen's groups and their memberships; our ability to reach agreement with horsemen's groups on future purse and other agreements (including, without limiting, agreements on the sharing of revenues from gaming and advance deposit wagering); the effect of claims of third parties to intellectual property rights; and the volatility of our stock price.

Kentucky Horsemen’s Refusal to Send Churchill Signal to ADW Sites Forces 20-Percent Purse Cut

Churchill Downs Racetrack has been forced to cut purses by 20 percent, effective Wednesday, May 14, because the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (“KHBPA”) and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (“KTA”) have blocked the distribution of Churchill Downs’ simulcast signal to national advance-deposit wagering (“ADW”) sites, including TwinSpires.com., the official ADW site for Churchill Downs Incorporated (“Company”).

“We have been left with no option but to reduce overnight purses to offset the amount of lost handle because Kentucky horsemen have prevented horse racing fans from wagering through ADW platforms,” said Churchill Downs President Steve Sexton. “We are disappointed because the failure to send the signal will negatively impact the product both on and off the racetrack. While we are still hopeful this impasse can be resolved, we have no choice but to act now.”

KHBPA and KTA representatives continue to reject all offers from Churchill Downs and recently instructed further discussions be conducted with the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Group (“THG”), an alliance of horsemen’s groups from around the country.

“Since Churchill Downs’ entry into the ADW business in 2007, we have nearly doubled host fees paid by ADW businesses to our racetracks and horsemen partners through successful negotiations with local horsemen. Kentucky horsemen and the THG are now demanding even more, but their plan is simply not feasible for ADW companies, including TwinSpires.com,” said Sexton. “As the result of over $3 million in online marketing we’ve spent so far this year, we have added 13,000 new TwinSpires.com customers and have added $25 million in new deposits. We would like those customers to be able to wager those funds on Churchill Downs races, but the KHBPA and KTA have refused to allow us to do so.”

The Churchill Downs’ purse reductions will affect overnight purses, with potential for Fall Meet stakes race purses to be reduced in the future.

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 135th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2009. The track’s 2008 Spring Meet runs from April 26 through July 6. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record six times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

Information set forth in this news release contains various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”) provides certain “safe harbor” provisions for forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements made in this news release are made pursuant to the Act. The reader is cautioned that such forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time and/or management’s good faith belief with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in the statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statement was made. We assume no obligation to update forward-looking information to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include: the effect of global economic conditions; the effect (including possible increases in the cost of doing business) resulting from future war and terrorist activities or political uncertainties; the economic environment; the impact of increasing insurance costs; the impact of interest rate fluctuations; the effect of any change in our accounting policies or practices; the financial performance of our racing operations; the impact of gaming competition (including lotteries and riverboat, cruise ship and land-based casinos) and other sports and entertainment options in those markets in which we operate; the impact of live racing day competition with other Florida and Louisiana racetracks within those respective markets; costs associated with our efforts in support of alternative gaming initiatives; costs associated with customer relationship management initiatives; a substantial change in law or regulations affecting pari-mutuel and gaming activities; a substantial change in allocation of live racing days; changes in Illinois law that impact revenues of racing operations in Illinois; the presence of wagering facilities of Indiana racetracks near our operations; our continued ability to effectively compete for the country’s top horses and trainers necessary to field high-quality horse racing; our continued ability to grow our share of the interstate simulcast market; our ability to execute our acquisition strategy and to complete or successfully operate planned expansion projects; our ability to successfully complete any divestiture transaction; our ability to execute on our temporary and permanent slot facilities in Louisiana; market reaction to our expansion projects; the loss of our totalisator companies or their inability to provide us assurance of the reliability of their internal control processes through Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70 audits or to keep their technology current; the need for various alternative gaming approvals in Louisiana; our accountability for environmental contamination; the loss of key personnel; the impact of natural disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma on our operations and our ability to adjust the casualty losses through our property and business interruption insurance coverage; any business disruption associated with a natural disaster and/or its aftermath; our ability to integrate businesses we acquire, including our ability to maintain revenues at historic levels and achieve anticipated cost savings; the impact of wagering laws, including changes in laws or enforcement of those laws by regulatory agencies; the effect of claims of third parties to intellectual property rights; and the volatility of our stock price.

Wagering on the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Woodford Reserve to be Allowed on TwinSpires.com and Xpressbet.com

Officials with Churchill Downs Racetrack announced today that TwinSpires.com, the official advanced-deposit wagering (“ADW”) site for Churchill Downs Incorporated (the “Company”), and Xpressbet.com would be accepting wagers on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, the Kentucky Oaks and The Woodford Reserve.  All Churchill Downs Racetrack races will continue to be available through other off-track betting and simulcast wagering facilities, except for the off-track betting (“OTB”) facilities located in Clarksville and Evansville, Ind., and Calder Race Course.  

Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (“KYHBPA”) and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (“KTA”) have blocked distribution of the remaining Churchill Downs signal to ADW providers, including TwinSpires.com and Xpressbet.com.  

“We are disappointed that the Kentucky horsemen have chosen to prevent horse racing fans from wagering on Churchill Downs Racetrack races during the most important weekend for the horse racing industry,” said Churchill Downs President Steve Sexton. “Wagering on the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby race day cards helps to supplement purses throughout the year at Churchill Downs Racetrack. The action of the horsemen’s representatives today will have a negative impact on purses for the entire year.”
.  
“We are perplexed that the horsemen would seek to penalize the ADW distribution channel.  Since the Company’s entry into the ADW business, we have successfully negotiated higher host fees paid by ADW businesses to our racetracks and horsemen partners.  Both groups have benefited,  ” said Sexton.  “Fortunately, wagering on the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Woodford Reserve will be allowed under prior agreements.”

KYHBPA representatives have rejected all offers from Churchill Downs  and  instructed  that any further discussions be conducted with the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group (“THG”), an alliance of horsemen’s groups from around the country. The THG is led by Bob Reeves who also serves on the board of the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.  

“Kentucky takes great pride in billing itself as the horse capital of the world,” said Sexton.  “On Tuesday, we were encouraged by the discussions with KYHBPA representatives.  On Wednesday, our offer was rejected, but neither the KYHBPA nor the KTA could tell us what was needed to resolve this issue.  Today, the Kentucky horsemen have told us that if we want to send our ADW signal to the rest of the country, then we have to negotiate with and get  permission from horsemen representing them in Ohio.”

The 134th Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks anchor this weekend’s race card at Churchill Downs. Pre-race festivities, including a celebrity filled red carpet, will be aired nationally on NBC beginning at 4 p.m. on May 3, 2008, followed by an hour and a half of racing coverage beginning at 5 p.m.

“At a time when Churchill Downs is working diligently to bring new customers to the sport, the actions of the horsemen will serve to block these potential fans from participating and alienate loyal patrons who look forward to this weekend all year,” said Sexton.

    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 134th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2008. The track’s 2008 Spring Meet runs from April 26 through July 6. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record six times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

Information set forth in this news release contains various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”) provides certain “safe harbor” provisions for forward-looking statements.  All forward-looking statements made in this news release are made pursuant to the Act.  The reader is cautioned that such forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time and/or management’s good faith belief with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in the statements.  Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statement was made. We assume no obligation to update forward-looking information to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information.  Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently.  Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct.  Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include: the effect of global economic conditions; the effect (including possible increases in the cost of doing business) resulting from future war and terrorist activities or political uncertainties; the economic environment; the impact of increasing insurance costs; the impact of interest rate fluctuations; the effect of any change in our accounting policies or practices; the financial performance of our racing operations; the impact of gaming competition (including lotteries and riverboat, cruise ship and land-based casinos) and other sports and entertainment options in those markets in which we operate; the impact of live racing day competition with other Florida and Louisiana racetracks within those respective markets; costs associated with our efforts in support of alternative gaming initiatives; costs associated with customer relationship management initiatives; a substantial change in law or regulations affecting pari-mutuel and gaming activities; a substantial change in allocation of live racing days; changes in Illinois law that impact revenues of racing operations in Illinois; the presence of wagering facilities of Indiana racetracks near our operations; our continued ability to effectively compete for the country’s top horses and trainers necessary to field high-quality horse racing; our continued ability to grow our share of the interstate simulcast market; our ability to execute our acquisition strategy and to complete or successfully operate planned expansion projects; our ability to successfully complete any divestiture transaction; our ability to execute on our temporary and permanent slot facilities in Louisiana; market reaction to our expansion projects; the loss of our totalisator companies or their inability to provide us assurance of the reliability of their internal control processes through Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70 audits or to keep their technology current; the need for various alternative gaming approvals in Louisiana; our accountability for environmental contamination; the loss of key personnel; the impact of natural disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma on our operations and our ability to adjust the casualty losses through our property and business interruption insurance coverage; any business disruption associated with a natural disaster and/or its aftermath; our ability to integrate businesses we acquire, including our ability to maintain revenues at historic levels and achieve anticipated cost savings; the impact of wagering laws, including changes in laws or enforcement of those laws by regulatory agencies; the effect of claims of third parties to intellectual property rights; and the volatility of our stock price.