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Churchill Downs Launches KentuckyDerby.com

Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (NASDAQ: CHDN) has launched www.KentuckyDerby.com, the official Web site for the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and definitive online resource for information about the Kentucky Derby experience.

The all-inclusive Web site, redesigned in conjunction with Texas-based FooCulture, features a clean, classy, condensed and easy-to-navigate homepage with quick links to user-friendly sections. The updated site is loaded with colorful imagery that pulls visitors in to the spectacle that is America’s original, extravagant, springtime sports party and well represents the many intriguing aspects of the Kentucky Derby brand.

“Whether you’re a casual sports fan, entertainment seeker or diehard horse racing enthusiast, KentuckyDerby.com is the ultimate online destination for the Kentucky Derby experience – and it’s the only Web site you need to visit for everything Derby related,” said Julie Koenig-Loignon, Churchill Downs Incorporated’s vice president of brand development and marketing. “We designed the site to blend  the rich history and time-honored traditions that Derby fans love about the ‘Run for the Roses’ with fresh, fun entertainment content that showcases the tremendous social experience wrapped around America’s greatest horse race.”

All-encompassing information about top Kentucky Derby prospects, important prep races and expert analysis is just a mouse click away in the “Contenders” area. Meanwhile, comprehensive Derby race histories as well as entertainment and lifestyle segments featuring updates on Derby fashions, signature cuisine, Red Carpet interviews and local celebrity parties can be found in the retooled “Derby Experience” section.
 
Additionally, there are areas devoted to breaking news and visitor information, plus easy-to-find e-commerce tabs for Kentucky Derby and Oaks tickets, official Derby photographs and merchandise and online wagering through TwinSpires.com. There are handy links to Derby party planning tools, social networking channels, the “Road to the Roses” Derby fantasy game and home page links to local community and business partners that contribute to the entire Derby hospitality effort in Louisville, Ky.

Content will be added throughout the Derby season and integrated with video updates from veteran Churchill Downs’ racing analyst Jill Byrne and popular Louisville entertainment reporter Angie Fenton. Byrne will give fans a unique behind-the-scenes look at promising Kentucky Derby contenders and their jockeys, trainers and owners while also offering weekly previews of upcoming Derby prep races. Fenton will deliver entertaining reports on a broad range of topics, including Derby party-planning tips, fashion dos and don’ts and the latest dish on celebrities and the Derby party scene.

John Asher, Churchill Downs’ vice president of racing communications, will join Byrne and handicappers Kellie Reilly and James Scully of Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRISNet.com) for expert analysis and opinion about Derby contenders, including Top 10 rankings. BRISNet.com and the Churchill Downs communications department will team to provide breaking news updates.

Approximately 2.4 million unique users, including nearly one million unique visitors in the weeks surrounding the Kentucky Derby, visited KentuckyDerby.com in 2009.

Annually staged at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on the first Saturday in May, this year’s $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby (Grade I) is scheduled for May 1. The 1 ¼-mile classic for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds – the first leg of horse racing’s famed Triple Crown series – was first run in 1875, which makes “The Run for the Roses” the oldest continuously held sporting event in North America. Approximately 150,000 people attend the Kentucky Derby in person with more than 20 million people tuning in via television and radio worldwide.

The companion Web site for the Derby’s sister race, the 136th running of the Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, will launch the week of Feb. 15, while a new-and-improved  KentuckyDerbyParty.com, the official site for Kentucky Derby Party planning, will debut in early March.

    Churchill Downs Incorporated, (“CDI”), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., owns and operates four world renowned Thoroughbred racing facilities: Arlington Park in Illinois, Calder Casino and Race Course in Florida, Churchill Downs Race Track in Kentucky and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in Louisiana.  CDI operates slot and gaming operations in Louisiana and Florida.  CDI tracks are host to North America’s most prestigious races, including the Arlington Million, the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks, the Louisiana Derby and the Princess Rooney, along with hosting the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5-6, 2010.  CDI also owns off-track betting facilities, TwinSpires.com and other advance-deposit wagering channels, television production, telecommunications and racing service companies such as BRIS and a 50-percent interest in the national cable and satellite network, HorseRacing TV, which supports CDI’s network of simulcasting and racing operations.  CDI’s Entertainment Group produces the HullabaLOU Music Festival at Churchill Downs Racetrack which premieres on July 23-25, 2010.  CDI trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol CHDN and can be found at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.

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Churchill Downs Unveils Web Site

Racing resumes under the Twin Spires on Saturday, April 26, and Churchill Downs’ official Web site is keeping pace with a new look and expanded features for the 2008 season. The redesigned Web site is available at www.churchilldowns.com.

Highlighting the new features of the Web site is an expanded information archive divided into four convenient categories based on the visitor’s preference -- Visit Us for out-of-town guests or newer fans, Racing for on-track information, Top Stories for the latest news, and Horsemen for condition books, claims, workout times and much more. The site is easily navigated between sections using tabs at the top of each page.

The new www.churchilldowns.com also includes expanded video features designed to complement daily news and on-track activity, as well as exclusive analysis videos, interviews, and links to an online race replay archive at www.youtube.com/cdi. Content from www.brisnet.com has also been integrated into Churchill’s “virtual tote board,” which allows up-to-the-minute racing information with www.twinspires.com technology built in for instant wagering opportunities. At the heart of the redesign is a clean, fresh look that presents Churchill’s news and racing information in an easy-to-read fashion, and includes hundreds of images from the track’s vast photography archives.

“We’re delighted to offer this redesigned Web site to Churchill fans just in time for the 2008 racing season,” said Jeremy Borseth, senior director of channel services and Internet operations for Churchill Downs Incorporated. “Churchilldowns.com has always been a huge information repository and an excellent online resource, so we’ve focused on giving our visitors an outstanding experience through a fresh new design that allows for easier navigation and a smooth, user-friendly online experience. We hope that our fans will take some time to explore the new offerings on the site and enjoy a virtual look at our historic track.”

Other new features on the redesigned www.churchilldowns.com include a special area dedicated to simulcasting information, an expanded events calendar, blogs, and new “QuickLinks” technology, which enables a visitor to create a list of his or her own favorite pages, bookmark-style, on the homepage of the Churchill Web site itself. The site’s home page also “remembers” what content a visitor has recently looked at and will automatically present similar content upon subsequent visits to the Web site. New sections will debut in the coming weeks, including social networking links, widgets, mobile features, and the ability for visitors to share handicapping information and wagering tips.

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack stargames online, 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 is set for 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.