Churchill Downs to be Showcased on Chats

Oct 27, 2009 Darren Rogers

Churchill Downs Incorporated (“Company” or “CDI”) (NASDAQ: CHDN) has partnered with to provide interactive online discussions between horse racing fans and a panel of experts each race day throughout Churchill Downs’ upcoming 21-day Fall Meet. The 120th Fall Meet will begin its four-week run on Sunday, Nov. 1 and continue through Saturday, Nov. 28.

    Horseplayer PRO utilizes live chat technology in hosting an interactive experience capable of accommodating tens of thousands of participants simultaneously. The race-day chats can be accessed at or and will begin 30 minutes before the 12:40 p.m. ET first race. The discussions will continue throughout the racing program until the final race of the day.

Fans will be able to exchange handicapping insights and receive useful handicapping information and advice from a team of experts, including Horseplayer PROs Jeremy Plonk, Joe Kristufek, Tim Turrell and Brian Spencer. Additional analysis will be provided by on-site guests such as Churchill Downs’ John Asher, Jill Byrne and Mark Johnson.

“We’re excited to team with Horseplayer PRO on this promising new online opportunity,” said Tom Jenkins, Churchill Downs Incorporated vice president. “In order to grow horse racing’s fan base and bring back lapsed customers, we need to continue to utilize modern technologies and find ways to become more fun than the other forms of entertainment with which we compete. These progressive on-line chats present an appealing and entertaining platform for customers to connect with one another and receive insightful commentary and useful handicapping information. Simultaneously, it also allows us the opportunity to showcase our product offerings and communicate to an enthusiastic and captive audience. Unquestionably, Horseplayer PRO will help broaden the scope of interaction with fans of our sport.”  
    In addition to hosting the race-day chats, Horseplayer PRO producers create interactive polls and a race-day scoreboard to follow winning connections, prices and track trends. The chat module is embedded into a specially designed Horseplayer PRO webpage that provides visitors a plethora of race-day information. With a simple mouse-click, chatters can find entries, weather, scratches/changes, results, jockey/trainer stats, news and selections without leaving the chat.

    “The marriage of a new-brand venture like Horseplayer PRO with some of the sport’s most renowned racing institutions makes a strong statement about the importance of horseplayers,” said Plonk, managing partner of Horseplayer PRO. “We look at the live chat experience as equal parts camaraderie and consultation, where horseplayers live and learn in real time. Our initial chat ventures with Remington Park have proven beneficial to the track brand as well as the bottom line in wagering handle.”

    “The chats give online fans a community feel,” Kristufek said. “The experience appeals to all levels of horseplayers, from the beginner to the expert. We’re all playing the races together – analyzing past performances, discussing pace scenarios, watching the odds, examining the horses in the post parade and seeking out potential track trends. The insider contributions provided on-site from the track announcer and analysts are invaluable.”

    In addition to racing from Churchill Downs, the action from Fair Grounds will be spotlighted on the Horseplayer PRO chats starting Sunday, Nov. 8. The New Orleans racetrack begins its season on Friday, Nov. 6.

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. 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 November 5 and 6, 2010. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at
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