Churchill Downs Racetrack has looked within its organization to fill a pair of key positions on its team by naming Ryan Jordan to the post of General Manager and promoting Greg Bush to Vice President, Operations at the historic home of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
The respective moves to their new positions by Jordan and Bush are effective immediately.
“The jobs of General Manager and Vice President, Operations are important to our track and we are pleased to fill those positions with established and experienced members on our team,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “Both Ryan Jordan and Greg Bush have established strong relationships and levels of trust with our racetrack team, community partners, vendors and neighbors. It takes a tremendous team effort each year by our track and its partners throughout the community and region to continue the success and growth of the Derby and Oaks. Having experienced and creative leaders like Ryan and Greg in their key positions is exciting for everyone.”
As General Manager, the 32-year-old Jordan moves into a role at the track once held by Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby legend Col. Matt Winn, who held that post when he arrived at the then-struggling track in 1902 and served in that position until he ascended to the position of President in 1938.
Jordan arrived in Louisville in 2009 when he accepted the post of Vice President of Operations for the Churchill Downs Entertainment Group (“CDE”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) that focused on developing large-scale entertainment offerings at CDI tracks and other locations throughout the United States. Jordan headed the operations and logistical efforts behind HullabaLOU, a three-day music festival held primarily on concert stages in the Churchill Downs infield that attracted nearly 80,000 fans in the summer of 2010, and the Fork, Cork & Style wine and food festivals held later that year at Churchill Downs and Arlington Park. He moved to Churchill Downs Racetrack in late 2010, where he has served as vice president with a primary focus on operations and facilities issues.
Jordan had previously worked for the PGA of America as Championship Director of the PGA Championship, a post in which he was responsible for planning and direction all aspects of the Championship during its 2007-2010 renewals. Prior to that, he served as Operations Manager for the 2005 PGA Championship.
In his role as General Manager, Jordan will oversee Churchill Downs’ frontside and backside operations, Racing Office staff and ticket fulfillment operations. Jordan will report directly to the track president.
Bush, 50, assumes his new duties of Vice President, Operations after serving as Churchill Downs’ Senior Director of Operations since 2007, and Director of Operations from 2004-2007. Bush joined Churchill Downs in a full-time position with the track’s Mutuels department in 1991, and three years later was appointed general manager of its Trackside off-track betting facility. He served in that position until he returned to the racetrack team in his operations post in 2004. Before the Louisville native returned home to work at Churchill Downs, Bush held various posts at tracks that include Oaklawn Park, Ellis Park, Beulah Park, Will Rogers Downs, Blue Ribbon Downs and Fair Meadows.
In his new position, Bush will report directly to the General Manager.
Churchill Downs also has announced a new position for veteran Mutuels Department official Rick Smith, who has been appointed Senior Director, Mutuels. Smith, 56, joined Churchill Downs in 1973 and has served as Director of Mutuels since late 1994. In his new position, Smith will report directly to the Vice President, Operations.
The 138th runnings of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks are scheduled, respectively, for Saturday, May 5 and Friday, May 4. Churchill Downs will launch its Spring Meet with the second annual “Opening Night” under its permanent lights on Saturday, April 28.