With Kentucky Derby 135® just around the corner, Churchill Downs, the legendary racetrack that hosts the annual “Run for the Roses,” has announced that Nick Ferrara, also known as “RiNickulous,” will be the new Chief Party Officer (CPO) of the 2009 Kentucky Derby infield.  The reigning CPO, Tim “Stymie” Snyder will formally relinquish his party-ruling duties today, making Ferrara the official master of the “People’s Party” on Saturday, May 2, 2009.

“First of all, I’d just like to thank the Academy…no, but seriously, this is ridiculously cool,” said Ferrara, the new Chief Party Officer of Kentucky Derby 135. “Being named the new CPO is a total honor and I can’t wait to prove to the folks at Churchill Downs that they picked the right partier for the job. I have some pretty big shoes to fill, but I have the party know-how and more than a few tricks up my sleeve.

“Churchill Downs has also asked me to share some great news with their infield guests.  Coolers will again be allowed in the infield at Churchill Downs for this year’s Kentucky Derby (May 2) and Kentucky Oaks (May 1)! I know that coolers were a big part of the infield vibe in years past, and with everybody’s partying funds being tight these days, I think it’s great that Churchill Downs management, with the support of law enforcement officials, decided it was time to bring back this great tradition.”

“Spending the past year as the Chief Party Officer was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I want to thank Churchill Downs for entrusting me with the opportunity to pay homage to the millions of Derby fans that have called the infield home for many years,” said outgoing CPO Tim “Stymie” Snyder. “I’m going to spend this Derby enjoying my CPO emeritus status, checking out the new Infield Club, and firing back some mint juleps. I am also happy to serve as an advisor to ‘RiNickulous’ if he wants any tips. I’ve talked to the new CPO and believe me, the People’s Party is in good hands!”

Ferrara, 30, hails from Southern California and grew up across the street from the famed Santa Anita Race Course, which hosts the Santa Anita Derby, an annual Kentucky Derby prep race.  Ferrara has long held an interest in horse racing, having owned racehorses before.  He was selected from a group of more than 300 individuals who applied for 2009 CPO contest through www.ChiefPartyOfficer.com and through 2008 CPO Stymie Snyder’s visit to Super Bowl XLVIII in Tampa, Fla.

The perks to serving as the public ambassador for the Kentucky Derby infield, which annually draws approximately 100,000 fans during Derby weekend, are numerous. Not only will Ferrara serve as the official “spokesperson” for the infield and participate in numerous media interviews about infield party preparations, he will also preside over a specially designated CPO infield encampment throughout Derby weekend. The CPO’s luxurious “boardroom on wheels” will be a deluxe recreational vehicle that will offer food and hospitality, games and activities, and a photo booth to capture all of the craziness of the People’s Party.

Derby fans can check out the CPO’s official Facebook page, by visiting www.Facebook.com and typing “Chief Party Officer” in the search engine.  Visitors must be a Facebook member to view the page.  Registration is free.

“I know it seems early, but now is the time to start planning your trip to the People’s Party in the infield on Derby weekend,” Ferrara added. “Churchill Downs is making it really easy this year to buy tickets in advance, so you can save all of your cash for betting on the ponies and other ‘spirited’ activities. It’s really easy to go online to http://www.kentuckyderby.com/2009/tickets/buy and buy your general admission tickets right now with a Visa debit or credit card.  Tickets to the ‘Greatest Two Minutes in Sports’ are still a bargain at $40 while Kentucky Oaks tickets are only $25.  So if you and your friends want to have a blast Derby weekend, plan ahead and buy your tickets to the infield party now!”

As previously mentioned, Churchill Downs will again allow coolers into the infield on both Kentucky Oaks and Derby Days, a long-time tradition that was put on hold after Sept. 11, 2001, when Churchill Downs implemented more stringent security measures at the recommendation of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  This year, coolers will be allowed in the infield only and only through GATES 1 and 3. Cooler contents may include ice, non-alcoholic beverages (no glass containers permitted), and food items packaged in clear-plastic containers.  All coolers are subject to search by on-site security personnel.

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.

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