Churchill Downs Incorporated
|Industry||Racing, Including Trackoperation|
|Headquarters||Flag of the United States Louisville, Kentucky, USA|
|Key people||Robert L. Evans|
After simulcasting became commonplace in the early 1990s the racetrack decided to expand its holdings and move into the simulcasting industry. Under the leadership of President and CEO, Thomas H. "Tom" Meeker, the racetrack began to buy and build more racetracks. In 1994, Churchill Downs began to expand its holdings with the plans to create a new racetrack in Indiana. The plan resulted in the opening of Hoosier Park.
In 1998, CDI purchased Ellis Park Racecourse in Henderson, Kentucky. In 1999, the company acquired Calder Race Course and Hollywood Park Racetrack from Hollywood Park Inc. In 2000, CDI merged with Arlington Park and the eight OTB's owned by Arlington. In 2004 the Churchill Downs Incorporated finalized the purchase of Fair Grounds Race Course.
In April 2002, Churchill Downs Incorporated established the Green Pastures Program in partnership with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, a leading American racehorse rescue and adoption organization.
In 2005, the company announced that it was selling Hollywood Park Racetrack to the Bay Meadows Land Company. The plan is to demolish the track if California does not approve alternative gaming at racetracks. As part of the deal, Bay Meadows and Hollywood Park joined the Churchill Downs Simulcast Network. Another component was a buyback provision if the track did get slot machines.
The company sold Ellis Park in 2006.
Economics and stock
Churchill Downs Incorporated is listed on the Nasdaq as CHDN. The company is the most profitable track owner in the horse racing industry. The company is not plagued by the losses of other similar companies such as Magna Entertainment Corporation. The company is widely considered to be looking at acquiring more tracks in the future.
Churchill Downs Incorporated owns the following properties or entities:
- Trackside Off-Track-Betting Facilities
- 50% of TrackNet
- 50% of Kentucky Off-Track Betting
- 50% of Horse Racing TV
- 30% Interest in NASRIN
- 5% Interest in Kentucky Downs
Recent performances and the future
CDI President and CEO Thomas H. "Tom" Meeker announced he will retire in 2007 or earlier if a replacement is found. In July 2006, CDI hired Robert L. Evans as CEO and President. Fair Grounds Race Course is conducting a limited 2005-2006 meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs after the facility, located on Gentilly Street in New Orleans, Louisiana was damaged during and after Hurricane Katrina. Calder Race Course in Florida was damaged during Hurricane Wilma and was closed for several days. Ellis Park was also owned by CDI when it was damaged during a tornado in November 2005.
According to SeeingStars.com, the company is considering purchasing more tracks, especially in Southern California. Ellis Park was sold in July 2006, the track grandstand was heavily damaged during a tornado in November 2005. The company is a major partner in the Kentucky Equine Education Project. The Project seeks to inform citizens about their perceived need for alternative gaming at racetracks. The track is also seeking alternative gaming (i.e. slot machines) at the tracks located outside of Kentucky. In August 2007, CDI parterned with competitor Magna in a proposal bid to take over the New York Racing Association (NYRA).