Phenomenal Purses Scheduled for Churchill Downs’ 145th Spring Meet

$5,000 claimers running for $29,000.   Bottom allowance runners going for a $103,000 purse.  That’s the type of purses set for Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby week 2019.   Is horse racing dead?  Not in Kentucky.

Per the Churchill Downs’ press release:

Record prize money for horsemen will be distributed at Churchill Downs’ 145th Spring Meet thanks to early returns from state-of-the-art historical racing machines at Derby City Gaming.

The first condition book, which covers the first half of the 38-day Spring Meet, was released Wednesday, and purses for the 189 offered races total $20.1 million – an unprecedented 46% increase from last spring’s $13.7 million. The daily average is $1,056,842 compared to $722,579 in 2018, or $106,243 per race versus $72,640. All purses include prize money from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

Purses for all six days of racing on Derby Week (April 27-May 4) have been supercharged. In years past, only the purses on Oaks and Derby days were boosted. Maiden special weight races will be $100,000. Allowance races will range from $103,000 to $110,000. Total purses on Oaks Day will exceed $3.6 million, and Derby Day prize money will be worth a record $6.9 million.

After Derby Week, maiden special weight races will be worth $85,000 (up from $53,000 in 2018), and allowance races will range from $87,000 to $94,000 (up from $55,000 to $61,000 in 2018). The daily prize money post-Derby Week will average $525,308 compared to $356,769 in 2018, or $55,975 per race versus $38,016 a year ago.

In a change from last year, the winner’s share of the purse in all overnight races will be 56% (previously 60%) and 1.5% of the purse will be distributed to the sixth- through last-place finishers (previously 0.5%) to incentivize starts and reward owners who run their horses.

More than $30 million in total prize money – $12 million in stakes races and another $18 million in overnight races – is expected to be offered during this year’s Spring Meet. Last year, total purses paid during the 372-race Spring Meet was $22.2 million.

“This is such an exciting time to be a part of Kentucky racing,” said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery. “Our investment into Derby City Gaming, which opened just five months ago, continues to pay immediate dividends to Kentucky horsemen. We have reinforced our Derby Week festival concept, solidified our lucrative stakes program and tremendously strengthened our overnight racing product.We truly believe this growth and methodology will benefit all owners, trainers and jockeys that participate at Churchill Downs and make for an extremely exciting and competitive meet.”

With 75 total racing dates in 2019, Churchill Downs will offer more racing opportunities for horsemen than any other racetrack in Kentucky and increase its purses with more than an additional $10 million as a result of handle generated by Derby City Gaming’s initial year of operation. The $65 million facility opened in mid-September at nearby 4520 Poplar Level Road.

Earlier this year, Churchill Downs announced a record 34-race, $12.2 million Spring Meet stakes schedule that included a $1 million boost to the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) on Saturday, May 4, making it worth a guaranteed $3 million. Also among the 15 stakes races that received significant increases were the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI), which was raised to $1.25 million, and the Old Forester Turf Classic (GI), which was doubled to $1 million.

Stall applications for the highly-anticipated Spring Meet, which will begin Saturday, April 27 and continue through Saturday, June 29, are due Friday, March 8. The stable area will reopen Tuesday, March 19 and the first scheduled day of training is Friday, March 22.

View the condition book online: https://www.churchilldowns.com/horsemen/racing/condition-book/.

Purchase of Presque Isle Downs & Casino by Churchill Finalized

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan., 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI” or “the Company”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) today announced that it has completed the previously announced purchase of Presque Isle Downs & Casino (“Presque Isle”) in Erie, Pennsylvania from Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (“ERI”) (Nasdaq: ERI) for cash consideration of $178.9 million, subject to certain working capital and other purchase price adjustments. The purchase of the property follows the approval of the transaction by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission. The transaction was funded with cash on hand and through the Company’s existing credit facility.

“Presque Isle will give us a foothold in Pennsylvania and the opportunity to participate in the sports betting and online gaming market throughout the state. This acquisition is projected to be immediately accretive to our shareholders,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “We are excited about welcoming Presque Isle and its employees to the Churchill family.”

About Presque Isle Downs & Casino
Presque Isle opened its casino in February 2007 and operates approximately 1,600 slots, 32 table games and a poker room. Presque Isle also conducts live thoroughbred racing

Amazing Rooftop Experience Planned for 2019 Kentucky Derby

Churchill winner's circleLOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept., 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN), one of the world’s most renowned sports and entertainment venues, will create an elevated experience for guests of the 2019 Kentucky Derby and beyond. The legendary Louisville, Ky. racetrack has announced plans for a $5 million capital investment that will expand the Starting Gate Suites through the construction of a new 20,000-square-foot rooftop garden which will deliver a unique hospitality experience with exclusive sightlines and access for more than 500 ticketed guests.

The innovative and picturesque rooftop space, located high atop the Starting Gate Suites on the north end of the 190-acre facility, will provide covered reserved seating for more than 250 guests and approximately 250 additional Standing Room Only access tickets. More information on the individual tickets to the new space for the 2019 Kentucky Derby will be made available during the online ticket sale later this year.

Guests on the rooftop will be able to gaze at an authentic panoramic view of Louisville while enjoying access to several upscale bars and various food offerings in a cozy yet party-like atmosphere. There also will be a tiered balcony for spectacular viewing of Churchill Downs’ races, including a prime observation that overlooks the start of the Kentucky Derby at the top of the famed homestretch.

“Rooftop bars are a hot trend in the hospitality industry, and the addition of this sensational new space atop our Starting Gate Suites will be a great benefit to our facility and deliver another unique guest experience at Churchill Downs,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack.

The Starting Gate Suites debuted for the 2018 Kentucky Derby. It was constructed for $37 million and provided more than 1,800 new seats through the addition of 32 luxury suites, interior dining tables and third-floor Grandstand seats.

Construction on the Starting Gate Suites Rooftop project will begin after the Nov. 2-3 Breeders’ Cup World Championships and be completed prior to the 2019 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, which will be staged for the 145th consecutive year on Saturday, May 4th. Populous is the architect and Calhoun Construction will serve as the project manager.

Guests interested in purchasing tickets to the Starting Gate Suites Rooftop or more information may contact the Churchill Downs sales department at (502) 636-4450 or sales@kyderby.com.

About Churchill Downs Racetrack

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: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 4, 2019. The track’s 2018 September Meet is set for Sept. 14-30 and its Fall Meet will run from Oct. 28-Nov. 25. An eight-time host to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Churchill Downs will again be the site of that event on Nov. 2-3, 2018. Information is available at www.ChurchillDowns.com.

About Churchill Downs Incorporated

Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is an industry-leading racing, gaming and online entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event – The Kentucky Derby. We are the largest legal online account wagering platform for horseracing in the U.S., through our ownership of TwinSpires.com. We are also a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 8,000 gaming positions in six states. We have launched our BetAmerica Sportsbook at our two Mississippi casino properties and have announced our plans to enter additional U.S. real money online gaming and sports betting markets. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.

Strong Kentucky Derby results helped boost Churchill Downs’ profits – 2Q 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Despite rainy weather, a “strong” Kentucky Derby week helped Louisville-based Churchill Downs Inc. report net income of $78 million in the second quarter of the year, a 12 percent increase from the same period in 2016.

Source: Strong Kentucky Derby results help boost Churchill Downs’ profits