Churchill Downs Inc.

Baffert: CDI 'Appears to Misunderstand' Its Own Derby Qualifying Rules

Responding to a legal filing in which Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), alleged that a court-mandated lifting of Bob Baffert's ban from competing in the GI Kentucky Derby would harm the connections of other qualifying points earners who would "lose their fairly-earned berths in the Derby to make room for Baffert," the Hall-of-Fame trainer's legal team fired back with a written response on Friday claiming that CDI "appears to misunderstand its own rules," regarding the qualifying system. "CDI argues that an injunction would force it to 'reallocate' points and 'deprive' owners...

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CDI Argues Court Win By Baffert Would Harm Other Derby Qualifiers

The gaming corporation that controls the GI Kentucky Derby fired the latest legal salvo in trainer Bob Baffert's ongoing attempt to reverse the second year of a two-year ban the company imposed in 2021 because of a spate of drug positives in Grade I races, urging a federal judge not to grant an injunction that would lift the ban in time for the May 6 Derby. "Baffert refuses to accept responsibility for his wrongful actions..." Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) wrote in a brief opposing Baffert's motion for a preliminary injunction...

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Late Bid to Keep Bears in Chicago Despite Looming Arlington Sale

The developer advising Chicago's mayor is proposing a $2.2-billion renovation proposal that includes a glass stadium dome to keep the city's National Football League team, the Bears, at its longtime downtown location, Soldier Field. The website Front Office Sports published details Jan. 8. The news is of peripheral interest to horse racing enthusiasts, because the Bears have otherwise entered into a purchase agreement to instead build a $5-billion stadium on the site of the former Arlington International Racecourse. Although the specifics of the proposal are new, city officials have been...

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Winter Auction to Benefit Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs

In order to help finance the essential programs of the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs (BLC), The Louisville Thoroughbred Society (LTS) will sponsor a public auction of donated items Friday, Dec. 16 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET. The Pressbox will provide phone numbers and the staff, while their website updates bidding every five minutes. Some of the highlighted items include horse blankets from Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify, as well as one used by Spendthrift Farm's leading sire, Into Mischief. Also on the block, will...

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After Probe over Unlicensed Operation, Twinspires Exits New Hampshire

Five months after New Hampshire gambling regulators and the state's attorney general disclosed that they were investigating the TwinSpires advance deposit wagering (ADW) platform over concerns that the Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI)-owned entity has operated for years without being explicitly licensed there, TwinSpires is ceasing operations in the Granite State. Back in April, Charlie McIntyre, the executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery, which regulates all forms of gambling in the state, told WMUR-TV that "They're not regulated by us, nor do they operate on any confines of state law.......

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CDI Aims to Nearly Double Colonial's Race Dates

By 2026, the gaming corporation that owns Colonial Downs is aiming to nearly double the amount of racing at the turf-centric Virginia track, potentially expanding the current boutique-styled summer race meet from 27 to 50 dates. That news was revealed Thursday morning by Bill Carstanjen, the chief executive officer of Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), who briefly mentioned the dates increase during a public quarterly earnings conference call with investment bankers. The reason has everything to do with CDI's gaming revenue and apparently very little do with the overall scope of...

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Contents of Arlington Up for Online Auction

The first items in a massive online-only auction of the contents of Arlington International Racecourse have been listed for bidding. The sales process, which is scheduled to take place over the next few months in up to 15 separate "events" grouped by asset type, is beginning with food-service and kitchen items. The coveted big-ticket racing-related offerings--marker poles, finish lines, signage, artworks, and even starting gates--will be among the last batches of items to be sold. "We're going to be targeting nostalgia and memorabilia items mid-September," said Judd Grafe, who runs...

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Baffert Sues CDI, Carstanjen & Rankin Over Suspension

Trainer Bob Baffert has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky against Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI), CDI CEO Bill Carstanjen and CDI Board Chair Alex Rankin. Baffert is seeking a preliminary or permanent injunction that will enjoin Churchill from barring him. At present, Baffert cannot compete in the 2022 or 2023 runnings of the GI Kentucky Derby or any other races at Churchill or Churchill-owned tracks. He  is also fighting a separate action from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which suspended him for 90...

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CDI to Abandon Online Sports Betting

Bill Carstanjen, the chief executive officer of Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), said during a quarterly conference call with investors Feb. 24 that after only a brief foray into online sports betting, the gaming corporation plans to phase out operating in that sector by mid-2022. "When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting in May of 2018, we had high hopes for the potential to build a profitable business in this space," Carstanjen said. "Our initial strategy was to leverage a variable cost technology model and be...

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Fair Grounds Not Definite on Dates Reduction

Jason Boulet, the Fair Grounds director of racing, was repeatedly pressed by Louisiana State Racing Commission (LSRC) member Tom Calvert Tuesday about whether or not his track would once again seek a statutory change to reduce its required number of race dates from 80 to 75 when the state legislature convenes its 2022 session Mar. 14. The exchange did not yield a definitive answer beyond Boulet's disclosure that the Fair Grounds and its corporate parent, the gaming firm Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), would be in favor of participating in discussions...

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Three CDI-Brokered Simo Signals Return to Nevada

An impasse whose origin dates back more than two years that has prevented Nevada race books from taking betting on three simulcasting signals controlled by Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), was reportedly resolved on Wednesday, although it remains unclear which side budged or what changed in the negotiations. Mike Brunker of the Las Vegas Review-Journal broke the story Dec. 1. Three signed contracts for the Fair Grounds, Turfway Park and Oaklawn Park that were suddenly offered by CDI were inked into agreement on Wednesday by the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association, which represents...

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Report: CDI Exploring Selling Off Twinspires

Churchill Downs Inc. is reportedly exploring selling off TwinSpires Racing, which the gaming corporation describes as the "premier online horse racing wagering platform in the United States." The financial news site Bloomberg first broke the CDI scoop at 3:40 p.m. Eastern Dec. 2, citing several sources who requested anonymity because they were sharing information that hadn't yet been divulged by the publicly traded company. A CDI official declined comment. Bloomberg reported that CDI "is working with an adviser to solicit potential interest in the wagering platform." One of the sources...

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