Op/Ed: The King of Sports

Throughout the nation, the horse racing industry is under both increased scrutiny and pressure to reduce the number of equine fatalities and breakdowns. While progress has been made at many tracks, in recent years, i.e. Turfway, Woodbine, Golden Gate, and Gulfstream, there is less of a tolerance than ever for equine injuries and fatalities, as doping scandals have marred our most cherished events and as advocates and animal rights groups such as PETA have gained momentum. Horse racing is under real pressure to enhance safety, with many critics seeking to...

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Derby, Oaks Workouts Open to Public

Between Saturday, Apr. 23 and Wednesday, May 4, Churchill Downs will be open free-of-charge daily from 7-10 a.m. so visitors can watch GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks hopefuls train. Beginning Saturday, there will be an exclusive training window for Derby and Oaks participants only from 7:30-7:45 a.m. Derby horses will use yellow saddle towels, and Oaks contenders will bear pink saddle towels. Visitors should enter the track through the Paddock Gate and can park for free in White Lot. Morning workouts can be viewed between Sections 115-117 of...

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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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CDI Names Murr President of TwinSpires and Online Gaming

Churchill Downs Incorporated named Ben Murr as the new President of TwinSpires and Online Gaming. In this role, he will be responsible for the overall strategy and operations of these businesses. During his 14 years with CDI, he has served in multiple leadership roles including President of United Tote, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and, most recently, as interim President of TwinSpires and Online Gaming. Prior to joining CDI, Murr worked in information technology leadership roles at General Electric. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a...

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IL HBPA Withholds Consent for TwinSpires to be in State

Edited Press Release The organization representing owners and trainers at FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing (formerly known as Fairmount Park) is withholding consent for the TwinSpires betting platform to accept wagers from Illinois residents. The board of the Illinois Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association cites the closure of suburban Chicago's industry icon Arlington Park by Churchill Downs Inc., TwinSpires' parent corporation, as a prime motivation for withholding consent. With CDI not owning a functioning racetrack in Illinois in 2022, TwinSpires must under state law have a contract with another duly...

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Oaks Winner Summerly Dies

Summerly (Summer Squall--Here I Go, by Mr. Prospector), winner of the 2005 GI Kentucky Oaks for Winchell Thoroughbreds, passed away earlier this year after suffering a bout of colic, The Twinspires Edge reported. Acquired by the Winchells for $410,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, the mare was purchased by WinStar Farm for $3.3 million at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton November Sale. "She was one of the prettiest mares we had on the farm," WinStar's Elliott Walden told Twinspires' Ed DeRosa. "While she didn't reproduce herself, she always was a...

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Twinspires Triple Crown Throwdown: Kentucky Derby

Ed DeRosa of takes on TDN's Steve Sherack and Brian DiDonato as they handicap Triple Crown prep races plus the big three races themselves. The three will make $100 Win/Place bets in the preps and $200 Win/Place bets in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. Highest bankroll at the end wins. DeRosa - Bankroll: $5480 - Pegasus Result - Skyscanner made no impact at a big price. GI Kentucky Derby - Tiz the Law is my pick to win the GI Kentucky Derby. He is the most likely winner,...

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Amid Pandemic, CDI Reports TwinSpires Growth

Predictably, Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), on Wednesday reported 2020 first-quarter revenue drops because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut down racing and gaming throughout the nation since mid-March. But CDI noted within those results that it experienced "strong performance" from its TwinSpires advance-deposit wagering platform, with handle growth of 8.3% over the prior year's quarter. "For the first quarter of 2020, net revenue increased $4.3 million from the prior year quarter primarily due to a $3.7 million increase at TwinSpires," CDI reported in its Apr. 29 United States Securities...

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The Week in Review: Can Virtual Racing Fill the Void for Horseplayers

Still another track, Golden Gate Fields, was forced to stop racing last week, leaving only a precious few wagering opportunities for action-hungry horseplayers. But more betting opportunities are on their way--even if they aren't necessarily the real thing. Wagering on virtual horse races is now being offered by three ADWs and more are expected to come on board soon. The contestants are computer generated horses or greyhounds that dart across the screen in real time, battling it out against one another to see who gets to the wire first. Virtual...

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