Alex Rankin has been elected elected chairman of the board of directors of Churchill Downs Inc., effective April 24, when longtime director and current chairman, G. Watts Humphrey Jr., steps down. Humphrey, a prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder who has served on numerous horse industry boards, opted not to stand for re-election to the CDI board. Rankin was elected vice chairman in October 2017.
Board members Bob Evans, the previous CEO and chairman of CDI, and Craig Duchossois are also not standing for re-election. Duchossois and his father, Richard Duchossois, both announced last year they are stepping away from the company they joined in 2000 with the merger of Arlington Park into CDI, a publicly traded company that owns several racetracks, casinos and the TwinSpires wagering platform.
Rankin, who joined the CDI board in 2008, is president of the Sterling G. Thompson insurance company in Louisville. He is a Thoroughbred owner and breeder operating Upson Downs farm in Goshen, Ky., is a member of The Jockey Club, a former Breeders' Cup director and former president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association.
Humphrey, who owns Shawnee Farm near Harrodsburg, Ky., has served on the CDI board for more than 20 years and was elected chairman in 2016.
The board approved the nomination of Karole F. Lloyd as a Class director. Lloyd, a certified public accountant, formerly served as vice chair of Ernst & Young.
William Carstanjen, chairman of CDI, has also been nominated to a Class 1 board seat. Carstanjen outlined some of the company's goals during a recent earnings call summarizing the fourth quarter of 2017. The call came one day after CDI purchased Presque Isle Downs racetrack and casino in Pennsylvania, which Carstanjen said “gives us a foothold in Pennsylvania, which has recently passed legislation authorizing real money online gaming.”
Carstanjen also said that Ainsworth Game Technology is manufacturing the historic racing machines going into the former Trackside off-track wagering site in Louisville.
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