Holding Churchill Downs Accountable for Fair Grounds Decline

by | 04.23.2014 | 2:52pm

This is the nightmare scenario for horse racing people when slot machines come to town. Bean counters in corporate offices begin to look at racing operations as an expense, a necessary evil that must be maintained in order to keep the money-churning slots and gambling tables going. They allow facilities used by horsemen and horseplayers to deteriorate, looking at reinvestment in horseracing and marketing horseracing as a money pit.

That's what you might anticipate when a casino company buys a racetrack. It's not what you expect, however, when a company like Churchill Downs – whose very foundation is horse racing – is in charge.

But that's what we've seen from the Louisville, Ky.,-based company in recent years, which is now more a gaming than racing outfit.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots is Exhibit A. It has a turf course that doesn't drain properly, a dilapidated stable area, an infield video screen that hasn't worked in years, aging televisions, declining handle, and reduced purses.


Thankfully, there are checks and balances in Louisiana that are reminding Churchill Downs officials they cannot treat horseracing as an unwanted stepchild. First there was the legislation that breezed through the Louisiana House on a 94-0 vote that would require the company to allocate 10 percent of slots revenue to capital improvements on the historic facility. A Senate vote is pending.

Then there is the Louisiana State Racing Commission, which held track president Tim Bryant's feet to the fire during a meeting on Tuesday. The commission's leverage is the very license to conduct live racing, which by state law affords the track owner to operate slot machines in the casino and video poker at off-track betting parlors.

By all accounts (suggested reading is Katherine Terrell at NOLA.com and Ted Lewis at The Advocate), this didn't go well for Churchill Downs. Bryant unveiled an “improvement plan” to the commissioners and they responded with “not good enough.” They want more details and a written plan by the end of next week, when a special commission meeting will be held.

Bryant, whose background is the casino business, was named president of Fair Grounds in 2010. The man he replaced, Austin Miller, was moved to another Churchill Downs-owned property, Calder Casino & Racecourse in Florida. Miller was promoted from his Calder job last year and now oversees all of the company's gaming operations.

Apparently, neither Bryant or Miller spend much time around horses or frequently venture into the stable area.

“I have gone through the barns and to be honest with you, I was not impressed with some of them,” Bryant told the Louisiana commissioners of the Fair Grounds stable area on Tuesday.

Miller also appeared at Tuesday's meeting. He seemed reluctant to invest the company's money in things like an infield video board. “When we contemplate things like the video board,” he said. “When you think how many people would actually benefit from replacing that video board, it's a small number.”

One reason so few fans stand on the apron and watch the video board is that it doesn't work.

Casino people think in terms of revenue per square foot. That's how the press box at Churchill Downs was transformed into an upscale and expensive Kentucky Derby hospitality area called The Mansion. It's how the apron of Fair Grounds was transformed into a ghost town.

Casino companies do not like spending money on horseracing. It's good that Louisiana has a state racing commission insisting they do. Jerry Meaux, the chairman of the commission may have said it best when he talked about forcing the hand of Churchill Downs to make the necessary improvements: “I hate that it's come to this because personally I don't think anything would have been done.”

  • Hawksian

    I have news for you, Churchill Downs IS a casino company.

    • Vudu

      “Casino companies do not like spending money on horse racing.”

      No kidding.
      Its unnecessary overhead when you can just suck the money out of slot player pockets.

  • togahombre

    These casino operators are relentless, don’t be surprised if when its all set and done they portray themselves as the defenseless victims being robbed by statehouse cronys

  • Bob C

    “When you think how many people would actually benefit from replacing that video board, it’s a small number.” Forget about attracting new fans to the game. Let’s just concentrate on the dwindling live crowd which will become even smaller because of management’s indifference.

    • Vudu

      You have to hang some of that onto online gaming. The remote world. When you can phone in your bets from home – then why does it need to have a grandstand at all?

      This is something to ponder as we come up on the first weekend of JazzFest.

      • Bob C

        Apparently Oaklawn and Keeneland understand the need for a grandstand because their facilities are packed with fans. Most of the tracks raised the white flag years ago because they gave up on drawing a sizable live audience. Oaklawn and Keeneland prove that it still can be done.

        • Voice of Reason

          True, but one is located in a Horse town and runs a boutique meet. The other has extraordinary purses due to slots (kinda slots) and a dismall over all handle compared to the purse levels.

          • renee

            So What’s Your Point?
            Are you saying that tracks that draw fans are to be dismissed due to geography or smart management?
            If so, you may want to consider changing your handle from voice of reason to “VOICE OF STUDIPITY!”

          • Vudu

            Thanks for your observation. Ignore the nonsense in posts below ;)

            Any track outside of established horse country, in a region without horses deeply embedded in the local culture, has a different experience.

            Gulfstream, as one example, is a gorgeous track, yet doesn’t have much for a grandstand – as far as numbers. Could they handle many of the really big national race days if it weren’t for simulcasts?

  • Jay Stone

    Give the Louisiana racing commission a lot of credit. They have gone to places where other racing commissions would fear to tread. Arlington could eventually fall into disarray just as Fairgrounds did. Crc is the best example but a very weak racing commission and A deal about to be made between the two tracks will prevent this. CDI is a brilliantly run organization at the top but except for Kentucky Derby day and Oaks day they want nothing to do with racing. To keep their casinos open they have to run a certain amount of days that’s the only reason racing still exists in CDI land

    • Barbara Bowen

      Someone else suggested something along these lines, but Stronach should make the Preakness a 5 million dollar race and spend 10 mil in marketing to re-position it. Then the Derby can be a prep. I would love to see the day that a trainer of a California Chrome or a Baffert to Pletcher told CDI, NO.

      • flahorsedentist

        The absurdity that is CDI, is only superseded by the ignorance and arrogance that is CDI. Lynn Stone is rolling over in his grave.

      • Jay Stone

        I believe that threat may have already been made. Don’t underestimate the cunning or ego of a wealthy powerful man as Stronach. If CDI was so intent on its points system why was the Calder Derby not awarded any points. Tradition is important in everything we do but for purely financial reasons CDI can’t spell the word.

        • Voice of Reason

          Simple, they have something to point to when they slowly take away points for races that are run at its competitors. Take the Illinois derby for example. Others will follow, if they dont play ball with CDSN.

      • How can you run a $5,000,000 race on a $16 track?

        • Barbara Bowen

          Same way you run a 1.5 million dollar race on it. Counter clockwise:-)

          • Aw, blow me down, lady, good one, ya got me.

      • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

        The Derby is an American Institution. People would still go for it and want to win it if there was no purse at all. That is not going to change anytime in the near future. CDI knows this and that is why they focus only on that event. The Derby will never be relegated to just a Prep Race and people will still always come out to it because it is an event. As was said above…CDI is a very smart organization and this is what happens when you have for profits come in and run major racing enterprises.

        • Barbara Bowen

          You are very literal in your inferences, and while I agree about CDI taking advantage of the “institution” – I would bet A LOT of money that if they ran it for free, you’d have a field of zero. Money talks, which is exactly your point about why CDI runs for their stockholders, not for the sport of racing, for any sacred traditions, and sure as hell not for horsemen or horses. CDI lost money with revenues up this past quarter – tell me again how smart they are?

          • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

            Ask any owner, horseman, horsewoman, or jockey if they would want to win the Derby even if no purse was offered, and I would wager over 90% would say yes…

          • Barbara Bowen

            Bryan, you can believe that if you want, and I truly appreciate the sentiment. Would have agreed at one time. But we can agree to disagree, too. I never suggested they run it without a purse…

            Many would happily point to the Preakness over the Derby for 3 mil more to run for – more time, less distance, and at the end of the day this is a business. At one time not long ago, far less than 20 entered the Derby. Times change. If nothing else, Stronach could force those futures at CDI to share the wealth and increase the purse to what it should be. I think you might be surprised at the back lash that eventually consumes CDI, and they don’t care, as long as they can extract their gaming ventures from the flames.

          • Barbara Bowen

            I think CDI auto correct liked futures better than vultures.

          • Lexington 4

            Why waste a start on an extremely taxing race with no purse?

            The Kentucky Derby PRESENTED BY YUM! BRANDS! is corporate all the way now. I guess the public (and small animal vets) still see it as the ultimate allure, but I train and I think of it primarily as CDI’s biggest annual money grab, and a very hard race for early in a 3 year-old season. (Maybe I am just jaded?)

            I guess that puts me in the 10%.

          • Bellwether

            No way Doc…Zero% show up…This isn’t the fifties…

          • bobblehead

            You really want to know how smart they are? Check out the insider trades. The only reason CDI lost money this quarter is because they incurred an enormous expense for executive compensation.
            Perhaps the biggest travesty of CDI’s neglect of the racing side of the business is that while they are pinching pennies on video boards and TVs, they are giving anyone with a “C” in their title millions of dollars in stock as part of their compensation program. And who votes yes for this compensation program? The insiders, who own the shares, including board members who award themselves shares as compensation.
            I’m a Churchill fan, by the way, but I’ve never been more discouraged by leadership, even with the short-term gains they’ve delivered in the past 3 years or so for shareholders (which would be a lot bigger games had they not diluted the stock so badly by giving themselves massive share allotments).

        • Bellwether

          No purse for the Derby???…No Horses show up…Period…Stop paying American soldiers and sailors and see how many show up for work…Money rules the roost Doc…Any 5 million dollar purse will bring the rain any way you want to slice it!!!…ty…

          • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

            Ok…how you can compare a horse race to soldiers fighting in our armed forces is beyond me. But we will all have to agree to disagree with me on this one. And if your comment about the 5 million bringing the rain holds true, explain to me why practically no American horses went over to Dubai this year despite the fact they get all expenses paid and would be going for huge purses??
            Hey Ray…when you are at the Derby this year, perhaps you could poll the owners of the horses and some others to ask if they would want to win the Derby even if they technically lost money on the race.

          • Lexington 4

            90% is way too high. It is wrong. There is really no “agree to disagree” with you. It is just wrong.

            Think about what you are claiming. You are saying that 90% would run in the Kentucky Derby PRESENTED BY YUM! BRANDS!… just for the hell of it, with no purse available instead of skipping it and continuing preparation for the Preakness and/or Belmont that WOULD offer purses.

            Wrong.

        • jazz mania

          Probably would not see too many geldings entered…

    • Finger11

      Why would Stronach waste his money trying to buy or lease Calder?

      • Jay Stone

        If those crc horses find their way to the entries it’s all worth it. The two months off GP will take gives their grass course a time to grow. I believe Oct. and Nov. will be GP at CRC.

        • Amy Stevens

          The horsemen at Calder are waiting anxiously to hear what deal GP negotiated for Calder, yesterday everyone was assuming that all racing related employees will be laid off and they had the big rollup metal doors ready to hang in the grandstand, shutting off the indoor track facing seats. The big question for horsemen is whether they can keep their horses at Calder and train there without any stall rent if racing is halted. We were wondering if Gulfstream could accommodate all those stabled at Calder. Tough days.

    • Steve

      More racing Commissions should go after Racino’s

      • Vudu

        “Racino?” That sort of tells you priorities, in my mind anyway.
        Its not about a horse operation – most often its an excuse to get into casino gaming under the guise of bolstering the horse industry.

        • Voice of reason

          Horse track synonym for “Trojan Horse” into the lucrative casino business. Eventually the State legislators figure it out, and stop the flow of money into the purses. Ask Woodbine, NY soon, PA, the ball only rolls one way, down hill.

  • Churchill fan

    This is kind of sad. Back in the early 60’s there was a takeover possibility of Churchill Downs, and the likes of horse owners of Spendthrift Farm, Claiborne, etc, kept that from happening. IN the past 10 years at Churchill I’ve seen it go from a race track to what I call the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). The customer service is pretty well gone. There was an article in the Courier Journal about an old timer that enjoyed his daily whiskey sour at the Silks Lounge. One day when racing was cancelled, he went up to get his daily libation, and he always took 2 cherries. They said he could only have one. Myself, there was an argument over $1, yes one dollar. I’ve been to the Fairgrounds, and it’s a great old place; but with all the entertainment options in New Orleans, it has to be top flight. The Kentucky Derby and Oaks remain as a great event, but I think it’s a one and out for many. IMO, we’re not building a race fan base. I hope Churchill rethinks all of this. Churchill could be an unbelievable destination in Louisville, and IMO, without slots, but it takes work. The Fairgrounds could also be awesome with some work. Both places have abandoned the local community. I live in Cincinnati and have never seen an ad for Churchill Downs in many years (actually I live in No Ky, no ads on TV). If the right people, with the right attitude ever gets in charge, man, imagine what you would see. Right now it’s all gaming, and sadly, I think that ship has sailed. I do have great memories, and that is something they can’t take away!

    • Vudu

      Do you see slot players & horse players mingling very much?

      • We have our standards, you know.

        • Vudu

          I don’t mind slot players,
          but its a significantly different mindset, from my experience.

          They get the fever & only care about what they care about.
          True about horseplayers too.

          Since this is about racetracks that added casino gaming —

          the racing was there first. This isn’t about adding racing ovals to casinos & clogging the aisles with people who are simply looking for the casino entrance.

          • The casino players are the relatives we suffer at Christmas because they’re the ones giving out the nicest, most expensive presents.

          • Vudu

            Are your relatives looking to adopt?

          • Aw nuts. They JUST ran out of presents.
            Try to get here at an earlier time of day, next year.

        • Vudu

          I like small crowds at racetracks. Because I like being there & moving around without bumping into other bodies left & right.

          I don’t really want to be there if its a NASCAR event.

          Out of Sight, out of Mind
          The question is what the property investors care about, what the track management cares about – when the money comes in by way of instant remote withdrawal.

          • If you like NASCAR infield conditions at race tracks, you would have LOVED the New Meadowlands this afternoon. Enter, then stage left, ground floor, and you’re in a sea of bodies hovering above the sacred remains of losing tickets on the floor.
            Charming. I do wish I had worn a jacket, because Trotters (bar-restaurant) on the 2nd floor looked (from the outside) really nice.

      • Paul Sen

        They do at Evangeline Downs.

        • Vudu

          Never been there. Is it by intent, or necessity?

          My impression is that very many habitual slot players are always in a rush to get to the next hot machine, as though the luck will leak out of a machine before they get there.

    • ExactaGirl

      Excellent comment!

    • c bea

      Churchill Downs management are heartless pariahs! They think they’re being the big kids on the block walking with toughness and swagger. The fact is they’re scared little rabbits bullying everyone who doesn’t agree with them. The lack of character there is staggering!!

  • MA

    Should also have held them accountable for Hollywood Park’s demise before it was too late.

    • Vudu

      PAVE paradise
      & put up a parking lot.

  • J_W_C_NM

    The blended takeout is only about 22%. They’re letting the customers win way too much.

  • dwla5

    Sorry, racing people, but these laws that force casinos to locate at race tracks and siphon off money to support horse racing are antiquated, a relic from the times when racing had a state-enforced monopoly on legal gambling. Obviously, from the viewpoint of the “racino”owners such as CDI, slot machines are far more profitable than horse racing. These companies are in business to make money, not to provide benefits for the racing industry. It’s time for racing to stand on its own two (four) feet and not be dependent on handouts. Ray, you’re right!

    • Peyton Charles Lasiter

      Several years ago, we talked about the pros and cons of allowing casinos to locate at race tracks. In Arkansas the purses have increased nicely due to this, but as we thought, the true sport of horse racing has declined. We were purists and thought it would end up this way. There aint a handful of handicappers that go to the Fairgrounds anymore. I was there before CD bought it and I’ve been there since. It’s just not the same. But it’s really not anybody’s fault. It’s just the way things are going. Maybe Churchill knows more than we. There are not many people now who are handicappers. I don’t think Churchill should be blamed for this, but they should be able to provide safe, clean, and sound facilities for the meet they run.

    • Vudu

      Puzzled here: Are you tongue-in-cheek advocating for racing, or casinos?

      What makes casinos so wonderful?
      They weren’t seen too wonderful outside of Vegas when it was just casinos on the Rez making their way into other states.

      Now every state legislature that can’t make ends meet & rich old white men think they can fleece operating expenses. What made it different? However, racing should stand on its own?

      Wait until it goes offshore to China.

      • Peyton C. Lasiter

        I am not being funny. I am not advocating. I just see that it has gone the way it has gone. We wondered if it would help racing or contribute to its decline. It seems both have happened. Bigger purses, but fewer fans. As a race fan, I think I liked it better before. The good old days. Seems those days are behind us. Casinos have changed racing from what it used to be. I happen to think the change has not been what I would have preferred. But it is what it is.

        • Vudu

          I too, liked it better before as well & predicted what has happened – which was a no-brainer:

          When its more profitable to run a casino gaming operation, that will become the primary business & in some markets, racing is a storefront only because they need it the way things are structured.

          If it is an investor model: then we know that maximizing profits & dumping racing as a drain on that bottom line, will occur.

          Eventually we will all work for one casino & spend out income at another!

    • Wilma Jean

      dwla5, you’ve got it all wrong. The reason the racetracks were given the VLT’s to begin with was to revitalize the horse racing industry. The “racino” owners are making money in their casino because of horse racing. The reason that racing cannot stand on its own two (four) feet is because of the revenue shift in handle. For example, in 1995, the majority of handle was bet on-track. This was before ADW’s came along, this was before everyone had a computer in their home and way before everyone held a smart phone in their hand, that allows them to watch and wager on a race at anytime. The majority of handle is now bet through companies that offer rebates, regardless if they are an ADW or Offshore account (that the purse account gets ZERO for). Horse racing cannot sustain itself on 1 1/2% of handle. Horse racing brings thousands of jobs to each state we race. Millions of dollars are spent in the local economy, when the tracks are racing (think about what happens when Saratoga, Oaklawn or Keeneland race), let alone the dollars spent with blacksmiths, feed stores, veterinarians, hay that local farmers grow and the amount of farmland preserved in each state because of horse racing. You need to understand the value of horse racing. Yes, the racinos are in business to make money, but if it were not for horse racing, they would not have made their first dime!!

    • Vudu

      Tracks were good enough to be, as other posters have said “Trojan Horses.”
      (Excuse me for not attributing specifically – means bounding to another thread).

      Revitalizing racing was a pretend reason to open up gaming that otherwise would never have been allowed in many communities. Big money in large communities want to be Vegas.

  • Vudu

    Realize too, that slots at the Fairgrounds was ALWAYS just a foot in the door for casino operators – if they can’t make a go & need to cut purses just before a big graded stakes, as the Fairgrounds did, then something is wrong in this picture.

    There is still Harrrah’s just off the French Quarter, isn’t there? That’s much closer to the tourist action than the Garden District is.

    The problem is that casino gambling just looks for absolute suckers. People dumb enough to think they can beat a slot machine & the gratification loop of a baby.

    • Voice of Reason

      I suggest you go into the fairgrounds Slot parlor. Its a simple con. Take what little money the poor has been given by social programs.

  • Tom m

    CD has increased their takeout which only adds insult to injury. No one I know will play CD this Spring and Summer. I always thought that CD’s Happy Broadbent… was a true blue horseman …looks like he has abdicated!

  • “By all accounts… this didn’t go well for Churchill Downs. Bryant unveiled an ‘improvement plan’ to the commissioners and they responded with ‘not good enough.’ They want more details and a written plan by the end of next week…”

    Don’t you just love it when the amateur hustlers get nailed by the professionals?

  • Wilma Jean

    “That’s what you might anticipate when a casino company buys a racetrack. It’s not what you expect, however, when a company like Churchill Downs – whose very foundation is horse racing – is in charge.” Sorry to tell you Ray, but Churchill Downs is the ENEMY to horseracing. They literally rob the purse account as race fans walk through the gate, encouraging them to bet through TwinSpires. The biggest friend the purse account has is the on-track bettor, where a higher percentage is traditionally split between purses and the track. If a horse player bets through an ADW that percentage goes way down for the purses and track, but guess what? The ADW (Twin Spires) gets the lions share.

    I’m happy to hear the LA commission is calling CDI out. My only hope is they will hold them accountable and other racing commissions will follow suit. The so-called loss the Racinos call Horse racing is by design. It’s time for commissions and state governments to take a stand against what they are allowing track owners (racinos) to get away with!!

  • AngelaFromAbilene

    Everyone who embraced and advocated for casinos at racetracks is reaping what they sowed. Sure, for a little while you enjoyed increased purses. But was that REALLY a good thing? Casino corporations do not and have never give a tinkers damn about racing. It is a necessary evil as far as they’re concerned. The fact that CDI has let their tracks fall to county fair conditions should not surprise anybody. [To be fair, there are county fairs that have very good facilities.] CDI has been on the downhill slide since they sold the Derby to Yum Brands.
    Maybe since the LA commission has apparently come out of a long slumber, they’ll do something about cleaning up and caring for what little product they have left.

  • Smitty

    Churchill Downs should be in the movie business.That way the directors could all go around saying “Cut” all they want.

  • Tres Abagados Stupidos

    To Wilma Jean…… Did your parents ever tell you that you had a twin brother that was taken away when you were born? If so that twin brother is ME!!!! As I read your posts it was like I was talking myself.

  • John Scheinman

    Well done, Ray.

  • Lance S. Procter Sr.

    Having just read the article on Fairgrounds, and seeing Austin Millers Name, sent CHILL’S throughout my body. I have been a Calder Race Course V.I.P. Racing Fan for Calder’s 44 Years of operation. They did everything they could to send the majority of the bettors and fans home, or across town to Gulfstream Park. They closed down the Turf Club and the entire Floor. They cut the second Floor where the Owners Boxes are, and the entire floor was set up in sections for simulcast, and live racing alike. They cut in in half and put up walls. They cut out some Stake Races. Didn’t run on the Fourth of July or Memorial Day. They were huge drawing Day’s in the past. They must have fired the Public Relation’s and Even Offical’s on the Track side. They brought in Machines to cask tickets and take most of the Tellers Job’s away. They cut the Purses, and started running a three day a week format. Mean while they set the Casino up on the Property across from the Grandstand Building. In the Commercials they advertise the property at First as Calda Casino and Horse-Racing, and now Calder Casino with no mention of the track. Mr. Miller once told me when I asked why they were pushing some of the customers away and I threatened that they along with myself would end up across town at Gulfstream, said that they wanted us to be Happy. And if we wanted to go across town they would Drive us and drop us off.The Track is just a shadow of what it once was, and it is Heart-Breaking to see all the changes. They are single handily Killing The Sport of Kings in South Florida. It’s all about the Casino.
    .

    • Tinky

      Sad to read your (undoubtedly accurate) post. I also have very fond memories of Calder as it once was. It was a pleasure to go racing there in November and December, as the better horses from up north began showing up in the entry boxes. I loved going up to the roof level seats (on the north end), and watching the races in beautiful weather.

      Ken Dunn (then President) and Mike Cronin (then Director of Marketing) were always walking around the track, interacting with customers, listening to complaints and suggestions. While the racing was still a cut below Gulfstream and Hialeah, the experience was both intimate and friendly.

      What a shame.

    • c bea

      Again Churchill is the worst thing about horse racing. If I had a Derby horse I would find anywhere else to run it but there the first Saturday of May. Horrible organization, horrible people!!

  • Zippy Chippy

    It’s VERY simple. If they are not interested in running a racetrack and promoting horse racing, then take their racing license away and give it to somebody else.

    • Voice of Reason

      Tht’s why they pay State LEgislators egregious amounts of money. It ain’t that simple. It should be, I agree with you, but it just ain’t.

    • Vudu

      Who owns the property?
      There may be someone else interested in racing, but they would need to start from the ground up.

      • I smell a Donald Sterling (Clippers) eminent domain action coming up.

  • Bill Landes

    Be wary of CD’s self fulfilling prophecies.

  • BigC

    The only thing that will stop CDI in its tracks is strong-willed elected officials who strongly feel that they have a vested interest in the survival of horse racing as a stand-alone industry……and are willing to give the boot to fast-talking CDI lobbyists who promise so much – but deliver nothing – while making the smiling CDI suits understand that doing business in the state has very negative consequences for chronic liars.

  • WelbourneStud
  • Hoops and Horses

    This may very well serve as a wake-up call for CDI to stop doing what they are in the name of appeasing shareholders who only care about money. Some of these bean counters, no matter what business it is only care about profits, in my view often in fear of running afoul with shareholders and potentially the SEC.

  • Bellwether

    CDI’s days as a top Horse racing outfit is over outside of the Derby/Oaks…There should be no place in Horse racing for slum lords…Period…

  • chbradshaw

    I’m not sure why any real horse players play Churchill tracks or Kentucky. The takeout is far too high at Churchill and the lax medication rules make handicapping more of a crap shoot.

    Smart horseplayers focus on NYRA, Gulfstream and Santa Anita. There may be a few questionable outcomes but it is much more of a level playing field than Churchill Downs or Kentucky.

  • c bea

    Churchill and their team of pirates are the worst thing about horse racing. Seriously they’re the worst!!

  • equine avenger

    I remember back in the 80s and 90s, it was such a nice place…that is until you went outside the gates.

  • HAMMER817

    CHURCHILL DOWNS IS A JOKE.. FANS SHOULD BOYCOTT GAMBLING THERE. THEY ARE TAKING THE PLAYERS FOR SUCKERS.. DID ANYONE SEE HOW THE TAKE OUT WAS RAISED.. THEY SWEPT THIS UNDER THE RUG AND TELL U ALL ABOUT THE BS THAT THE NEW INFIELD SCREEN IS SO WONDERFUL.. THEY TAKE THE PLAYERS FOR SUCKERS. ANYONE WHO GAMBLES. THERE ON THAT PRODUCT IS A SUCKER. OVER .40 CENTS ON EVERY 2.00 DOLLARS GETS ERASED. PLAY SANTA ANITA OR AY PLACE WHERE U GET A FAIR SHAKE… STRONACH IS FINANCING HIS JOINT WITH YOUR MONEY.. HE IS THE NEW BARNUM AND BAILEY RINGMASTER… PUT HIM IN HIS PLACE.. JUST SAY NO!!!!..

  • hammer817

    boycott Churchill… take out off the charts..21% plus.. people have to stop shilling for racetracks.. they suck the money out of YOUR pockets to fund a BIG SCREEN TV in the infield.. oh boy, great deal… they keep playing you for suckers…

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