- About CDI
- CDI Properties
- Executive Team
Our Company Mission:
To deliver premier racing, gaming and entertainment that customers love and that grow the value of our shareholders' investment.
About Churchill Downs Incorporated
Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) is a diversified, nearly a three-quarters-of-a-billion dollar market cap company, delivering premier racing, gaming and entertainment, on site and online. CDI owns racetracks in four states and continues to carefully manage and grow its world-famous racing and entertainment events, the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and the Kentucky Oaks, which are at the core of CDI's corporate identity, as well as two racetrack casinos in Florida and Louisiana, a casino resort and hotel in the Mississippi Delta region, almost two dozen off-track betting facilities in three states, a popular video poker business in Louisiana and the nation's leading advance-deposit wagering (ADW) company, TwinSpires.com.
More than a century since its creation, the Louisville, Ky., company that was first known as host to the "Run for the Roses" has blossomed into a multi-state corporation with more than 3,000 employees and hundreds of thousand of customers around the world. So what's this story behind this remarkable transformation?
CDI's beginnings are rooted in the history of the Kentucky Derby, North America’s premier race for Thoroughbreds, and the grand tradition of Thoroughbred racing.
After visiting European racecourses in 1873, Col. M. Lewis Clark envisioned a world-class racetrack in Kentucky. He leased 80 acres of land from his uncles, John and Henry Churchill, and sold membership subscriptions to fund the construction of Churchill Downs. He opened the Louisville track in 1875 for its inaugural meet and the first running of the Kentucky Derby.
The popularity of the Kentucky Derby blossomed during the 20th century under the direction of Matt Winn, who purchased the struggling track with a group of local investors in 1902. Winn’s leadership sparked decades of growth for both the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs, which was organized as a Kentucky corporation in 1928 and officially became known as Churchill Downs Incorporated in 1942.
Following Winn’s death in 1949, the track continued to host the Kentucky Derby every Spring, but over the next few decades, the quality of the racing and the condition of the property at Churchill Downs slowly declined. It wasn’t until the mid 1980s that a renaissance began under the leadership of then President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas H. Meeker, who led CDI through a period of expansion and capital improvements that culminated in April 2005 with the completion of the track’s $121 million renovation of its grandstand and clubhouse areas.
Also under Meeker’s leadership, CDI expanded beyond its flagship operation in Louisville to own and operate racetracks and simulcast-wagering operations in Kentucky (Churchill Downs), California (Hollywood Park), Indiana (Hoosier Park), Illinois (Arlington Park), Florida (Calder Race Course) and Louisiana (Fair Grounds Race Course), while also holding interests in various racing service companies. With its acquisition of Fair Grounds Race Course and its other Louisiana operations in October 2004, Churchill Downs added alternative gaming to its entertainment options. (CDI later sold three racetracks that it acquired: Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., and Hoosier Park in Anderson, Ind.)
Robert L. Evans joined CDI as its president and chief executive officer in August 2006 and in June 2011 was appointed chairman of CDI's board of directors upon the retirement of Carl F. Pollard from that position in June 2011. A business strategist, entrepreneur and Thoroughbred breeder by trade, Evans is exploring growth opportunities for CDI through technology initiatives, alternative and casino-style gaming, and a variety of on-site entertainment options.
In early 2007, Evans announced the launch of TwinSpires.com, CDI's first owned and operated ADW platform, in addition to a 50-percent ownership in HorseRacing TV (HRTV), a national television network featuring live horse racing from popular tracks around the country. CDI acquired three additional ADW platforms (Winticket.com, BrisBET.com and TsnBET.com) in June 2007 and, later in the year, consolidated all four businesses under the TwinSpires.com brand. As part of the June 2007 acquisition, CDI also acquired the industry-leading data and pedigree information provider, Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS) and continues to operate the data business under the BRIS brand.
CDI invested in a 33,000 square foot expansion and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots was opened in November 2008 with a facility capacity of over 700 slot machines, in conjunction with their simulcasting relocation and the opening of their new racing season.
Calder Casino and Studz Poker Club were completed and opened adjacent to the existing Calder Race Course in January 2010 and, coupled with Fair Grounds Slots, put 1,863 slot machines and 807 video poker machines into operation for CDI, between Louisiana and Florida, complimenting its core racing business.
In june 2010, CDI added to its ADW holdings by acquiring Youbet.com, one of North America's largest and most-established online horse racing and wagering platforms. CDI fully integrated Youbet.com into TwinSpires.com in November 2010 and now operates both businesses under the TwinSpires brand.
As part of the Youbet.com purchase, CDI also acquired Youbet's United Tote subsidiary, a leading supplier of totalizator systems, equipment and technology, including mobile wagering technology, that process wagers and payouts and is a provider of pari-mutuel tote services to racing operations such as leading racetracks Aqueduct, Belmont, Churchill Downs, Keeneland and Saratoga.
Churchill Downs Incorporated is a publicly traded company and is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol CHDN.