Churchill Downs Incorporated, Magna Entertainment Corp. Join Empire Racing Team

Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI") and Magna Entertainment Corp. ("MEC") two of horse racing’s most accomplished organizations, have joined the Empire Racing team that is bidding to operate New York State’s Thoroughbred racetracks, Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack, Empire Racing announced today.

The news was hailed by representatives of New York breeders, owners and trainers.

“Empire Racing has done what many thought impossible - they have unified the industry,” said trainer Rick Violette, president of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, a national group, and vice president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. “First they unified the Thoroughbred industry in New York State by including Finger Lakes Racetrack. Now, by having Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment participate on a team led by New Yorkers for the benefit of New York horsemen, Empire Racing has unified the overall industry and will create a bright future for racing, particularly here in New York.”

Empire Racing Chief Executive Officer Jeff Perlee said the agreement provides additional key components for Empire’s bid for the New York Thoroughbred racing franchise.

“Our mission is to provide New Yorkers with racing that is both home grown and world class,” Perlee said. “The addition of these two great organizations to our team achieves that mission and prepares us to present the strongest possible bid to the state.”

“Empire Racing was formed by a group of dedicated and innovative New Yorkers determined to create a bright future for racing in their home state,” said MEC Chairman Frank Stronach. “Magna Entertainment and Churchill Downs Incorporated share Empire’s outlook on New York racing and by pooling our collective talents and resources, our companies can assist Empire Racing and its impressive list of partners with what we hope will be a successful bid for the New York racetrack franchise.”

“By joining the Empire team, we have the opportunity to bring greater consistency to the quality and integrity of racing across the United States, to better market racing to new fans throughout the year and to take U.S. racing into the global market in a powerful way,” said CDI President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Evans. “Empire Racing represents an across-the-board win for the citizens of New York, New York horsemen and racing fans everywhere.”

Empire Racing has previously announced the support of Delaware North Companies, Woodbine Entertainment and Scientific Games.

CDI and MEC are global leaders in staging and promoting big-day racing events and will bring that expertise to Empire Racing’s bid. New York decision makers have identified the need to attract more “big day” crowds as an area of need and focus for any new franchise operator.

In May 2006, MEC's Pimlico Race Course hosted more than 118,000 fans at the Preakness Stakes while CDI's flagship racetrack, Churchill Downs, attracted more than 150,000 fans for the Kentucky Derby, one of the world’s premier sporting events.

The Empire bid would bring together the three Triple Crown races - the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and New York’s Belmont Stakes. Under the agreement, Empire Racing would also cooperate with CDI and MEC in marketing all three Triple Crown races - a move that would increase fan attention and interest.

As part of the agreement, CDI and MEC will each receive one seat on Empire Racing’s 15-member board.

About Empire Racing

Empire Racing is a group of visionary New York horsemen and breeders seeking to revive New York racing by securing the exclusive right to operate the three New York Thoroughbred racetracks (Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga). Exclusively supported by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Empire Racing represents the interests of the 6,000 owners, trainers, and farmers who provide New York State with $1.4 billion in economic impact, 17,000 jobs and preservation of 44,000 acres of open green space. More on Empire Racing can be found at

About Churchill Downs Incorporated

Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., owns and operates world-renowned horse racing venues throughout the United States. CDI’s six racetracks in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Louisiana host many of North America’s most prestigious races, including the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, Arlington Million and Louisiana Derby. CDI racetracks have hosted six Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. CDI also owns off-track betting facilities and has interests in various television production, telecommunications and racing services companies that support CDI’s network of simulcasting and racing operations. CDI trades on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol CHDN and can be found on the Internet at

About Magna Entertainment Corp.

Magna Entertainment Corp. (“MEC”) is North America’s largest owner and operator of horse racetracks, based on revenue. It develops, owns and operates horse racetracks and related pari-mutuel wagering operations, including off-track betting facilities. In 2005, MEC created PariMax Inc., a subsidiary that oversees its various electronic distribution platforms, including XpressBetÒ, a national Internet and telephone account wagering system, and Horse Racing TVÒ, a 24-hour horse racing television network, as well as RaceONTVÔ and MagnaBetÔ internationally. MEC trades on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol MECA and can be found on the Internet at

Information set forth in this news release contains various "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides certain "safe harbor" provisions for forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned that such forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time and/or management’s good faith belief with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in the statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statement was made. CDI and MEC assume no obligation to update forward-looking information to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "might," "plan," "predict," "project," "should," "will," and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. Although MEC and CDI believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, CDI and MEC can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include: the effect of global economic conditions; the effect (including possible increases in the cost of doing business) resulting from future war and terrorist activities or political uncertainties; the economic environment; the impact of increasing insurance costs; the impact of interest rate fluctuations; the effect of any change in our accounting policies or practices; the financial performance of our companies’ racing operations; the impact of gaming competition (including lotteries and riverboat, cruise ship and land-based casinos) and other sports and entertainment options in those markets in which our companies operate; the impact of live racing day competition with other racetracks in the jurisdictions in which our companies operate; costs associated with our companies’ efforts in support of alternative gaming initiatives; costs associated with Customer Relationship Management or other marketing initiatives; a substantial change in law or regulations affecting pari-mutuel and gaming activities; a substantial change in allocation of live racing days; our companies’ continued ability to effectively compete for the country’s top horses and trainers necessary to field high-quality horse racing; our companies’ continued ability to grow our share of the interstate simulcast market; our companies’ ability to execute acquisition strategies and to complete or successfully operate planned expansion projects; our companies’ ability to successfully complete any divestiture transaction; our companies’ ability to adequately integrate acquired businesses; market reaction to our companies’ expansion projects; any business disruption associated with facility renovations or construction at our companies’ operations; the loss of industry totalisator companies or their inability to provide our companies with assurance of the reliability of their internal control processes through Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70 audits or to keep their technology current; the need for various alternative gaming approvals in states where our companies operate; our companies’ accountability for environmental contamination; the loss of key personnel; the impact of natural disasters, including severe weather on our companies’ operations and the extent of our companies’ property and business interruption insurance coverage for any related losses; any business disruption associated with a natural disaster and/or its aftermath; and the volatility of our companies’ stock price.