Churchill Downs Incorporated Reaches New Kentucky Derby Sponsorship Agreement With Visa USA

Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) ("CDI" or "Company") today announced that it has reached a new five-year agreement with Visa USA to become sponsor of the Company's signature Thoroughbred race, the $2 million Kentucky Derby (Grade I). Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The new partnership, which takes effect in 2006, names Visa as "proud sponsor of the Kentucky Derby" and will make Visa the only card that enables cardholders to purchase tickets to the prestigious sporting event, held every year at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. The partnership allows Visa to further integrate its popular Visa Signature card into its sponsorship platform and creates unique access opportunities for Visa Signature cardholders, including access to a luxurious Churchill Downs Finish Line Suite and hard-to-obtain box seats to the Kentucky Derby. Specifically, Visa will create a limited number of Finish Line Suite trip packages exclusively for Signature cardholders, offering tickets, stable area tours, and access to coveted invitation-only events during horse racing's biggest weekend.

"Visa USA has been an important partner for U.S. horse racing, and we welcome Visa in its new role as sponsor for our Company's marquee race, the Kentucky Derby," said Thomas H. Meeker, CDI's president and chief executive officer. "The Visa name is synonymous with first-class customer service, which makes it the perfect complement to our Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby brands and the prestige surrounding America's longest continuously held sporting event."

"As proud sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, we look forward to our continued affiliation with Thoroughbred racing and to strategically aligning our Visa Signature product with horse racing's signature event," said Michael Lynch, senior vice president of Visa USA. "Partnering with one of the biggest names in racing to showcase this one-of-a-kind sporting event fits well with our marketing focus going forward. In the immediate future, we are eager to join our partners at Churchill Downs as they prepare to crown the 131st Derby winner on May 7, 2005."

Visa USA began its affiliation with horse racing in 1996 when it was named sponsor of the Visa Triple Crown Challenge. The Triple Crown consists of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, three Grade I races for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds held over a period of five weeks each spring. Since its inception, only 11 Thoroughbreds have won the Triple Crown, the most recent being Affirmed in 1978.