Churchill Downs Incorporated's Fair Grounds Race Course Sustains Hurricane Damage

Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged the Gulf Coast of the United States with damaging winds, rains and flood waters, caused damage to Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, La. Fair Grounds and its affiliated off-track betting facilities and video poker operations are owned and operated by Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI” or “Company”) (NASDAQ: CHDN).

“We have much work to do in order to assess the status of our business operations and put in place a plan to move forward in Louisiana,” said Thomas H. Meeker, president and chief executive officer of CDI. “As such, we will reserve detailed comment on this matter until such time as we are able to conduct on-site inspections and more accurately gauge the impact Hurricane Katrina had on our Louisiana operations. Given the difficulty of accessing areas affected by the storm, it could take several days or weeks before we have an accurate assessment.

“Right now, our greatest concern is for our employees, their families and our neighbors throughout the Greater New Orleans community,” Meeker continued. “We know many of our team members are currently far from home and worried about the status of their homes and belongings. Our first concern is seeing to their immediate needs. The thoughts and prayers of CDI employees across the country are with them as we all come to grips with the aftermath of the storm.”

CDI carries insurance on Fair Grounds and its affiliated businesses to cover property loss and business interruptions. The Company is preparing a team of employees and insurance industry representatives to assess damage to the racing property and off-track betting network, as well as the impact to Fair Grounds’ overall operations and the track’s ability to operate a race meet during the 2005-2006 racing season. Fair Grounds is scheduled to conduct its next live race meeting from Nov. 24, 2005, through March 26, 2006.

Based on preliminary reports from Fair Grounds security personnel, the racetrack, located on Gentilly Blvd., sustained structural damage to the grandstand facility and there is some flooding around the property. At this time, the condition of stable-area structures, including barns, and the 10 off-track betting facilities located around the Greater New Orleans area is not known. The track was closed for live racing at the time the storm hit, so no horses or stable personnel were housed in Fair Grounds’ stable area.

Fair Grounds recently received approval from New Orleans City Council to begin construction of a slot machine gaming facility, which would be added on to the racetrack structure. Construction of the new facility had not begun. Renovations to portions of Fair Grounds’ stable area, including improvements to living quarters and the track kitchen, were underway when the storm hit.

Churchill Downs Incorporated, headquartered in Louisville, Ky., owns and operates world-renowned horse racing venues throughout the United States. The Company’s racetracks in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Louisiana host 121 graded-stakes events and many of North America’s most prestigious races, including the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, Hollywood Gold Cup and Arlington Million. CDI racetracks have hosted nine Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships – more than any other North American racing company. 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

Fair Grounds Race Course, the nation's third-oldest Thoroughbred racing facility, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) and also operates 10 off-track betting parlors in southeast Louisiana. Information about Fair Grounds can be found on the Internet at

This news release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 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. We 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 we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our 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 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 we operate; the impact of live racing day competition with other Florida, Louisiana and California racetracks within those respective markets; costs associated with our efforts in support of alternative gaming initiatives; costs associated with our Customer Relationship Management initiatives; a substantial change in law or regulations affecting our pari-mutuel and gaming activities; a substantial change in allocation of live racing days; litigation surrounding the Rosemont, Illinois, riverboat casino; changes in Illinois law that impact revenues of racing operations in Illinois; a decrease in riverboat admissions subsidy revenue from our Indiana operations; the impact of an additional Indiana racetrack and its wagering facilities near our operations; our continued ability to effectively compete for the country’s top horses and trainers necessary to field high-quality horse racing; our continued ability to grow our share of the interstate simulcast market; our ability to execute our acquisition strategy and to complete or successfully operate planned expansion projects; our ability to successfully complete any divestiture transaction; our ability to adequately integrate acquired businesses; market reaction to our expansion projects; any business disruption associated with our facility renovations; the loss of our totalisator companies or their inability to provide adequate reliance on their internal control processes through SAS 70 reports or to keep their technology current; the need for various alternative gaming approvals in Louisiana; our accountability for environmental contamination; the loss of key personnel and the volatility of our stock price.