Churchill Downs Announces ‘Champions for Change’ as Tuesday Programming for Kentucky Derby Week

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, April 21, 2021) – Churchill Downs Racetrack announced today that this year’s Kentucky Derby Week programming will introduce “Champions for Change” on Tuesday, April 27. Champions Day presented by TwinSpires annually highlights the history of the Kentucky Derby and the sport of Thoroughbred racing. This year, as part of an industry-wide commitment to increasing diversity and inclusivity in the sport of horse racing, the day will celebrate Black Horsemen in Thoroughbred racing and feature partner organizations whose mission supports equitable opportunities in racing.

The event highlights will include a commemorative print giveaway by The Art of Kacy and artist signing by the internationally-recognized Kentucky artist himself, KacyJackson. Louisville artist and printmaker Norman Spencer of CloudHotelPrints will create prints highlighting Black Horsemen who dedicated their career to elevating the sport of horse racing. The Kentucky Derby Museum will also be on hand to feature items from their Black Heritage in Racing Exhibit and Tour.

Organizations that will be featured throughout Champions for Change are: Ed Brown SocietyLegacy Equine Academy, Project to Preserve African American Turf History (PPATH), Phoenix Rising, and Simmons College of Kentucky.. Global Economic Diversity Development Initiative (GEDDI), a nonprofit foundation focused on building economic wealth for the Black community in the areas of workforce, economic empowerment, supply chain, leadership development and business acceleration, is the charitable beneficiary of the day. This year, Churchill Downs has donated over $200,000 to these nonprofit and educational organizations to support their work in creating more equity in the industry of horse racing.

Last month, Churchill Downs announced a change to the name of the featured overnight stakes race on Champions Day to the $120,000 Isaac Murphy Marathon in honor of the legendary African-American and native Kentuckian who was arguably the greatest jockey American racing has ever known. The 1 ½-mile endurance race for Thoroughbreds age 4 and up was formerly known as Champions Day Marathon.

“Champions for Change is a significant addition to this year’s Kentucky Derby Week programming,” said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Mike Anderson. “It is the result of months of challenging but necessary conversations where we looked not only within our own organization and at the needs of our community, but also at the sport of horseracing to explore ways we can work together toward more equity. We feel fortunate that others in our industry will join us in this effort next Tuesday and commit to being champions for change.”

Tickets to Champions Day and to join the “Champions for Change” celebration can be purchased at They include Reserved Boxes to General Admission assigned seat starting at $14.

About Churchill Downs Incorporated

Churchill Downs Incorporated is an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event, the Kentucky Derby. We own and operate three pari-mutuel gaming entertainment venues with approximately 3,050 historical racing machines in Kentucky. We also own and operate TwinSpires, one of the largest and most profitable online wagering platforms for horse racing, sports and iGaming in the U.S. and we have seven retail sportsbooks. We are also a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming in eight states with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 table games. Additional information about CDI can be found online at

About Churchill Downs Racetrack

Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”), the world’s most legendary racetrack, has been the home of The Kentucky Derby, the longest continually held annual sporting event in the United States, since 1875. Located in Louisville, CDRT features a series of themed race days during Derby Week, including the Kentucky Oaks, and conducts Thoroughbred horse racing during three race meets in the Spring, September, and the Fall. CDRT is located on 175 acres and has a one-mile dirt track, a 7/8-mile turf track, a stabling area, and provides seating for approximately 60,000 guests. The saddling paddock and the stable area has barns sufficient to accommodate 1,400 horses and a 114-room dormitory for backstretch personnel. CDRT also has a year-round simulcast wagering facility.

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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, among others, that may materially affect actual results or outcomes include the following: the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and related economic matters on our results of operations, financial conditions and prospects; the occurrence of extraordinary events, such as terrorist attacks, public health threats, civil unrest, and inclement weather; the effect of economic conditions on our consumers’ confidence and discretionary spending or our access to credit; additional or increased taxes and fees; the impact of significant competition, and the expectation the competition levels will increase; changes in consumer preferences, attendance, wagering, and sponsorships; loss of key or highly skilled personnel; lack of confidence in the integrity of our core businesses or any deterioration in our reputation; risks associated with equity investments, strategic alliances and other third-party agreements; inability to respond to rapid technological changes in a timely manner; concentration and evolution of slot machine manufacturing and other technology conditions that could impose additional costs; inability to negotiate agreements with industry constituents, including horsemen and other racetracks; inability to successfully expand our TwinSpires Sports and Casino business and effectively compete; inability to identify and complete expansion, acquisition or divestiture projects, on time, on budget or as planned; difficulty in integrating recent or future acquisitions into our operations; costs and uncertainties relating to the development of new venues and expansion of existing facilities; general risks related to real estate ownership and significant expenditures, including fluctuations in market values and environmental regulations; reliance on our technology services and catastrophic events and system failures disrupting our operations; online security risk, including cyber-security breaches, or loss or misuse of our stored information as a result of a breach, including customers’ personal information, could lead to government enforcement actions or other litigation; personal injury litigation related to injuries occurring at our racetracks; compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or applicable money-laundering regulations; payment-related risks, such as risk associated with fraudulent credit card and debit card use; work stoppages and labor issues; risks related to pending or future legal proceedings and other actions; highly regulated operations and changes in the regulatory environment could adversely affect our business; restrictions in our debt facilities limiting our flexibility to operate our business; failure to comply with the financial ratios and other covenants in our debt facilities and other indebtedness; and increase in our insurance costs, or obtain similar insurance coverage in the future, and inability to recover under our insurance policies for damages sustained at our properties in the event of inclement weather and casualty events.

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