The WLKY Spirit of Louisville Foundation and Churchill Downs Incorporated Announce Reverend Charles Elliott Jr. to Receive the 2020 John Asher Spirit Award

LOUISVILLE, KY (October 6, 2020) – The WLKY Spirit of Louisville Foundation and Churchill Downs Inc. announce the 2020 John Asher Spirit Award will be presented to Reverend Charles Elliott Jr.

With input from the Asher family, Reverend Elliott was selected to receive the award. Pastor of King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church since 1961, Reverend Elliott has devoted his life to helping the poor, fighting corruption and teaching youth that education and jobs, not violence or gangs, are their tickets out of poverty and despair. Born in Wheeler, Alabama, Reverend Elliott came to Louisville in the early 1950s. Since that time, he has chaired the Kentucky Christian Leadership Conference, helped lead the Parkland Development Project and founded the “Jesus and a Job” program to provide work for those who have difficulty finding employment due to substance abuse struggles or felony records. He was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2012 and was presented with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award in 2018.

WLKY General Manager Glenn Haygood said, “Reverend Elliott’s lifetime of work is a wonderful example of the type of spirit that is intended to be honored by this award. He has been a positive and constructive force for good in the Louisville communities that he serves, and WLKY is proud to be part of recognizing his efforts.” He added, “John was a trustee for the Spirit of Louisville Foundation for nearly 20 years. His service to the annual WLKY Bell Awards program is immeasurable, and it is our hope this legacy award will serve as a reminder of his many contributions to our community.”

“I know John would be proud to see Revered Elliott receive an award that bears his name and embodies the ideals that were so important to him in his lifetime,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “Among the causes that John was most passionate were issues related to social justice and equity. He believed in second chances and particularly admired the ‘Jesus and a Job’ program founded by Reverend Elliott. On behalf of the Churchill Downs family, we congratulate Reverend Elliott on this very special award.”

The WLKY Spirit of Louisville Foundation, in partnership with Churchill Downs Incorporated, has established the John Asher Spirit Award to be presented annually to a community leader who personifies the same humanitarian passion as the legendary face of Churchill Downs in their business, civic and philanthropic efforts. Asher was vice president of communications for the track and was known throughout the community for his charitable work before his death in August 2018.

The 43rd WLKY Bell Awards will be televised on Saturday, October 10, from 8 to 9 p.m. on WLKY. In addition to Reverend Elliott’s honor, 10 adults and two high school youths will receive the prestigious WLKY Bell Award for their exemplary volunteer service.

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 also own and operate three pari-mutual gaming entertainment venues in Kentucky: Derby City Gaming; Oak Grove Racing, Gaming, and Hotel; and Newport Racing and Gaming. Our online wagering business owns and operates, the largest and most profitable online horse racing wagering platform in the U.S., and BetAmerica, an online sports betting and iGaming platform in the U.S. We are also a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 table games in eight states. Additional information about CDI can be found online at

Information set forth in this news release contains various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”), which provides certain “safe harbor” provisions. All forward-looking statements made in this news release are made pursuant to the Act. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “seek,” “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 expectations include the following: the effect of economic conditions on our consumers’ confidence and discretionary spending or our access to credit; additional or increased taxes and fees; public perceptions or lack of confidence in the integrity of our business or any deterioration in our reputation; loss of key or highly skilled personnel; restrictions in our debt facilities limiting our flexibility to operate our business; general risks related to real estate ownership, including fluctuations in market values and environmental regulations; catastrophic events and system failures disrupting our operations; online security risk, including cyber-security breaches; inability to recover under our insurance policies for damages sustained at our properties in the event of inclement weather and casualty events; increases in insurance costs and inability to obtain similar insurance coverage in the future; inability to identify and complete acquisition, expansion 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; risks associated with equity investments, strategic alliances and other third-party agreements; inability to respond to rapid technological changes in a timely manner; inadvertent infringement of the intellectual property of others; inability to protect our own intellectual property rights; payment-related risks, such as risk associated with fraudulent credit card and debit card use; compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or applicable money-laundering regulations; risks related to pending or future legal proceedings and other actions; inability to negotiate agreements with industry constituents, including horsemen and other racetracks; work stoppages and labor issues; changes in consumer preferences with respect to Churchill Downs Racetrack and the Kentucky Derby; personal injury litigation related to injuries occurring at our racetracks; weather and other conditions affecting our ability to conduct live racing; the occurrence of extraordinary events, such as terrorist attacks and public health threats, including the ongoing impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19 virus); changes in the regulatory environment of our racing operations; increased competition in the horseracing business; difficulty in attracting a sufficient number of horses and trainers for full field horseraces; our inability to utilize and provide totalizator services; changes in regulatory environment of our online horseracing business; number of people wagering on live horse races; increase in competition in our online horseracing; uncertainty and changes in the legal landscape relating to our online wagering business; continued legalization of online sports betting and iGaming in the United States and our ability to predict and capitalize on any such legalization; inability to expand our sports betting operations and effectively compete; failure to manage risks associated with sports betting; failure to comply with laws requiring us to block access to certain individuals could result in penalties or impairment with respect to our mobile and online wagering products; increased competition in our casino business; changes in regulatory environment of our casino business; and concentration and evolution of slot machine manufacturing and other technology conditions that could impose additional costs; and inability to collect gaming receivables from the customers to whom we extend credit.