Churchill Downs Partners with Jockey Club, Royal Ascot for New Kentucky Derby Week Initiative

LOUISVILLE, KY., (December 12, 2023– Churchill Downs has announced a new partnership with the British Jockey Club along with Ascot Racecourse to offer a program where horses competing during Kentucky Derby week could receive an entry and travel incentive for races at Epsom Downs and the Royal Ascot meeting.

“This is a really special partnership that will give owners and trainers a great opportunity to run in some of our marquee races during Kentucky Derby week and, in exchange, they could receive entries into some of Europe’s most prestigious turf races,” said Gary Palmisano Jr., Executive Director of Racing for Churchill Downs Incorporated. “The Kentucky Derby was born after Colonel Meriweather Lewis Clark visited Europe for the Epsom Derby in 1872. With this being the 150th Kentucky Derby, it is a great chance to revisit history. More recently, we’ve annually seen some of our country’s top turf horses compete on the undercard of the Kentucky Derby and this partnership will give owners and trainers based in Europe a good initiative to bring some of their top horses over to experience Kentucky Derby week. Not only is this a great opportunity for connections based in Europe but this will give our owners and trainers here in North America a shot to compete on the international stage.”

Two races on Kentucky Derby Day will offer horses an entry and travel incentive to run at Royal Ascot in mid-June. The winner of the Old Forester Turf Classic (Grade I) will receive a berth to either the one-mile Queen Anne Stakes (GI) or 1 ¼-mile Prince of Wales’s Stakes (GI). Earlier on the Kentucky Derby Day program, the winner of the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (GII) will receive an entry to the King Charles Stakes (GI).

“We are very excited to be working with Churchill Downs and the UK Jockey Club on this exciting new initiative,” said Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Public Affairs at Ascot Racecourse. “We were very pleased to play our part hosting the Churchill team at Royal Ascot last year, with the Kentucky Derby trophy on display as they built up to this important 150th running of the world’s greatest dirt race. We have a rich modern history of American runners at Royal Ascot and their success always adds hugely to the meeting – with NBC covering the event all week, the Saturday on the main network channel, hopefully this new link up of races will add a new dimension to their and ITV’s coverage.”

Three-year-old turf specialists in the American Turf (GII) and Edgewood (GII) can receive their entry to either the Betfred Derby (GI) or Betfred Oaks (GI) at Epsom Downs. The winner of the American Turf on Kentucky Derby Day will receive an entry and travel stipend to compete in the Betfred Derby while one day earlier, on Kentucky Oaks Day, the winner of the Edgewood will receive the same benefits for the Betfred Oaks.

“We’re delighted to develop these links with races at the Kentucky Derby Meeting in its 150th year,” said Matt Woolston, Assistant Racing and International Racing Director at The Jockey Club. “A trip to Churchill Downs is one that should be on the bucket list for every racing fan, the world over. The Kentucky Derby itself can trace its origin back to Epsom Downs in 1780 when Diomed won the very first Derby and we are proud to reinforce this historic link. We look forward to welcoming American runners to the Betfred Oaks and Betfred Derby. Runners who perform well in the Edgewood Stakes and the American Turf will come to Epsom Downs with a fighting chance and it will be fascinating to see how they fare. These historic races already have an international reputation, and we want to welcome more and more international runners in the years to come.”

In return for the above incentives for horses on Kentucky Derby weekend, a runner from both the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and Queen Anne Stakes will receive an entry and a travel incentive to run in the Arlington Million Stakes (GI) in mid-August at Colonial Downs. In addition, a runner from the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (GI) at Newmarket’s July Festival will also receive an entry and travel incentive to run in the Beverly D. Stakes (GI) on the same day as the Arlington Million.

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 Spring, September and 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 Race & Sports Book and 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, that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include the following: the occurrence of extraordinary events, such as terrorist attacks, public health threats, civil unrest, and inclement weather, including as a result of climate change; the effect of economic conditions on our consumers’ confidence and discretionary spending or our access to credit, including the impact of inflation; additional or increased taxes and fees; the impact of any pandemics, epidemics, or outbreaks of infectious diseases, including the impact of any future developments related to COVID-19, and related economic matters on our results of operations, financial conditions and prospects; lack of confidence in the integrity of our core businesses or any deterioration in our reputation; loss of key or highly skilled personnel, as well as general disruptions in the general labor market; the impact of significant competition, and the expectation the competition levels will increase; changes in consumer preferences, attendance, wagering, and sponsorships; 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 and historical racing machine (HRM) manufacturing and other technology conditions that could impose additional costs; failure to enter into or maintain agreements with industry constituents, including horsemen and other racetracks; inability to successfully focus on market access and retail operations for our TwinSpires Sports and Casino business and effectively compete; 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 litigations; reliance on our technology services and catastrophic events and system failures disrupting our operations; inability to identify, complete, or fully realize the benefits of our proposed acquisitions, divestitures, development of new venues or the expansion of existing facilities on time, on budget, or as planned; difficulty in integrating recent or future acquisitions into our operations; cost overruns and other uncertainties associated with the development of new venues and the expansion of existing facilities; general risks related to real estate ownership and significant expenditures, including risks related to environmental liabilities; personal injury litigation related to injuries occurring at our racetracks; compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or other similar laws and regulations, or applicable anti-money laundering regulations; payment-related risks, such as risk associated with fraudulent credit card or debit card use; work stoppages and labor problems; 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; increases to interest rates (due to inflation or otherwise), disruption in the credit markets or changes to our credit ratings may adversely affect our business; increase in our insurance costs, or inability to obtain similar insurance coverage in the future, and any inability to recover under our insurance policies for damages sustained at our properties in the event of inclement weather and casualty events; and other factors described under the heading “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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