11/13/2008 1:00AM

Calder gets new president


Churchill Downs Inc. on Thursday named Tom O'Donnell, a longtime casino executive, as the new president and general manager of Calder Race Course as well as a senior vice president of Churchill Downs Inc., which owns Calder.

O'Donnell succeeds Ken Dunn, who left Calder in April, just before beginning of the current racing season.

O'Donnell will oversee both the racing and casino operations at Calder. Legislation passed in Dade County earlier this year gave the track the right to operate a slot-machine facility, although Churchill has not yet announced plans regarding a casino at Calder.

O'Donnell comes to Calder from Heller Gaming and Leisure, where he served as an adviser on casino operations, development, and strategic acquisition evaluation. He also has over 18 years of experience with the Harrah's Entertainment casino and hotel company.

O'Donnell became the second executive with a casino background that Churchill has recently named as president of one of its tracks. The company named Austin Miller to the position of president of Fair Grounds.