04/26/2007 11:00PM

Churchill delays betting-service launch

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Churchill Downs Inc. has delayed the launch of its new account-wagering platform until an undetermined date, the company announced late on Friday, one day prior to the opening of its spring meet.

The account-wagering platform, which is called twinspires.com, was expected to be launched in time for the spring meet, which runs for 52 days beginning on Saturday. The Kentucky Derby, the highest-handling race in North America, is scheduled for May 5.

Officials for Churchill Downs said in a release that the delays were related to the ability of customers to open accounts with the service. The officials said that they hoped to have the issues resolved "within a few days."

Earlier this year, Churchill announced a partnership with Magna Entertainment Corp., another large racetrack operator, to sell and buy simulcast signals. The two companies plan to operate separate account-wagering services.

A racetrack lineup for the service has not yet been announced, but twinspires.com is expected to carry at least all of the tracks owned by Churchill and Magna.