03/21/2011 12:01PM

Churchill Downs Inc. facing executive shuffle


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Churchill Downs Inc. announced Monday that Carl F. Pollard, the longtime chairman of the board, will retire June 16 in a move that has led to other impending changes in the hierarchy of the company.

Robert Evans, who has served as president and chief executive officer since August 2006, has been named to fill Pollard’s role when he retires. Evans will assume the title of chairman and chief executive officer.

In turn, William Carstanjen, who began working for CDI in June 2005 as general counsel and chief development officer before being promoted to his current role as chief operating officer, also will assume the title of CDI president, effective with all the other changes June 16.

In addition, G. Watts Humphrey Jr. has been appointed as lead independent director of the board. Humphrey, a longtime breeder and owner, has been a board member at CDI since 1995.

Pollard’s impending retirement signals an end to a long and prosperous era. Pollard had served on the board since 1985 before being named chairman in 2001. During his tenure, Churchill and its properties have undergone tremendous change and expansion.

“It has been both an honor and a pleasure,” Pollard said in a prepared statement. “CDI has evolved from a racetrack in Louisville, Ky., into the premier racing, gaming, and entertainment company in the United States.”

A Kentucky native who made a fortune in the health-care industry, Pollard is the former owner of Hermitage Farm, the prominent Goshen, Ky., breeding and racing operation once owned by the late Warner L. Jones Jr. Among the top horses bred and raced by Pollard was Caressing, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2000.