09/07/2006 12:00AM

Churchill names Huffman race chief


Churchill Downs Inc. on Thursday named Ben Huffman, since 2004 director of racing and racing secretary at Fair Grounds, as the racing secretary at its flagship track. He will be succeeded at Fair Grounds by Sam Abbey.

Huffman, 37, will continue as racing secretary at Keeneland, a post he has held since January 2002. His hiring by Churchill comes less than two weeks after Doug Bredar was fired from the position after 4 1/2 years on the job.

Abbey, 59, will take the Fair Grounds position while remaining the racing secretary at Delaware Park, a position he has held since 2002.

Abbey takes over at the Fair Grounds, which begins its four-month meet Nov. 23, during a critical rebuilding period. The 2005-06 meet was canceled because of the damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina at the track and throughout the city of New Orleans.