05/10/2005 11:00PM

Churchill posts $13M loss


Churchill Downs Inc. lost $13.9 million in the first quarter of 2005, compared with an $11.8 million loss in the first quarter last year, according to financial figures released Tuesday.

The loss came on revenue of $56.3 million, an increase of 49.1 percent from the company's revenue in the first quarter last year. First-quarter expenses increased 37.7 percent to $65.4 million. Churchill has historically posted a first-quarter loss because of a lack of live racing days.

Last year, Churchill bought Fair Grounds in New Orleans, which runs a significant number of live racing days during the first quarter.

In a release, Churchill officials said the loss widened this year despite the live meet at Fair Grounds because of $2.6 million in expenses in an unsuccessful attempt to get a referendum passed in Florida for slot machines at Churchill's Calder Race Course, and because of a $4.77 million decline in revenue from simulcasting in Illinois.