05/01/2005 11:00PM

Churchill reaches signal deal


Churchill Downs Inc. and a group of 28 racetracks reached a simulcasting agreement on Friday night, restoring the signal from Churchill's tracks and ending an impasse that threatened the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby.

The pact was reached between Churchill Downs and the Southern Racing Cooperative of racetracks, one week after the tracks were blocked from offering signals from Churchill's Hollywood Park.

Jim Simpson, the legal counsel for the cooperative, said that the new contract was multiyear, but he declined to give further details. Under the agreement, the tracks in the cooperative will be able to take bets on any of Churchill's signals, which include Churchill Downs, Hollywood, Calder Race Course, Hoosier Park, Ellis Park, Fair Grounds, and Arlington Park.

Simpson had said that the tracks in the cooperative objected to several rate increases among Churchill's family of tracks.

Thoroughbred tracks in the cooperative include Beulah Park and River Downs in Ohio; Delta Downs in Louisiana; Oaklawn Park in Arkansas; Retama Park and Sam Houston in Texas; Tampa Bay Downs in Florida; and Turf Paradise in Arizona.