10/07/2014 1:11PM

Churchill seeks executive director of racing


Churchill Downs Inc. is seeking to hire an executive director of racing to manage its racing properties and improve the company’s sometimes-strained relationship with horsemen and breeders, according to a posting on its corporate website.

The posting says that the executive director of racing is “expected to focus on, support, and enhance Churchill Downs Incorporated’s commitment to the U.S. Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry.” The executive also will advocate for “issues and policies within the racing and breeding industries that are important to CDI (i.e., medication & testing, safety, racehorse retirement, etc.),” the posting states.

Churchill is seeking to fill the position at a time when it has come under fire from some horsemen, legislators, and horseplayers over its policies. In addition, handle at two of its tracks, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and Arlington Park outside Chicago, has plummeted this year, in part because of urging from some horseplayers to boycott the company’s tracks because of a decision this year to raise the takeout at Churchill.

In addition to Churchill and Arlington, Churchill also operates Fair Grounds in New Orleans and the largest account-wagering company in the United States, twinspires.com. This year, the company reached an agreement to lease its Calder Race Course in Miami to the Stronach Group while retaining control over the track’s casino.

A spokesperson for Churchill did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the position.