02/25/2002 1:00AM

Whiff of slots and Churchill stock up

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The share price of Churchill Downs Inc. soared nearly 9 percent on Monday, one day before a bill that would legalize slots-type gambling at its track in Indiana was scheduled to go to a vote.

Churchill, which has a majority interest in Hoosier Park and owns five other tracks outright, was up $3.22 on Monday, or 9 percent, to $39.32, just short of its 52-week high.

The Indiana House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on the bill Tuesday, after spending Monday debating amendments to it.

In addition to removing certain limits on when riverboat casinos can operate, the legislation would allow Hoosier and a planned racetrack in Shelby County to operate 750 "pull-tab" video lottery machines. The bill would also allow Hoosier to install 750 machines at an OTB it owns and operates in Indianapolis.