Fair Grounds to be Showcased on HorseplayerPRO.com Chats

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has partnered with www.HorseplayerPRO.com to provide interactive online discussions between horse racing fans and a panel of experts each race day beginning Sunday, November 8, and continuing throughout Fair Grounds’ upcoming Thoroughbred meet. The 138th Racing Season will begin its five-month run on Friday, Nov. 6 and continue through Sunday, March 28.

The daily chats from Fair Grounds are one component of a partnership between Fair Grounds’ parent company, Churchill Downs Incorporated (“Company” or “CDI”) (NASDAQ: CHDN), and www.HorseplayerPRO.com.

Horseplayer PRO utilizes live chat technology in hosting an interactive experience capable of accommodating tens of thousands of participants simultaneously. The race-day chats can be accessed at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com or www.HorseplayerPRO.com and will begin 30 minutes before the first race (first post is 12:30 p.m. CST weekends and Thanksgiving Day; 1 p.m. CST weekdays; and 5 p.m. CST Jan. 15, Feb. 19 and March 19). The discussions will continue throughout the racing program until the final race of the day.

Fans will be able to exchange handicapping insights and receive useful handicapping information and advice from a team of experts, including Horseplayer PRO’s Jeremy Plonk, Joe Kristufek, Tim Turrell and Brian Spencer. Additional analysis will be provided by on-site guests such as Fair Grounds’ Track Announcer John Dooley, Paddock Commentator Jessica Pacheco and Communications and Pari-mutuel Marketing Manager Jim Mulvihill.

“We’re excited to team with Horseplayer PRO on this promising new online opportunity,” said Tom Jenkins, Churchill Downs Incorporated vice president. “In order to grow horse racing’s fan base and bring back lapsed customers, we need to continue to utilize modern technologies and find ways to become more fun than the other forms of entertainment with which we compete. These progressive on-line chats present an appealing and entertaining platform for customers to connect with one another and receive insightful commentary and useful handicapping information. Simultaneously, it also allows us the opportunity to showcase our product offerings and communicate to an enthusiastic and captive audience. Unquestionably, Horseplayer PRO will help broaden the scope of interaction with fans of our sport.”  

In addition to hosting the race-day chats, Horseplayer PRO producers create interactive polls and a race-day scoreboard to follow winning connections, prices and track trends. The chat module is embedded into a specially designed Horseplayer PRO webpage that provides visitors a plethora of race-day information. With a simple mouse-click, chatters can access entries, weather, scratches/changes, results, jockey/trainer stats, news and selections without leaving the chat.

“The marriage of a new-brand venture like Horseplayer PRO with some of the sport’s most renowned racing institutions makes a strong statement about the importance of horseplayers,” said Plonk, managing partner of Horseplayer PRO. “We look at the live chat experience as equal parts camaraderie and consultation, where horseplayers live and learn in real time. Our initial chat ventures with Remington Park have proven beneficial to the track brand as well as the bottom line in wagering handle.”

“The chats give online fans a community feel,” Kristufek said. “The experience appeals to all levels of horseplayers, from the beginner to the expert. We’re all playing the races together – analyzing past performances, discussing pace scenarios, watching the odds, examining the horses in the post parade and seeking out potential track trends. The insider contributions provided on-site from the track announcer and analysts are invaluable.”

In addition to racing from Fair Grounds, the action from Churchill Downs will be spotlighted on the Horseplayer PRO chats starting Sunday, Nov. 1.