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    Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) announced Thursday morning that its board of directors had named William C. Carstanjen as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Carstanjen, 46, was previously the company's President and Chief Operating Officer, a position he held since March 2011. Carstanjen replaces Robert L. Evans, who held the position since August 2006. Carstanjen becomes CDI's 12th CEO.

    “I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead Churchill Downs,” said Carstanjen. “Over the last several years we have transformed Churchill Downs into a diversified growth company while continuing to strengthen and invest in our traditional horse racing business. Today, CDI is better positioned strategically and operationally, and is stronger financially and organizationally, than perhaps at any time in its 140-year history. I’m excited about our terrific team and the future of our racing, gaming and online businesses and new businesses we may yet enter.”

    Carstanjen, a Louisville resident, earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from Columbia University in New York. Carstanjen joined CDI in July 2005 as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Development Officer and moved into the role of Chief Operating Officer in 2008. Prior to joining CDI, Carstanjen served five years as an executive at General Electric Company and over five years at the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York.

    According to CDI’s press release, Carstanjen “led CDI’s diversification strategy into online wagering on thoroughbred racing via TwinSpires.com, including the acquisitions of Youbet.com, AmericaTab, and Bloodstock Research Information Systems (BRIS); the growth of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby events; and into regional casino gaming.”

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    Jessie Oswald's picture

    About Jessie Oswald

    I'm a lifetime Louisville resident with a passion for horse racing. When I'm not working as a paralegal or taking care of my family, I follow Thoroughbred racing and love to share the excitement and beauty of the sport with anyone willing to learn!

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