Churchill Downs Inc. Chief Operating Officer Bill Carstenjen will be the subject of CBS's "Undercover Boss" airing Sunday night at 9 p.m. on WLKY.
In the episode, Carstenjen ventures to CDI-owned Calder Casino and Race Course in Miami and Arlington Park near Chicago to get a look at the company from the perspective of the employees, well-removed from the executive suites above the historic flagship course on Central Avenue.
According to Churchill Downs staff reports, Carstenjen spent 10 days experiencing the life of track personnel: shadowing trainers, track maintenance and housekeeping, and even a bugler (as shown in this preview).
Sunday night is not the first time Churchill Downs has been a part of reality television. In recent years, crews have filmed preliminary, ear-piercing rounds of "American Idol"; followed Kiss frontman Gene Simmons with longtime love (and Playmate linked to Hugh Hefner) Shannon Tweed to a pari-mutuel window on Derby Day for "Gene Simmons' Family Jewels"; and chased fellow Playmates and "Girls Next Door" Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson (as well as the aforementioned octogenarian) around the track.
Last fall, viewers of "Jockeys" on Animal Planet witnessed the true drama of Derby Day, as morning line favorite I Want Revenge was scratched Derby morning, dashing the hopes of 19-year-old phenom Joe Talamo. (Fortunately for Animal Planet's cameras and the the network's reputation, your humble correspondent remained just outside the frame during several scenes.)
"Southern Belles: Louisville" aired last year on SOAPnet. One supposes there had to be some scenes filmed at the track (or at least B-roll of the Twin Spires). However, this cannot be confirmed, as no one has been found who admits to watching this show.
This correspondent has his DVR set for Sunday night's program and cannot wait until other Louisville-based companies follow the example of Churchill Downs Inc. and Carstenjen. What if we saw Papa John Schnatter making a pizza? Oh, wait...
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Photo: Courtesy "Undercover Boss"