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Fair Grounds

Fair Grounds Race Course news release

Contact: Mark Conner,

Brian W. Spencer named as Fair Grounds Paddock Analyst for 2013-2014 Thoroughbred meet

Replaces Katie Mikolay Gensler as the “Face of Fair Grounds”

Brings extensive fan education and social media experience to the position

NEW ORLEANS (Wednesday, August 21, 2013) – Following the recent announcement of Katie Mikolay Gensler’s maternity leave, Fair Grounds has hired Brian W. Spencer to replace the long-tenured Fair Grounds Paddock Analyst for the 2013-2014 Thoroughbred meet.

"While we will certainly miss Katie this winter, Fair Grounds is very pleased to bring someone with Brian’s on-air presence and handicapping skills aboard, said Fair Grounds Vice President and General Manager, Eric Halstrom. When we combine his analytical skills with his knowledge of racing and social media background, we certainly feel like we’ve hit a home run prior to our 142nd Thoroughbred race meet.”

Spencer, 30, hails from Illinois where he currently works for Arlington Park as their part-time Paddock Analyst and Press Box Assistant. Spencer has worked in racing for the better part of the last fifteen years with a general focus on handicapping and fan education. His knowledge of the New Orleans racing scene is extensive as he has served as the Fair Grounds correspondent for Horseplayer Now for the last four seasons, earning the respect and praise of horse bettors from around the country. In addition, Spencer has been a key member of America’s Best Racing and helped spearhead Fan Education seminars in venues such as Keeneland, Arlington Park, Pimlico and Belmont Park.

“I am grateful for the opportunity and very excited to spend the winter as a member of the Fair Grounds team,” said Spencer. “While filling in for Katie will not be an easy task, I am looking forward to watching high-quality racing on a daily basis and keeping an eye on the development of the three-year olds as they prepare for the Fair Grounds Oaks and Louisiana Derby. I also look forward to helping fans in New Orleans and around the country, whether they’re novices or experts, and offer information that will make them more knowledgeable horse bettors.”

While the 2013-2014 Fair Grounds racing season doesn’t begin until November 22, Spencer will start in his new position in mid-October to immediately engage in Fair Grounds’ marketing strategy and further enhance his local media relationships.

About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 11 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The sixth Summer Quarter Horse Meet runs Aug. 21 to Sept. 12. The 142nd Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 101st running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby and the accompanying Infield Festival – will run from November 2013 through March 2014. More information can be found online at


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