|Contacts: Karl Schmitt, Churchill
Downs Incorporated: (502) 636-4594
Eric Wing, NTRA: (212) 907-9283
Tim O'Leary, Daily Racing Form/OCC Group: (914) 592-5020
Monica Smith, EDS: (937) 455-1307
2001 ROAD TO THE ROSES FANTASY CHALLENGE TO LAUNCH FEBRUARY 10
The EDS "Road to the Roses Fantasy Challenge," a rotisserie-style fantasy game that lets racing fans pick their own stable of Kentucky Derby horses, trainers and jockeys, will go live this Saturday, Feb. 10. The game's top winner will receive a trip to the Kentucky Derby and a $5,000 betting voucher.
Game sponsor EDS, the leading global services company, provides strategy, implementation and hosting for clients managing the business and technology complexities of the digital economy. EDS services the world's leading companies and governments in 55 countries globally through its four lines of business: A.T. Kearney, Business Process Management, E.solutions and Information Solutions.
Now in its third year, the EDS "Road to the Roses Fantasy Challenge" is owned and operated by Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), with promotional support from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Daily Racing Form (DRF). The game can be accessed from any of the three organizations' Web sites: www.kentuckyderby.com, ntra.com and www.drf.com. Throughout the game's duration, players will be able to download free past performance lines of horses entered in every Fantasy Challenge race at www.drf.com.
"The Fantasy Challenge is an exciting way for fans to emulate the experience of owning and managing Kentucky Derby contenders," said Karl Schmitt, CDI's senior vice president, communications. "The game has married our Internet initiative with our premier racing product, the Kentucky Derby, and has been very successful. We have found the 'Fantasy Challenge' has created new fans for our sport and having the NTRA and Daily Racing Form as promotional partners will allow us to attract even more players to the game. In addition, we have upgraded the prize structure to award trips to both this year's Derby and the race's 128th running in 2002 as well as to offer added cash and other prizes."
Players can see how their stables compare with those of horseracing experts and media celebrities in the "Beat the Pros" competition. Triple Crown-winning jockey Steve Cauthen, ESPN SportsCenter personality Kenny Mayne and 2000 DRF/NTRA Handicapper of the Year Judy Wagner are just a few of this year's "Beat the Pros" participants.
"'Beat the Pros' is a popular element of the game because fans can see how they stack up against top sports personalities," said Steve Fugitte, commissioner of the EDS "Road to the Roses Fantasy Challenge."
Fans create their stables by selecting two trainers, two jockeys and 12 horses from the complete list of VISA Triple Crown nominees and amass points based on performance in a series of 30 three-year-old races, starting with the Feb. 17 Fountain of Youth Stakes from Gulfstream Park and culminating with the Kentucky Derby on May 5. For the first time, stables must select "active" horses for each weekend and can add three additional horses in April. The game is free and available to citizens of the United States and Canada, except where restrictions apply.
"We're excited to be part of this promotion this year as we look to further interactive Internet marketing efforts for horseracing," said Keith Chamblin, vice president--industry relations and marketing for the NTRA. "More than 25,000 fans participated in our Breeders' Cup Internet promotion last fall, and we will invite all of them to play this game."
"Daily Racing Form offers horseplayers the most extensive editorial coverage of Thoroughbred racing, and we're delighted to participate in the 'Fantasy Challenge,' and provide online racing fans with our past performances and other key information through our Web site," said Mandy Minger, Daily Racing Form vice president of marketing.
Churchill Downs Incorporated--headquartered in Louisville, Ky.--is one of the world's leading horseracing companies. Its flagship operation, Churchill Downs, is home of the Kentucky Derby and will host the race's 127th running on May 5, 2001. The Company owns additional racetracks in Kentucky, Illinois, California and Florida and has interests in a pari-mutuel operation in Indiana as well as various racing services companies. CDI trades on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol CHDN and can be found on the Internet at www.kentuckyderby.com.
Daily Racing Form, "America's Turf Authority Since 1894," for Thoroughbred racing horseplayers and professionals throughout North America, is the only daily national newspaper in the U.S. dedicated solely to the coverage of a single sport. Purchased in August 1998 by a group of investors led by Alpine Capital Group of New York and Steven Crist, editor and publisher of the Form, Daily Racing Form provides the most comprehensive news and information about horseracing and recently introduced Formulator, the most sophisticated handicapping software ever developed. The next generation of Daily Racing Form, Formulator gives DRF Online (www.drf.com) users unprecedented levels of flexibility, versatility and convenience in customizing and manipulating the newspaper's famous past performances on racehorses.
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of Thoroughbred interests, which in addition to racetracks, includes owners, breeders, off-track betting organizations, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians and sales companies, among others. Through membership dues and funding from other horseracing interests, like the American Quarter Horse Association, the NTRA markets, advertises, promotes and televises horseracing in North America, and also serves as a catalyst for industry-wide programs benefiting members in group purchasing, telecommunications and technology, consumer research and legislative initiatives. As part of its mission to build positive public awareness of Thoroughbred racing and expand opportunities for enhancement of the Thoroughbred industry, the NTRA conducts the Breeders' Cup Championship-Thoroughbred racing's year-end showcase consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, as well as the National Stakes Program, worth millions in combined purses from Breeders' Cup and participating racetracks. The industry's breeders and owners fund purses for the Breeders' Cup Championship. With the National Turf Writers Association and Daily Racing Form, the NTRA also presents the Eclipse Awards, the annual awards recognizing excellence in Thoroughbred racing. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. A compendium of NTRA press releases appears on the NTRA Web site, ntra.com, and at the Web site for the Breeders' Cup Championship, breederscup.com. Contact the NTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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