Churchill Downs Inc. posted Q2 net income of $57.3M on "record quarterly revenue" of $303.7M, according to Matt Hegarty of DAILY RACING FORM. All of CDI's major business segments "experienced growth" in the quarter, with racing revenue from its four tracks "up slightly" by 1%. Revenue from CDI's casinos were up 23% and revenue from the company's "mostly racing-related online business" was up 9%. Racing revenue during the quarter was $159.4M, a figure that "includes revenue" from the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, held the first weekend in May. Although handle during Churchill Downs' spring meet fell 11.5 % amid "field-size declines and calls for a boycott," revenue at the track during Q2 was $118.3M, up 9% over the year-ago quarter. CDI raised the "takeout rates on wagering for its spring meet, spurring some horseplayers to call for the boycott." CDI also began seeking a "higher rate for its simulcast signal this year, which may have raised more money for the track from out-of-state simulcast outlets" (DRF.com, 7/30). At presstime, shares of CDI were trading at $88.08, up 1.8% from the close of business on Thursday (THE DAILY).
EXPANDING THE EMPIRE: In New York, Lauren Mineau reported CDI and Saratoga Harness Racing Inc. have "come to an agreement outlining the near finalization of a five-year deal in which CDI will take over management of Saratoga Casino & Raceway and purchase a 25-percent stake" in Saratoga Harness Racing. The deal was "not struck due to any financial woes at either establishment, but instead to finalize an ongoing partnership." Saratoga Casino & Raceway Senior VP/ Marketing & External Affairs Rita Cox said, "This stems from a relationship we've had with them for quite some time. We already work together and share a lot of the same core values." Saratoga Casino & Raceway said that it "does not expect any major management overhauls or changes as of right now" (THE SARATOGIAN, 7/31).