LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The parent company of Churchill Downs racetrack, home of the Kentucky Derby, has moved its online wagering operations from Silicon Valley to Kentucky.
A decade ago, when Churchill Downs Inc. was building its TwinSpires online wagering business, the operations were based in California to tap into that region’s high-tech prowess.
Company CEO Bill Carstanjen said Tuesday that Churchill Downs is confident it can fill those high-tech skills in its hometown of Louisville.
Churchill says that in 2016, $1.1 billion was wagered through TwinSpires, amounting to 10 percent of total betting on U.S. horse races.
TwinSpires, which also has operations in Lexington, Kentucky, employs more than 200 people. TwinSpires plans to add 25 more Louisville employees. Churchill is investing $2.2 million to expand its Louisville offices to house the TwinSpires headquarters.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Arabian Knight is off the Kentucky Derby trail.
Wagering has been suspended on the 3-year-old colt for the Derby’s future wager after owner Amr Zedan announced the decision. Arabian Knight was the second choice on the morning line behind favorite Forte for the May 6 race.
“Trainer Tim Yakteen wasn’t happy with his last work & we feel it’s in Arabian Knight’s best interest not to rush & allow him more time to develop,” Zedan tweeted. “We know he’s a superior talent & our plan is to point him toward a summer and fall campaign.”
Purchased for $2.3 million as a 2-year-old, Arabian Knight won his debut by 7 1/4 lengths at Keeneland last November. He made his 3-year-old debut in the Southwest at Oaklawn in January and won by 5 1/2 lengths.
Arabian Knight had his third workout at Santa Anita.
TAMPA, Fla. — Tapit Trice rallied from last to win the $360,000 Tampa Bay Derby by two lengths and earn qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.
Ridden by Luis Saez, Tapit Trice ran 1 1/16 miles 1:43.37. The 1-2 favorite in the field of 12 paid $3 to win. The 3-year-old colt earned 50 qualifying points, which places him in the 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby on May 6.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher extended his record for most wins in the Grade 3 race to six. He already has the early Kentucky Derby favorite in Forte, who won the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream last weekend.
Classic Car Wash was second and Classic Legacy was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.
Tapit Trice was making his stakes debut after winning two of three starts.
“Once he got clear down the lane, he really extended himself,” Pletcher said. ”I loved the way he finished up. He relished the two turns, and the longer he goes, the better he’ll get.”