Bad press for Churchill Downs

• In addition to celebrating winning The Preakness in Baltimore this weekend, the owners of California Chrome devoted a noticeable portion of Saturday bashing Churchill Downs.

This is another “how did a dispute ever get to this point?” moment in the vein of Kosair v. Norton. Except this time, it’s Churchill Downs that’s getting skewered in the national media over its (alleged) inhospitable treatment of the people who own California Chrome. After wining the Preakness this weekend in Baltimore, Steve Coburn, part-owner and breeder of California Chrome, ripped our Louisville-based, publicly traded thoroughbred racing and gaming company.

From Blood Horse’s account of the feud:

“I’m serious about this. I’m a serious as a heart attack. We got to Churchill and not only did I complain, but there were other trainers, owners, and even jockeys complaining about the way they were treated. I’ve said this once, I’ve said it 50 times—Churchill Downs needs to call Maryland to get a lesson in hospitality. Because these people right here, they’ve treated us like royalty, and I can’t say thank you enough.”

Coburn was angry with CD officials over how his co-owner, Jerry Martin, was treated after asking for help getting transporting his mother in and out of the giant Louisville racing complex. This comes after Ron Turcotte, who won the Kentucky Derby on Secretariat, also complained about inability to get help at Churchill Downs with parking. Turcotte has been in a wheelchair since a 1978 racing accident.

Alltech founder Pearse Lyons is scheduled to make a big job creating announcement at the opening of the Lexington-based company’s 30th Annual Symposium Monday. New Alltech initiatives, including an angel investment fund for job creation in Kentucky, are in the works, according to a news release. A news conference with open Q and A will follow the session. You can see the symposium streamed live here.

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