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Old 09-15-2022, 08:42 PM   #1
classhandicapper
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CD to buy Ellis Park

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Churchill Downs PR
@DerbyMedia
A definitive agreement has been signed by @ChurchillDowns Incorporated to acquire @EllisParkRacing for total consideration of $79 million in cash, subject to certain working capital and other purchase price adjustments.

Full story: https://bit.ly/3xrqVLE

The industry will probably create a new track code and call it CD at Ellis Park (CDE) just to screw up all the database people again. #BAQ
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Old 09-16-2022, 12:43 PM   #2
The_Turf_Monster
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Hollywood, Calder, Arlington.......Ellis
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Old 09-16-2022, 01:00 PM   #3
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CD is a serial killer.

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Old 09-16-2022, 01:12 PM   #4
Andy Asaro
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They wouldn't be paying this much to kill it. Seems to me like they are going to expand racing to gain more market share. Colonial Downs has a lot of land to expand on. Look for a huge racing complex there. These guys have a plan. Hotels/Casino's/Racing
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:48 PM   #5
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They wouldn't be paying this much to kill it. Seems to me like they are going to expand racing to gain more market share. Colonial Downs has a lot of land to expand on. Look for a huge racing complex there. These guys have a plan. Hotels/Casino's/Racing
Andy, you are 100% correct about both Colonial and Ellis Park.

In Virginia every 100 HHR machines added requires an additional race day per year. They are inextricably tied together and can't be decoupled per the law. That is why CDI has stated they will be looking to add dates to Colonial (likely as a second meeting) in the future as they will have to as they add more HHR facilities/machines in other parts of the state.

Ellis Park had already planned a big HHR satellite facility with simulcast wagering in Owensboro and CDI is going to make that happen as well as expand at Ellis Park. HHR is tied to racing in Kentucky and again, no decoupling, so with casinos in the state highly unlikely because of moral opposition by a number of rural senators/representatives, HHR is the future for making money in this state. A good chunk of that goes to purses, so that benefits the future of Ellis Park.

I've seen a lot of people opining on social media about Arlington, Hollywood Park and Calder and believing that is the play here. There is ZERO relationship because the real estate value of those in major metro areas was tremendous as compared to the value (for shareholders) of racing, and Arlington was never going to get a casino the ownership wanted in order to be competitive and add to purses.

Last edited by ubercapper; 09-16-2022 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:57 PM   #6
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Andy, you are 100% correct about both Colonial and Ellis Park.

In Virginia every 100 HHR machines added requires an additional race day per year. They are inextricably tied together and can't be decoupled per the law. That is why CDI has stated they will be looking to add dates to Colonial (likely as a second meeting) in the future as they will have to as they add more HHR facilities/machines in other parts of the state.

Ellis Park had already planned a big HHR satellite facility with simulcast wagering in Owensboro and CDI is going to make that happen as well as expand at Ellis Park. HHR is tied to racing in Kentucky and again, no decoupling, so with casinos in the state highly unlikely because of moral opposition by a number of rural senators/representatives, HHR is the future for making money in this state. A good chunk of that goes to purses, so that benefits the future of Ellis Park.

I've seen a lot of people opining on social media about Arlington, Hollywood Park and Calder and believing that is the play here. There is ZERO relationship because the real estate value of those in major metro areas was tremendous as compared to the value (for shareholders) of racing, and Arlington was never going to get a casino the ownership wanted in order to be competitive and add to purses.
Right. You can add Bay Meadows to your list- in urban areas where the real estate is super-valuable, if you see a big acquisition, it's totally appropriate to ask questions about whether the track is long for this world. But if it happens in a place with lower real estate values and lower population, and the buyer is a racing operation like CD, it's far more likely that the plans include racing.
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Old 09-16-2022, 05:23 PM   #7
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CDI is both a race track owner and real estate company. If the horse racing thing doesn't work out they will sell it for redevelopment. Their past history tells us that.
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Old 09-16-2022, 08:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Andy Asaro View Post
They wouldn't be paying this much to kill it. Seems to me like they are going to expand racing to gain more market share. Colonial Downs has a lot of land to expand on. Look for a huge racing complex there. These guys have a plan. Hotels/Casino's/Racing
The plan is real estate development, sports wagering synergies, and unlocking capital assets for the CDI share price. Andy, you are simply foolish if you think for a second that Ellis Park is being purchased as a revenue growth investment in racing.
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Old 09-16-2022, 09:06 PM   #9
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Look at this quote from the Blood Horse article : "We are very enthused to welcome Ellis Park to the Churchill Downs racing family," said Bill Carstanjen, CDI CEO. "Our team is committed to building a summer meet at the 'Pea Patch' that keeps more Kentucky-bred horses and Kentucky-based trainers in their home state while attracting top horse racing talent from across the country to the Bluegrass State each July and August."

Let's consider this strategy. Churchill Downs, which has never developed a strategy against Saratoga, Del Mar, or even Monmouth Park for the summer months is suddenly going to have that ability at Ellis Park based in the middle of nowhere. Attract top racing talent from across the country? How?

This is Carstanjen's CEO speak. As they said on NCIS in Gibb's Rules, when you lie, be specific. The strategy sounds great, has been expressed with confidence, and will rape the industry in the area.
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Old 09-16-2022, 09:10 PM   #10
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A final comment on the $79M purchase price - for cash. If you have that much cash on the books, you become an acquisition target yourself as a publicly traded company. Moving that cash off the books into an asset which can be depreciated protects the company itself.
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Old 09-16-2022, 09:37 PM   #11
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Look at this quote from the Blood Horse article :

Let's consider this strategy. Churchill Downs, which has never developed a strategy against Saratoga, Del Mar, or even Monmouth Park for the summer months is suddenly going to have that ability at Ellis Park based in the middle of nowhere. Attract top racing talent from across the country? How?
How? Giant purses I would guess. Will it work? Maybe, maybe not.
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Old 09-16-2022, 11:02 PM   #12
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CDI is both a race track owner and real estate company. If the horse racing thing doesn't work out they will sell it for redevelopment. Their past history tells us that.
Ellis Park is on a floodplain, the only value is 100 years of racing and the gaming.
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Old 09-16-2022, 11:25 PM   #13
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Look at this quote from the Blood Horse article : "We are very enthused to welcome Ellis Park to the Churchill Downs racing family," said Bill Carstanjen, CDI CEO. "Our team is committed to building a summer meet at the 'Pea Patch' that keeps more Kentucky-bred horses and Kentucky-based trainers in their home state while attracting top horse racing talent from across the country to the Bluegrass State each July and August."

.
I am probably more worried long term about the Fair Grounds than I am about Ellis Park.
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Old 09-16-2022, 11:37 PM   #14
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How? Giant purses I would guess. Will it work? Maybe, maybe not.
Lots of people would rather travel to KY than New York.

I’m guessing you could do a week at Ellis for the cost of 2 days at Toga.
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Old 09-17-2022, 12:17 AM   #15
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Lots of people would rather travel to KY than New York.

I’m guessing you could do a week at Ellis for the cost of 2 days at Toga.
There are already a number of prominent horsepeople who are choosing to stay at Ellis during the summer than held elsewhere.
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