Churchill Downs’ Chairman Grumpy

By all accounts, despite continuing gaffes by some of those in charge at Churchill Downs, the night racing experiment is an enormous success.

33,000 stormed the gates on a Thursday night. Families. Stylin’ twentysomethings. One pal reported in that the there was “more talent” in the Turf Club than he’d ever seen. “From age 20 to 50,” he said. Kids running around the paddock area, which apparently was bumper to bumper.

Apparently it was a special festive occasion for all involved.

Okay, almost everyone.

One source, a Downs regular for his lifetime, ran across board chairman Carl Pollard during the evening. My guy was exuberant, greeted Pollard and said something like, “You guys finally did something right. This is great. What a night.”

To which joy, Pollard scrooged, “They’re not betting.”

Gee, I dunno, Mr. Chairman, but didn’t all those people who wouldn’t normally be there have to pay admission, and pay for parking, and pay for libations and food. Maybe even bought a souvenir or two. And, hey, I bet between the socializing, some of them even laid down a wager or three.

It was the track’s most hopeful situation in years. And the Chairman of the Board still wasn’t satisfied.

Give that guy a laxative.

– Seedy K


  1. cbcard
    Posted July 3, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Maybe he’s on bute.

  2. gnash001
    Posted July 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I think he’s still mad that he let Rick
    Scott buy him out of a hospital company fifteen years ago.

  3. kts
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Wow – at least you guys in the press are consistent. You take one negative hearsay comment and extrapolate it into a slam article against Churchill Downs. Good to know the local community can continually count on your non-support of our city’s most notable asset. And, thanks to you literary gueniuses, CD is viewed as more notorious than notable so keep up the dirty work…you’re so good at it.

  4. Seedy K
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    To kts — Thanks for writing. I always appreciate input from readers. 

    I just reread what I wrote and must say that I didn’t slam Churchill Downs. I wrote about how successful the experiment was, how it drew folks from all walks of life, how much fun everyone there was having etc. I didn’t even mention the gaffes that plagued the first Night at the Downs. 

    My point was to underscore the apparent narrow-minded focus that has plagued Churchill Downs leadership in recent years. All that good was going on and a patron went to praise the Chairman of the Board on a job well done on what was arguably the most encouraging event at the track in years, and all the Chairman could do was grouse. One would have thought his reply might have been something like, “Thanks. We’re trying.” or “Thanks. I appreciate you like what we’ve done.” But no, he’s the one who found his glass half empty.

    While your negative comments toward me and your perception of my writing come with the territory, I wonder if they wouldn’t be more prudently directed against the folks making the big decisions at Churchill.

  5. kts
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Again, I applaud the consistency with which you guys operate Seedy K. You like to dish it out but get defensive when it’s dished back. If you were truly attemping to be complimentary, you need a basic Composition 101 class because your article headline leads with a CD slam or maybe “grumpy chairman” is complimentary to you folks with the poison pens. Regardless, you have your views and I have mine, the only difference, I’m not employed by a local rag that pays me to bash community ventures. Better ask Pollard to share his laxative with you…you need something to loosen you up.

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