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Registration Open for 2004 Kentucky Derby Fantasy Challenge

Press Release

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Press Release) -- Ever wish you were standing in the shoes of Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher or Nick Zito, guiding a stable full of Kentucky Derby contenders toward the "Run for the Roses" on the first Saturday in May? Are you looking for a way to get your hands on one of the most sought after tickets in sports? Then sign up to play the 2004 Kentucky Derby "Road to the Roses" Fantasy Challenge -- a free, Internet-based game of skill -- and compete with thousands of horse-racing fans for a VIP trip to the 2005 Kentucky Derby and Oaks, plus prizes, wagering vouchers and exclusive merchandise worth thousands of dollars.

"Now in its seventh year, the Kentucky Derby Fantasy Challenge is an online rotisserie-style game that allows race fans to create a fantasy stable of Kentucky Derby hopefuls, along with accomplished jockeys and top trainers. Participants manage these equine athletes and their connections through a series of officially sanctioned Kentucky Derby prep races. The game begins with the Grade II Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Feb. 14, and concludes with the 130th running of the Kentucky Derby (GI) at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 1, 2004.

"Registration for the 2004 Kentucky Derby Fantasy Challenge, which can be found online at , opened Feb. 2 at midnight EST and will continue through April 2, 2004, at 11:59 p.m. The online game is owned and operated by Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI").

"Churchill Downs Incorporated is excited to offer this user-friendly, challenging and potentially rewarding way to enjoy the Derby 'trail'," said Steve Fugitte, the Company's vice president of racing information and new media. "Whether you are a casual fan or an experienced handicapper, this interactive contest will feed your Derby fever by allowing you to create and jockey a fantasy stable through the prep races and Derby itself. More than 25,000 took part in last year's Fantasy Challenge, and we expect even more entrants in this year's new and improved version."

"The list of available jockeys and trainers has been expanded to include more than 90 jockeys and 200 trainers. In addition, navigation for the game's official Web site, , has been improved to make the 2004 Fantasy Challenge more user friendly. "Players create their mythical stables by selecting 10 horses from the Visa Triple Crown-nominated list, along with two jockeys and two trainers. Points are awarded based on how well the selected horses and human beings perform in a series of 35 races leading up to and including the Kentucky Derby. Players are required to select five "active" horses for each weekend of prep races and can add two additional horses from March 29 through April 2 -- for a complete stable of 12 horses -- after late Visa Triple Crown nominations are published.

"Ever-popular game features, such as the "Injury Report," and "Meet the Pros," are back this year and allow players to stay up-to-date on Derby contenders-in-training while comparing their handicapping abilities to the celebrities, journalists, horse-racing analysts and professional touts managing their own fantasy stables.

"This year's grand-prize winner will receive a VIP trip to the 131st Kentucky Oaks and Derby (May 6 and May 7, 2005), including two (2) third-floor reserved seats for Oaks and Derby plus access to Millionaire's Row; roundtrip airfare, three nights' hotel accommodations, ground transportation, Derby and Oaks betting vouchers totaling $3,500 and a collection of valuable Derby merchandise and racing memorabilia. A grand-prize winner who is a member of CDI's player-reward program, the Twin Spires Club, will also receive 250,000 Twin Spires Club points.

"Even if you aren't in contention for the grand prize, is a great way to keep track of the Derby contenders and earn bragging rights over your friends and some of our 'pros,'" Fugitte added. "You might even turn some of the equine insights gained through this fantasy contest into wagering profits on Derby Day."

"The Kentucky Derby Fantasy Challenge is free and available to citizens in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, except where restrictions apply. For a complete list of rules, visit