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2007 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks websites launched

7 Feb 2007

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Churchill Downs today launched the official Web site for the 2007 Kentucky Derby, KentuckyDerby.com, and the official 2007 Kentucky Oaks Web site, KentuckyOaks.com. The streamlined, redesigned sites take advantage of the latest advances in online technology while continuing to offer unparalleled coverage of the Kentucky Derby, its sister race, the Kentucky Oaks, and the prep seasons leading up to both historic events. The 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby will take place on May 5, 2007, while the 133rd Kentucky Oaks will be held on May 4, 2007.

The most exciting new feature of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Web sites is the implementation of exclusive weblogs ("blogs") written by some of the leading handicappers in horse racing, covering prep races throughout the three months leading up to Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 133. The sites will also feature daily news updates, weekly video podcasts, a variety of RSS feeds, free video of every major Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks prep race, and detailed information on each Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contender, including photographs, videos, past performances, detailed pedigrees, and workout information. The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Web sites also include an online store and a virtual Kentucky Derby experience, with Web cams, celebrity videos, and expanded photo galleries designed to capture the event's excitement and pageantry.

"The 2007 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Web sites continue Churchill Downs' tradition of leading our industry in online technology implementation," said Jeremy Borseth, senior director of channel services and Internet operations for Churchill Downs Incorporated. "These sites incorporate popular 'social media' elements such as expert blogs, podcasts, and RSS feeds to maximize customers' experiences while still providing a content-rich, user-friendly Web site that visitors of any sophistication can navigate and enjoy.

"Both the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks Web sites will continue to serve as a complete online resource for racing fans in 2007," Borseth continued. "Our Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders pages are unmatched and offer a wealth of information on each hopeful. We also supplement our profiles with related news, features, and handicapping information to ensure that visitors have everything they need right at their fingertips. When combined with the rich tradition, multimedia areas and historical features also available on the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks sites, the Web pages provide a comprehensive and enjoyable online experience for all of our racing fans."

Both the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Web sites will feature blogs covering various regions of the country during the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks prep seasons. Expert Thoroughbred analyst Dan Shapiro will cover the eastern region, while professional handicapper and Thoroughbred racing analyst Toby Callet will provide his insights on how contenders in the southern region are preparing for the Run for the Roses. Churchill Downs' own Vice President of Racing Communications John Asher will cover the midwest region in his blog, with Del Mar Director of Media Mac McBride reporting on West Coast contenders and handicapper Dave Gutfreund providing regular updates on international action. All five bloggers will cover racing action in their regions for blogs on both the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks Web sites.

Another Web innovation incorporated into both sites is downloadable regional podcasts, updated weekly and available on the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks home pages. These podcasts, which are also available through Apple's iTunes, will provide video updates on all major Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks prep races, broken down by the five regions above.

A popular feature returning in 2007 is the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" and "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" sections. These areas offer complete previews and reviews of every major prep race on the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks trails, including exclusive articles, past performance charts, official results, stakes recaps, and free video analysis from Churchill Downs Simulcast Network handicappers.

The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Web sites also offer links to the online Derby Store, www.thederbystore.com, where fans can find officially licensed Kentucky Derby 133 and Kentucky Oaks 133 merchandise, including apparel and souvenirs.

Digett, an interactive media design firm based in Boerne, Texas, aided in the design and construction of the 2007 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Web sites.

 
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