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Flanery to step down as Churchill Downs Racetrack president


Churchill Downs Racetrack president T. Kevin Flanery will step down from the role he has held since 2009 at the end of the year.

Bill Mudd, president and chief operating officer of the track’s owner Churchill Downs Incorporated, will step into the position on an interim basis.

Flanery joined Churchill Downs from shopping center developer Hagan Properties in 2005, initially as vice president, before becoming president four years later. He has also worked as secretary of the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, deputy secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

“It has been an honor to work with a team that constantly strives to protect the legacy of the Kentucky Derby while creating experiences that resonate in our modern world,”  Flanery said. “The ability of my Churchill Downs team to listen to our fans and our horsemen has informed every move we have made to enrich the Kentucky Derby for future generations.

During Flanery’s time at the racetrack, he led a number of expansion products, adding a variety of new suites and lounges to the venue, as well as an equine medical center.

“Kevin has been a pivotal leader in the growth and evolution of Churchill Downs, not only at the racetrack, but across the company,” Bill Carstanjen, chief executive of Churchill Downs Incorporated, said. “His focus on bold capital investments and unmatched fan experiences has had a direct and enduring impact on the success of the Kentucky Derby and his leadership has navigated Churchill Downs Racetrack through many unexpected challenges, not the least of which has been the unforeseen circumstances of 2020. 

“Having worked side by side with Kevin over the last 15 years, I offer sincere gratitude for his friendship and his leadership and we wish him all the best in his retirement. His has been an important and impactful chapter in the history of Churchill Downs Racetrack.”

Flanery added that as a native of the Louisville area, the racetrack will always be important to him and he looks forward to returning to the track in a non-professional capacity.

“Having grown up in the area surrounding Churchill Downs Racetrack, I have a deep appreciation for what this place means to so many in our industry and our community,” he said. “I will forever be grateful to the horsemen, the community and our guests who allowed me the opportunity to impact the rich and vibrant history of Churchill Downs and the unique culture of the neighborhood. 

“I look forward to spending more time with my family and grandchildren and visiting colleagues and friends at Churchill Downs as a fan.”

Mudd – who has held a variety of C-level roles with Churchill Downs Incorporated since joining in 2007 – will take over the position until a permanent replacement can be found.