Churchill Downs Partners with Old Forester, Introduces 1st “Thurby” Cocktail

Old Forester

Churchill Downs has partnered with Old Forester to create a race-day cocktail for Thurby, the Thursday before the Kentucky Derby (i.e. today). The Old Forester Perfect Old Fashioned will rival Churchill Downs’ other signature race-day mixed drinks, the mint julep and Lily; featured at the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, respectively. A simplified version of the Louisville favorite will be served to race fans throughout the day; but, is limited to just Thursday’s event.

You don’t have to trek to Louisville today to sample CHDN’s version of the classic cocktail. Simply mix a 2 oz. of Old Forester 100 Proof Bourbon with .5 oz. of Old Forester Perfect Old Fashioned and serve it over ice. Just don’t forget to garnish your cocktail with an orange peel!

Howie Long-Short: On April 28th, Churchill Downs Incorporated (CHDN) reported Q1 ’18 financials; net revenue grew 13% YoY (to $189.3 million) with adjusted EBITDA up 36% YOY (to $49.2 million). CEO Bill Carstanjen attributed the growth to strong performance from the company’s casino and TwinSpires businesses. Casino adjusted EBITDA increased $9 million YoY, while TwinSpires’ adjusted EBITDA increased $3.3 million; as the company increased its handle to 20.2%, a significantly higher take than the balance of the thoroughbred industry (14%). CHDN shares are up 17% since April 13th, currently sitting at $274.80; just below their all-time high ($277.15).

Old Forester is a subsidiary of the Brown-Foreman (BF.B) Corporation, a publicly traded spirits and wine business; and component of the S&P 500. On March 7th, the company released its fiscal Q3 ’18 financials; a strong report that reflected net sales growth of +9% YoY (to $878 million), with operating income up +11% YoY (to $304 million). The company’s American whiskey brands, Old Forester and Woodford Reserve, each contributed double-digit underlying net sales gains during the quarter that ended on January 31st. BF.B’s Q318 results are comparable to net sales (+9% YoY to $2.5 billion) and operating income growth (+15% YoY to $894 million) over the first 9 months of the company’s fiscal 2018 year. The share price is up 42% over the last 12 mo., but has remained relatively flat YTD (-2%).

Fan Marino: The 144th running of the Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday. Justify (3-1), Mendelssohn (5-1) and Magnum Moon (6-1) are the morning-line favorites in the field of 20. Justify, trained by Bob Baffert, will start from the No. 7 post. Should he win, he would break the “Opollo Curse”; becoming the first horse since 1882 to win the Derby (3-year olds) after not racing at all, as a 2-year old. Magnum Moon, trained by Todd Pletcher, is the only other horse in the race who can accomplish that feat; undefeated in 2018, he’ll start from the No. 16 post.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the University of Arizona has among the world’s most renowned Race Track Industry Programs? Established in 1973, the program offers 2 paths; business (race track management, regulation) and equine management (racing & breeding). Baffert and Pletcher are both proud graduates of the program.

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Author: John Wall Street

At the intersection of sports & finance.

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