2015 Kentucky Derby Media Credentials

Interested media who seek media credentials for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs should send an e-mail to Darren Rogers, senior director of communications & media services at Darren.Rogers@KyDerby.com.

To provide background, Churchill Downs provides season and/or daily media credentials to members of the working media, defined as those who are full-time paid employees or representatives of professionally recognized media organizations, including newspapers, magazines, major wire services, television stations, radio stations, Web sites and other online mediums.

Churchill Downs media credentials shall only be issued to members of the working media whose primary purpose is gathering news and disseminating it and for which other commercial activities are ancillary.

Applying in no way guarantees a media outlet will receive media credentials; access is a privilege, not a right. Media credentials are awarded by Churchill Downs in the exercise of its sole and absolute discretion. In exchange for access to Churchill Downs in ways not available to the general public, members of the media shall agree to certain terms and conditions governing the access. Before Churchill Downs media credentials are issued, the individual and/or outlet must sign a Release and Indemnification Agreement for coverage of any event on track property and provide proof of liability insurance.

We hope you find this information useful in understanding some of our policies and procedures.

2015 Media Credentials - Qualifications, Requirements & Access

2015 Notice of Media Rules & Guidelines

2015 Release & Indemnification Agreement

2015 Media Credential Distribution (Coming Soon)

Hotel Rooms - Alphabetical Order (Note: there is no official media hotel)

Hotel Rooms - Closest to Furthest from Churchill Downs (Note: there is no official media hotel)

Media Facilities & Schedule

Parking & Shuttle Service

Internet Services & Telephone Orders

Requests - Photos, Logos, Video, Audio, Logos & Silks

Photography Locations & Information

Video/Audio Guidelines - Kentucky Derby Day (coming soon; still being finalized)

Video/Audio Guidelines - Kentucky Oaks Day (coming soon; still being finalized)

Broadcast Locations

Frequency Coordination

Preferred Vendors

Hospitality & Security Procedures

Media Events

Media Tickets

Map - 2015 Facility (with Barn Area)

Map - 2015 Facility (Oaks & Derby)

Map - 2015 Seating Chart (Oaks & Derby)

Map - 2015 Directional Parking

Info - 2015 Public Shuttles & Parking

2015 Spring Meet Post Times & Wagering Menu

2015 Derby Silks (Page 1) - Updated April 14

2015 Derby Silks (Page 2) - Updated April 13

2015 Oaks Silks (Page 1) - Updated April 10

2015 Oaks Silks (Page 2) - Updated April 10

2015 Kentucky Derby Week Barn List: Updated April 13

For those new to our process:

HOW TO APPLY (FOR FIRST TIME APPLICANTS): Media interested in obtaining a Churchill Downs season or daily media credential and/or a Kentucky Derby media credential should send an e-mail request to Darren.Rogers@KyDerby.com and include the following information:

* Full Legal Name
* Title
* Media Outlet
* Medium (i.e. Newspaper, Magazine, Wire Service, Television, Radio, Web site, Online medium)
* Phone Numbers (office and mobile)
* E-mail Address
* Supervisor Name and Contact Information (phone and e-mail)
* Brief summary of coverage intentions
* Specific dates attending
* Include samples of last year’s Kentucky Derby coverage (Note: If you were not credentialed to Churchill Downs or the Kentucky Derby in the past, please provide examples of any related coverage).

Once this information is returned, you will be contacted to discuss the next steps in our credential process. Providing this information is not considered a formal application for credentials; it is merely gathering preliminary background information about your media outlet and its coverage intentions.

Next steps would include an invitation to formally apply online, a process that begins early in the year and continues through Friday, April 10, 2015 (requests submitted after that date may not be fulfilled). Assigning Editors or General Managers who are applying for media credentials for multiple reporters or photographers should specify which individuals require certain access. Space and access to select areas is limited.

FREELANCE MEDIA CREDENTIALS: Freelance journalists, photojournalists and videographers may only receive a season or daily media credential if on a specific assignment from a professionally recognized media organization that is actively engaged in the coverage of a specific event or pre-approved story concept at Churchill Downs. A freelancer cannot request accreditation on behalf of the organization that he or she is representing; the request shall come from an Assigning Editor or General Manager.

COMMERCIAL PROJECTS / LICENSING: Commercial photographers, authors and producers of film/video projects are not eligible for media credentials unless they are currently working on an officially-licensed product for Churchill Downs and/or the Kentucky Derby. Those seeking access to Churchill Downs for a commercial project or to enter into a licensing discussion in regards to Churchill Downs Incorporated’s photographic imagery, film/video records and registered trademarks and/or copyrights, should contact Tricia Speiden, Marketing Manager, at (502) 638-3918 or tricia.speiden@kyderby.com.

SPECIAL EVENT MEDIA CREDENTIALS: Special event credentials will be issued for Kentucky Derby Week (Monday, April 20-Sunday, May 3, 2015). 

SEASON MEDIA CREDENTIALS: Season media credentials to Churchill Downs, valid through Jan. 31, 2016 (not valid for Kentucky Derby Week from April 20-May 3, 2015), will only be issued to those known, established and accredited newsgathering organizations that plan to cover Churchill Downs on a daily or semi-regular basis.

PRIORITY FOR CREDENTIAL REQUEST FULFILLMENT: Priority for Kentucky Derby credentials, which grant privileged access to Churchill Downs from Monday, April 20, 2015 through Sunday, May 3, 2015, is given to:

* Major national print publications, television sources, radio sources, and Web sites;

* Significant local print, local television, and local radio outlets;

* Prominent national trade publications;

* Major national and international wire services;

* Daily newspapers, magazines, specialty publications, and TV stations/programs based on circulation (preference given to those with large circulations and/or large national audiences); pre-approved story concept; or specific hometown/local publications of large or moderate size covering a local angle;

* Established independent reporters and columnists who reach their audiences via blogs, podcasts, video blogs and other online mediums that have been in continuous operation for at least 3-6 months; demonstrate transparency in their operation; regularly produce quality content; and produce traffic/subscriber data;

* Special film/video productions that are authorized.

Churchill Downs does not typically credential low-circulation media outlets for the Kentucky Derby, but they are sometimes offered limited access through the week dependent upon availability.


Churchill Downs requires all media outlets to sign a Release and Indemnification Agreement for coverage of any event on track property. Credentials will not be released to media outlets or individuals until the proper Release and Indemnification Agreement and proof of insurance documents are on file.

Release and Indemnification Agreements should be mailed, faxed or e-mailed directly to: Churchill Downs, Attn: Darren Rogers, Communications Department, 700 Central Ave., Louisville, KY 40208. Office (502) 636-4461. Fax: (502) 636-4469. E-mail: Darren.Rogers@KyDerby.com.


In addition to the Release and Indemnification Agreement, any outlet bringing equipment onsite must provide proof of liability insurance. “Equipment” is defined as any electronic or mechanical item used by broadcast and photo sources that cannot fit comfortably into a pocket, including video cameras, still cameras, and radio equipment. Laptops, portable recording devices and other items typically used by print media are not considered “equipment” in this instance. A certificate evidencing the maintenance of the following insurance coverage should include:

  • Name Churchill Downs Incorporated as Additional Insured
  • Cover the period of Jan. 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2015
  • Insurance will be primary and noncontributory
  • Must contain a 30-day prior written notice of cancellation to Churchill clause
  • For insurance policies purchased outside of the United States, the certificate shall contain the following clause in English: “for claims and suits occurring in the United States.”
  • Commercial General Liability Insurance to include Broad Form Contractual and  Personal & Advertising Injury for Combined Single Limit of $1,000,000. Each Occurrence, $2,000,000 General Aggregate
  • Commercial Automobile Liability Insurance for all vehicles owned, non-owned or hired by Undersigned in connection with the Events in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 per accident
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance for all employed personnel in accordance with applicable statutory requirements including Employers Liability limits of  $100,000  Each Accident Bodily Injury; $500,000  Policy Limit Bodily Injury by Disease and $100,000  Each Employee Bodily Injury by Disease

FREELANCE: Freelance journalists, photojournalists and videographers who are credentialed to attend the Kentucky Derby must also complete and sign the necessary Release and Indemnification Agreement and present insurance documents that meet the criteria outlined above, with the exception of workers’ compensation insurance. If freelance journalists are either self-employed or operating under an independent contractor arrangement with a media organization or other entity, no workers’ compensation policy is required.

We hope you find this information useful in understanding some of our policies and procedures.

MEDIA CENTER (THE PARLAY): The Parlay, a modern, multi-purpose area that opened in January 2013, will serve as the Media Center during live racing meetings at Churchill Downs, including Kentucky Derby Week. The Parlay will be a workspace exclusive to media from Wednesday, Feb. 25 through Saturday, June 27 for coverage of the 2015 Spring Meet.

Located on the first floor just inside the Gate 1 entrance off Central Avenue, the 14,000 square-foot facility (225’ from end-to-end) offers a full-range of amenities and 31-inch carrel seating and work areas for approximately 350 journalists. Included are:
* a separate workroom for select media outlets that offers carrel seating for 84 journalists, nine 70” flat-screen TVs, three 32” flat-screen TVs, private betting windows, complementary beverage service and restrooms;

* a vast workroom for media outlets separated by a non-fixed glass partition that offers carrel seating for 118 journalists and nine 70” flat-screen TVs;

* a vast workroom for photojournalists separated by a non-fixed glass partition that offers carrel seating for 118 photographers and 12 70” flat-screen TVs;

* five 14’ x 8’ pipe and drape work areas with six 70” flat-screen TVs for select photo editors as well as Canon and Nikon service centers;

* an area dedicated for news conferences with riser for TV cameras, main stage, lighting and audio/video sharing;

* Communications team offices plus a centrally-located media services area to pick up programs, media guides, notes etc.;

* internet access through the Churchill Downs wireless network “cdip”;

* electrical outlets at each workstation;

* seats with wired Internet connection;

* private media workroom/library with six workstations and a 32” flat-screen TV (workspace when off-season simulcast wagering is hosted in The Parlay);

* bar and food service area that will offer sandwiches, soups, salads and other fare;

* eight pari-mutuel betting windows plus additional self-serve betting machines and two ATMs;

* men’s and women’s restrooms;

* 42 lockers.

ASSIGNED MEDIA VIEWING AREAS: The Media Center (The Parlay) is a workspace and does not offer a direct view of the racetrack for all attendees. A select group of 150 journalists will be assigned standing room only locations for viewing in Section 322 (Boxes 3-6, Rows D-K), which is located in the Churchill Downs grandstand adjacent to the 1/8th pole and infield video board. The covered viewing area is accessed through a stairwell (32 steps) approximately 215 feet from the Media Center and takes one minute to walk to and fro.

Handicap accessible viewing is available in a designated area on the nearby fourth floor balcony of the Jockey Club Suites, which can be accessed via elevator just outside The Media Center (The Parlay).

As it’s been the case in previous years, select media with appropriate access also can view the races from the Trackside Winner’s Circle or an assigned rooftop location (limited).

All media are welcome to view morning workouts from the balcony on the fourth floor of the Clubhouse, which is where the Churchill Downs official clockers will be located.

RADIO ROW: The top two rows (J and K) of the media viewing area in Section 322 (Boxes 3-6) will serve as “Radio Row” for broadcasts (Note: HRRN and WHAS 84 will continue to broadcast from Radio Booths on the seventh floor of the Clubhouse). Each of the 24 workspaces will have countertops, electrical outlets and phone lines (must be ordered separately through AT&T).

An indoor “Radio Row” also is available inside the Media Center (The Parlay), which can accommodate an additional 22 journalists.

* Media Viewing (215’ includes 32 steps up stairwell or 1 min)
* Paddock Runaway Crossover Gate (160’ or 1 min)
* Paddock (420’ or 1 min)
* Racetrack (415’ or 2 min)
* Trackside Winner’s Circle (480’ or 2 min)
* Gate 14 (1,240’ or .23 mile or 4 ½ min)
* TV Compound (5 min)
* Gate 10 (1,500’ or .28 mile or 5 ½ min)
* First Turf TV Broadcast Platforms (6 ½ min)
* First Turn TV Compound (8 min)
* First Turn/Wedge TV Live Hit Area (8 min)
* Infield (620’ or 2 ½ min)

THE PARLAY DOUBLES AS OFF-SEASON OFF-TRACK BETTING: In addition to serving as the Media Center during live racing, The Parlay will be home to off-track betting during the off-season. When The Parlay is converted into a Media Center, simulcast wagering at Churchill Downs will move back to the second-floor Clubhouse ITW. The Parlay was one of four capital projects valued at $9 million launched in mid-2012 by Churchill Downs Racetrack. The others are: The Mansion, a distinctive hospitality venue set for early spring completion; the Plaza, an open-air space adjacent to the Paddock and Gate 1 that opened during the 2012 Fall Meet; and a second-floor Clubhouse Gold Room, which was unveiled in August, 2012 and will continue to serve VIP players during live racing meets.

* March 25 through Wednesday, April 29, 2015: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET
* Thursday, April 30, 2015: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
* Friday, May 1, 2015 (Kentucky Oaks): 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET
* Saturday, May 2, 2015 (Kentucky Derby): 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET
* Sunday, May 3, 2015: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET

JIM BOLUS MEMORIAL BACKSTRETCH PRESS CENTER: The Jim Bolus Memorial Backstretch Press Center is located in the Churchill Downs stable area in the Recreation Center adjacent to Barn 32 and the six-furlong marker. It is open to all credentialed media. Information, restrooms, and copy machine service are available, and coffee and doughnuts will be served daily (starting Monday, April 27). Churchill Downs will also provide a storage trailer adjacent to the Backstretch Media Center for those individuals needing to temporarily store their equipment while they cover barn area activity in the mornings. Jim Bolus Memorial Backstretch Press Center & Storage Trailer hours:
* Monday, April 20, 2015 through Thursday, April 30, 2015: 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET
* Friday, May 1, 2015 (Kentucky Oaks): 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. ET
* Saturday, May 2, 2015 (Kentucky Derby): 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. ET
* Sunday, May 3, 2014: 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET