Joe Kristufek; Coady Photo
NEW ORLEANS (December 31, 2017) – Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has officially named Joe Kristufek as the new racing analyst and paddock host for the 2017-18 Winter Meet.
A native of Chicago, Kristufek began climbing the ladder at the city’s local racing venues such as Hawthorne and Arlington Park, the latter which he still serves as the morning-line odds maker. Most notably, Kristufek is the lead racing analyst for Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, where he has given his racing expertise since 2015. He also serves as the racing analyst at Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs, for whom he makes the morning-line odds, and works on the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships’ simulcast team and as a fan development specialist for America’s Best Racing
“I’m thankful for this opportunity and can’t wait to get started,” Kristufek said. “I’m very familiar with the jockeys, trainers and horses that compete at Fair Grounds on a daily basis and looking forward to offering valuable insight. One of my favorite parts of being the racing analyst at Churchill Downs is scouting prospects for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, and Fair Grounds’ exceptional 3-year-old program feeds right into those premier races.”
A self-proclaimed “horse racing ambassador”, Kristufek’s racing industry resume spans on an international level from Dubai to Hong Kong as well as more than 35 tracks across North America. He has started and has been involved in dozens of fan education initiatives, including Horse Player NOW “Night School” and The Jockey Club’s Racing 101 Fan Education Tour which visited tracks such as Saratoga, Del Mar, Keeneland, and many more. Kristufek is also a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters.
“We are very proud that Joe Kristufek has joined our racing team,” said Fair Grounds Senior Director of Racing Jason Boulet. “His knowledge and passion for horse racing have shown at Churchill Downs and he will make a great addition to our team here at the Fair Grounds.”
Kristufek is scheduled to begin on Thursday, January 4.
About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, LA, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 11 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 146th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 105th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 18, 2017 through March 31, 2018. More information can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.