Bad Bet at Churchill

Churchill unveiled its new 138th Derby logo this week

More on the evil huge corporation front — In its attempt to squeeze more cash from its remaining fans, Churchill Downs has devised a way to extort $50 from folks who apply for Kentucky Derby tickets, even if the application is denied. Apparently the Churchill folks are so desperate for cash, they’re going to charge you $50 just for the privilege of applying for their overpriced product. And by the way, they’re going to hold on to your money for you for a few months, just to piss you off a little bit more.

Then there’s that “In response fo the feedback from our customers” bit, as if customers had called in to the track and asked to be held up for another non-refundable $50.

Here’s the text of what past applicants are receiving:

In response to the feedback from our customers and in an effort to provide you with the best experience possible, we are enhancing the process for our online ticketing sales.

Visitors will now have the unique opportunity to select preferences for their seating locations for the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby and Oaks.

On Monday, November 7, 2011, you will receive an e-mail and Seating Preference Request Form that describes available seating options and pricing.

A deposit in the amount of $100 is required to be paid by credit card at the time you submit your preferences. If your request is filled, your $100 deposit will be applied toward the price of the tickets being purchased. If we are unable to fulfill your request, $50 of your deposit will be refunded to your credit card and the remaining $50 will be retained as an administrative fee. If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to

Churchill Downs will accept completed Seating Preference Request Forms for Kentucky Derby and Oaks seats from November 7, 2011, through Sunday, November 20, 2011.

If we are able to fulfill your request an electronic invoice will be sent by January 31, 2012. If we are unable to fulfill your request an electronic refund notice will be sent by January 31, 2012.

Requests will be filled in order of time received, subject to ticket availability and based on the ticket preferences you select.

Good luck and thank you for your interest in the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Oaks!