John Asher, the longtime spokesman for the racetrack that's home to the Kentucky Derby, has died. He was 62.
Churchill Downs said Asher died Monday after suffering a heart attack while on vacation with his family in Florida. Asher also had a long career as an award-winning radio journalist.
His death comes days before the storied track opens its September meet. Churchill will host the season-ending Breeders' Cup World Championships in November.
Asher joined Churchill Downs in 1997 and had served as the track's vice president of racing communications since 1999. Before that he worked at WHAS-AM and WAVE-AM in Louisville and won five Eclipse Awards for his radio reports on horse racing.
Asher was a native of Leitchfield, Kentucky. He is survived by his wife, Dee, and three daughters.