Local News

I’ll Have Another Wins Preakness

Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another has captured the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, overtaking Bodemeister at the finish line to win the 137th Preakness Stakes.

I’ll Have Another now has a chance to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. The final leg of the series is the Belmont Stakes in three weeks in New York.

As he did in the Derby, I’ll Have Another came on strong in the stretch to edge out Bodemeister, who led for most of both races.

The third-place Preakness finisher was Creative Cause.

Local News

Six Derby Horses in Preakness Stakes Field

A field of eleven is entered for tomorrow’s Preakness Stakes, the second jewel in thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.

Kentucky Derby runner-up Bodemeister was made the morning line favorite this week. He’ll run from post position seven.

Derby winner I’ll Have Another was the early second choice. He’ll break from
post position nine. A Preakness win would set up an opportunity for him to become racing’s first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

The Preakness field of eleven, the smallest since 2007, includes six horses that ran in the Derby.

Post time at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course is 6:18pm EDT.

Local News Uncategorized

Suspects Sought in Churchill Downs Homicide

Louisville Metro Police say they have no suspects in their investigation into a Derby weekend homicide on the Churchill Downs backside.

The body of 48 year old Adan Fabian Perez was discovered early yesterday morning in a barn. Officials say he lived and worked on the backside as a groom.

LMPD homicide detective Lt. Barry Wilkerson says there are indications that Perez was involved in an altercation, but an autopsy today will determine the exact cause of death.

“Mr. Perez was a father, a brother, obviously the son of someone,” Wilkerson said at a press conference this morning. “That’s the purpose and the way we investigate the case. I know others have tried to tie it to the Derby and Churchill Downs. I believe this is an isolated incident of a tragic situation that took place, and that’s how we’re going to approach it.”

Wilkerson says police continue to gather information from backside workers at Churchill Downs.

State of the News

Derby & Oaks Race Handicapping With the Pros

On Oaks Friday, WFPL’s State of the News headed to Churchill Downs to spend an hour talking about the big races ahead this weekend, and handicapping the races with professional insights from Mike Watchmaker from the Daily Racing Form and Ed DeRosa of

In the first segment Rick Howlett spoke our experts about the general health of the horse racing industry, considered whether 20 horses is too many for a race, discussed the impact of large, loud crowds on the horses, track surfaces, and other general topics.

In segment two, our experts ran through the horses entered in the Derby to handicap their strengths, weaknesses, and recent performances.  An early favorite in the Derby is Bodemeister (Watchmaker:  “My concern is the quick three-week turnaround between his big win in the Arkansas Derby last time out and this race, and I wonder if he’s going to be able to produce a top performance with that turnaround”).  They also spoke of another favorite, Union Rags (DeRosa:  “Let’s face it, he had every chance to run past Hansen in the Breeder’s Cup and he didn’t do it”), and the other horses in the field.

Closer to the end of the show, our panel ran through the horses entered in the Kentucky Oaks running Friday afternoon.

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Local News

Stage Is Set For 138th Kentucky Derby

Twenty horses are set to run in tomorrow’s Kentucky Derby.

Three-time Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert has the morning line favorite in this year’s race. Bodemeister, named for Baffert’s son, drew post position six in the crowded gate.

The second early favorite is Union Rags, trained by Michael Matz (pictured), who’s back with his first serious contender since Derby winner Barbaro in 2006.

“To think I might have a second one, it’s a great opportunity, and it’s a great feeling. It’s what we work for,” he said this week.

Other top Derby contenders include Gemologist, Dullahan and Hansen.

Hansen, at 10-1, is the nearly all-white colt named for his colorful owner, northern Kentucky pain management Dr. Kendall Hansen.

Dr. Hansen drew a warning from stewards at Keeneland last month when he dyed the horse’s tail blue just before the Bluegrass Stakes. The tail was restored to its original color.

Now Hansen says he’s made plans to have the Derby champion’s name spelled out by a skywriter during the trophy presentation.

A crowd of more than 140,000 is expected at Churchill Downs.

Post time for the Kentucky Derby is approximately 6:24pm Eastern time tomorrow.

Local News

Bodemeister is the Kentucky Derby Morning Line Favorite

Bodemeister has been made the early 4-1 favorite for the Kentucky Derby, with Union Rags the second choice in a full field of 20 horses.

Trained by three-time Derby winner Bob Baffert, Bodemeister was assigned the No. 6 spot at the post position draw today at Churchill Downs.

Six horses have won from that position, the last being Sea Hero in 1993.

Union Rags drew the No. 4 post and is listed at 9-2. The unbeaten Gemologist is the third choice at
6-1. He’ll run from the 15th spot.

Last year’s Breeder’s Cup Juvenile champion, Hansen, will break from post position number 14, with odds of 10-1.

He’s trained by Mike Maker and owned by northern Kentucky Dr. Kendall Hansen.

“I think if Mike Maker was doing the odds we’d be 1 to 1, if I was doing the odds, we’d be 3 to 1 and everybody else will find out why we think that way later,” Hansen said after the draw.

The 138th Kentucky Derby will be run about 6:24pm Eastern time Saturday.

(Information for this story also came from the Associated Press)


Costly Care for Racehorses Must Be Weighed Against Profits

Arson Squad broke down during training and was sent to Rood and Riddle for a procedure that fused his fetlock (the joint above the hoof that acts as a shock absorber when a racehorse’s legs hit the ground).According to the New York Times, 3,600 race horses have died at the nation’s tracks over the last three years. Modern technology might have saved some of those animals, but, in an industry that must worry about the bottom line, healing a horse is often too expensive. As part of our “Track Tech” series, WEKU’s Leslie Guttman reports on the equine hospitals where life-saving care must be balanced against the bottom line.

Audio MP3

“Track Tech” is a collaboration between WEKU, Louisville Public Media, and NPR’s Innovation Trail.

Local News

Derby Post Positions To Be Drawn Wednesday

The post positions and early odds for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby will be set Wednesday.

A maximum field of 20 will run on Saturday. A late entry is Optimizer, trained by four-time Derby winner D. Wayne Lukas. Optimizer moved into the field after Mark Valeski was pulled from consideration by trainer Larry Jones, who said the horse wasn’t training well.

One of this year’s top Derby contenders is Union Rags (pictured). Trainer Michael Matz is looking for his second Derby victory. He won in 2006 with Barbaro.

Matz says with a full 20 horse field, it’s hard to predict what kind of speed to expect on Saturday.

“Your guess is as good as mine. I think there’s going to be enough speed in there that hopefully we’re going to sit right off the pace, hopefully can make one run. But that could be…who knows with these jockeys, you never know.”

The post positions are set for Friday’s Kentucky Oaks. Grace Hall is the early favorite in the fillies-only race, at 5-2. She’ll run from post position number two. On Fire Baby and Broadway’s Alibi are co-second choices, with odds of 4-1.

The Kentucky Derby post positions will be drawn at 5:00pm Wednesday at Churchill Downs.

Arts and Humanities Local News

Le Petomane Ensemble Goes Gonzo for Derby

Whether you go all-in for every party or you consider it a badge of honor to ignore the big race, if you live in Louisville, you have opinions about the Kentucky Derby. Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble celebrates Louisville’s season of pageantry and parties with “A Derby Carol,” a rousing send-up of the most exciting two weeks and two minutes in our city’s year that could easily become an annual tradition to rival the Charles Dickens classic it lampoons.

Local News

Kentucky Racetracks Struggle to Grow Business

A member of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is challenging racetracks to be more innovative in order to compete with surrounding states for business. As race tracks have proposed 2012 schedules, some tracks are cutting the number of racing days.

“We’ve got to do something to lure people back to the tracks,” said Commissioner Tom Ludt.

Thunder Ridge in Prestonsburg has requested cutting race days off the schedule because it can’t afford to stay open. Tracks should try more innovative options like nighttime racing, said Ludt. Track officials should stir waves and challenge operations, he said.

Some tracks like Churchill Downs have adjusted the way business is done. Churchill Downs’ Darren Rogers said night racing is one of many changes that have increased attendance.

“The challenge for Churchill Downs is to put together a product that is attractive to the horse player, also the casual fan and then the entertainment seeker,” he said.

Rogers said since the track invested $4 million in lights, night racing has tripled attendance and doubled wagering when compared to day racing. Churchill Downs is changing its night racing from Friday to Saturday nights beginning next year. Rogers hopes this will bring traffic to the track earlier, he said.

The track is no longer just about racing, said Rogers. Churchill Downs now includes music and other entertainment, and Rogers said now it’ll sell the experience.