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Traffic Plan for Oaks, Derby is Much the Same

by Stephanie Crosby

This year’s traffic plan for the Kentucky Oaks and Derby will be much the same as in years past.

LMPD Lt. Doug Sweeney says they’re making a couple of changes to the roads that will be shut down while race-goers leave Churchill Downs because of ongoing construction on Eastern Parkway. He says they’ll shut down the ramp from I-65 southbound to Arthur Street after the feature races to accommodate the thousands of people leaving the track.

Sweeney says one factor that usually frustrates people about the traffic around Churchill Downs is that all traffic patterns are geared toward exiting the track after the signature races, so it’s difficult to get to the facility.

“Often, people will come after the races to get their teenage youngster and they can’t get close to the track,” says Sweeney. “Well, that’s because we’re sending tens of thousands of cars out of the track and we’ve kind of reversed the traffic flow.”

He says the best plan is to look at the traffic plan online and make plans before the race on where to meet up afterwards.

About 11-hundred LMPD officers will be working traffic detail and security this weekend for the Oaks and Derby.

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State of Affairs

Handicapping the 2010 Kentucky Oaks and Derby

There’s no Endorsement for the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby. As a matter of fact, there’s no Interactif or Eskendereya either. But if you’re Looking for Lucky or have a hankerin’ for Sidney’s Candy, you just might end up a winner. Join us on Thursday as we get the lowdown on the horses running in the 2010 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks this weekend at Churchill Downs.
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Churchill Downs Continues Oaks Marketing Campaign

The Kentucky Oaks will again this year be marketed to women and will raise money for breast cancer research. The campaign is building off last year’s changes that began marketing Oaks Day to women.

The track changed its broadcast partner from ESPN to Bravo, and touted everything from a ‘Pink Out’ for the day to a Lilly-themed cocktail.

The breast cancer research organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure was a partner in the effort. Spokesperson Susan Carter Johns says she was especially taken with the Survivor Parade.

“The other thing that was so moving to me was not only watching the survivors make that monumental lap, but the way the spectators honored them,” says Carter Johns. “That was truly amazing!”

Organizers say they want to make it a tradition – with another ‘Pink Out’ and again broadcasting the race on Bravo this year.

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3,000 Derby and Oaks Tickets Sell Out in 48 Minutes

Today’s online sale of three-thousand Kentucky Derby and Oaks tickets was sold out in 48 minutes.

Churchill Downs spokesperson Darren Rogers says their ticket sales website received fifty-thousand requests in the first five minutes of the sale.

“There were a number of folks who were in line, or were in queue, in case those other tickets were not requested, so yeah, there’s going to be a significant number of people out there that didn’t get tickets,” says Rogers.

Churchill Downs officials are considering the sale a great success and will think about doing it again.

The online sale was originally scheduled for December, but was delayed because of technical concerns.

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PHOTOS: Artwork for 2010 Kentucky Derby and Oaks Unveiled

Derbyart1Officials at Churchill Downs have tapped a French artist to supply this year’s artwork for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks.

Linda Le Kinff was at the unveiling this morning of the artwork. Speaking through an interpreter, Le Kinff says she’s never seen the Kentucky Derby, but was honored to participate.

“Artistically, it was just a great experience with colors and emotions,” said Le Kinff. “It’s a big honor, and very prestigious for [me], so [I] really would like to thank you.”

Le Kinff’s artwork will be on prints, tickets, programs, and other Derby memorabilia next year. Prints are on sale now.
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Rachel Alexandra Wins Kentucky Oaks

In what’s believed to be a record margin of victory, 1-5 favorite Rachel Alexandra finished 20-and-a-half lengths ahead of the rest of the field to capture the 135th Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs Friday.

With Calvin Borel aboard, Rachel Alexandra broke away from pacesetter Gabby’s Golden Gal at the final turn to win the $554,500 stakes race for fillies only.

Rachel Alexandra is owned by L & M Partners, LLC and trained by Hal Wiggins.

The second-place finisher was Stone Legacy;  Flying Spur came in third.

Churchill Downs says  Oaks Day attendance was 104,867,

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State of Affairs

Handicapping the 2009 Oaks & Derby


Friday, May 1, 2009
Handicapping the Kentucky Oaks & Derby 2009
Will Pioneer of the Nile break new ground in this River City? Or will his feet be held to the Fresian Fire? I Want Revenge could go head to head with Hold Me Back. But maybe it’s a Desert Party with a little Chocolate Candy. What’s this nonsense? It’s not gibberish, it’s actually part of the Derby field. Join us on Friday for our annual handicapping show when we discuss the favorites, long shots and out of-left-fielders for this year’s Kentucky Derby. And don’t forget the Oaks race!

Photo by SniperPhotography.com

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Police Ready For Oaks, Derby Traffic

Hundreds of Louisville Metro Police officers will be on traffic control duty on Kentucky Oaks and Derby days.

LMPD Lieutenant Doug Sweeney says authorities will shut down some Watterson Expressway offramps near the end of each race day to facilitate the flow of traffic out of  the racetrack area.

The Department of Transportation,  one of our great partners in this, will close access to Taylor Boulevard, from both the east and west directions at 264,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney says offramps will also be shut down on 264 westbound at Third Street and eastbound at Southern Parkway.

More than 100,000 people are expected at Churchill Downs for Oaks Day.   The Kentucky Derby crowd is expected to exceed 150,000.

The LMPD traffic plan can be found here.

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Eight To Run In Oaks

A field of eight is entered for Friday’s running of the 135th Kentucky Oaks. 

Post positions for the $500,000, fillies only race were drawn Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs.

The heavy favorite is Rachel Alexandra, with 3-to-5 odds for the mile-and-an-eighth race. She’ll run from the number six post position.

Rachel Alexandra is trained by Hal Wiggins and will be ridden by Calvin Borel.

The post position draw for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby will be held Wednesday at noon at Churchill Downs.

Here’s a rundown of the Oaks field from Churchill Downs:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 28, 2009) – L and M Partner’s brilliant Rachel Alexandra, who closed 2008 with a dominating victory in the Golden Rod (Grade II) beneath the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs, will put a four-race win streak on the line Friday when she faces seven rivals in the 135th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at the legendary Louisville track.

The Oaks, America’s top race for 3-year-old fillies, will go as the 11th race on Friday with a 5:45 p.m. (all times EDT) post time. The 12-race Oaks Day card has a first post time of 10:30 a.m.

Rachel Alexandra drew post position six for the Oaks and Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has installed Rachel Alexandra as the 3-5 odds-on favorite for the 1 1/8 mile Oaks. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro is trained by Hal Wiggins and scheduled to be ridden by Calvin Borel. Each of her connections is seeking their first victory in the Kentucky Oaks.

Following last fall’s Golden Rod victory, Rachel Alexandra reeled off impressive victories in her 3-year-old campaign in the Martha Washington on Feb. 15 at Oaklawn Park, the Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade II) on March 14 at Fair Grounds and the Grade II Fantasy on April 5 at Oaklawn Park. She has a career record of 6-2-0 in nine races and has earned $621,440.

The second choice on the morning line at 5-2 is West Point Thoroughbreds, Lakland Farm and R. Dee Hubbard’s Justwhistledixie. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, the daughter of Dixie Union brings a five-race winning streak into her first meeting with Rachel Alexandra. Her two most recent scores came in the Davona Dale (Grade II) and Bonnie Miss (Grade II) at Gulfstream Park.

Julien Leparoux, who rode Justwhistledixie to the Bonnie Miss victory, has the mount Friday and will break from post position five.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who had sent out four Kentucky Oaks winners, will be represented by a trio of runners in the 135th renewal of the race: Lukas will saddle Westrock Stables’ Be Fair and the Marylou Whitney Stables’ duo of Stone Legacy and Tweeter in Friday’s race.

. Lukas’ Oaks winners are Blush With Pride (1982), Lucky Lucky Lucky (1984), Open Mind (1989) and Seaside Attraction (1990). Lukas will be one of three Oaks trainers trying to accomplish a sweep of the Oaks and Saturday’s $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI). That Oaks-Derby sweep was last achieved in 1952 when Calumet Farm’s legendary trainer Ben Jones sent out Real Delight to win the Oaks and followed with a Derby win by Hill Gail.

Lukas will send out Flying Private in the Derby on Saturday.

Bob Baffert, who will enter racing’s Hall of Fame this year with his 1999 Kentucky Oaks winner Silverbulletday, will saddle Arnold Zetcher’s Gabby’s Golden Gal in Friday’s Oaks with Victor Espinoza to ride. Baffert’s Kentucky Derby hopeful is Pioneerof the Nile.

Bill Mott, another member of racing’s Hall of Fame and the all-time leading trainer at Churchill Downs, will saddle Mike Rutherford’s Flying Spur in the Oaks. Flying Spur’s best career effort was a runner-up finish to Rachel Alexandra in the Fair Grounds Oaks. Garrett Gomez, who won the 2007 Oaks on Rags To Riches, has the mount.

The field for the 135th running of the Kentucky Oaks, from the rail out, is as follows: Tweeter (Miguel Mena), Be Fair (Rafael Bejarano), Stone Legacy (Kent Desormeaux), Gabby’s Golden Gal (Victor Espinoza), Justwhistledixie (Julien Leparoux), Rachel Alexandra (Calvin Borel), Nan (Corey Nakatani) and Flying Spur. Garrett Gomez). All starters will carry 121 pounds.

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Police Easing Some Derby Cruising Rules

Louisville Metro Police have lifted some of the restrictions that were put in place to crack down on Derby weekend cruising along West Broadway.

Assistant Chief Philip Turner says motorists will no longer need a permit for access to the route, and police won’t divert traffic unless there’s a heavy backup of vehicles.

“(Such as) traffic blocked up for several blocks, and then creating traffic congestion on the major through streets… and then (police will be) putting all those things together and making a judgement.    All of the officers that are posted on
Broadway will be feeding information into their supervisors,”  Turner said.

Police stepped up enforcement of the city’s ban on cruising in response to a rise in violent crime along the route in 2005.

Meanwhile, police say they’ll have their usual traffic and security plans in place for the Churchill Downs area on Oaks and Derby Days.

More information about the Kentucky Derby weekend traffic and security details can be found here.