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Kentucky Derby 150 one more shot in the arm for the Commonwealth's horse industry

Horse grazing at the Kentucky Horse Park 05-06-24
Stu Johnson
Horse grazing at the Kentucky Horse Park 05-06-24

The 150th Run for the Roses is in the history books. It’s probably fair to say some of the exciting finish is spilling over into this week.

There’s the finish as called by Churchill Downs Track Announcer Travis Stone.

“Forever Young and Sierra Leone keep on coming. Sierra Leone, Forever Young, and Mystic Dan. A wild finish…here’s the wire….photo finish…three noses on the wife.”

It was Mystik Dan, trained by Lexington’s own Kenny McPeek and ridden by Brian Hernandez, who has a farm in Simpsonville, getting the win by a nose. Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Director Chauncey Morris said the Bluegrass continues to make a statement.

KTA Director Chauncey Morris in his Horse Park Office 05-06-24
Stu Johnson
KTA Director Chauncey Morris in his Horse Park Office 05-06-24

“Kentucky racing is really at the highest point that it’s ever been. At a hundred and fifty years that we’re going to be amongst a state like New York as equals,” said Morris,

Once again, the race brought a full 20-horse field. Morris said that’s appealing to betters and the casual fan, and not that unusual globally.

“Twenty horse fields, they seem abnormal to American spectators. There’s lots of racing all around the world that have much bigger fields. And it’s done very, very safely,” said Morris.

There were no horse fatalities during Derby Week, a big contrast to a year ago. Morris said federal regulations are lessening the risks and lessons are learned.

Here's more with KTA Director Chauncey Morris:


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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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