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MAY/JUNE 2009 $6.95 DAVID CASSIDY: AN AMBASSADOR FOR HORSE RACING KENTUCKY DERBY FEATURE INCLUDING OFFICIAL ART OF THE DERBY Thoroughbred Style Thoroughbred Style ThoroughbredStyle A P S M C MAY/JUNE 2009
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Page 1: Thoroughbred Style

may/june 2009

$6.95

DaVID CaSSIDy: an amBaSSaDOR FOR HORSe RaCInGKenTuCKy DeRBy FeaTuRe InCLuDInG OFFICIaL aRT OF THe DeRBy

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Page 4: Thoroughbred Style

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Page 6: Thoroughbred Style

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Contentsm a y / J u n e 2 0 0 9

Features

Departments

The Cover art | 10Cover artist armando Delgado

John Henry | 18‘The Steel Driving Racehorse’

Kris Prather | 26Former Rider Turns Writer

kentucky derby 135 | 28Churchill Downs May 2nd, 2009 Special Feature

aaron Gryder | 66Lands That elusive Big One

King Leatherbury | 68Still Sending Out Winners

Roger Attfield | 77Training Champion norcliffe at Baker’s acres

Horsehair Pottery | 80One-Of-a-Kind Crafts

Remington Park | 84The Well’s Family

The editor’s Desk | 8Off and Running

Thoroughbred THOuGHTS an Interview with David Cassidy | 12

Thoroughbred CRuISnG Crystal Cruises | 54

Thoroughbred WOMen Kayla Stra | 60

Thoroughbred TRaveLLa Oriental | 72

Thoroughbred LIvInG Jean Cruquet Dinner | 88

Thoroughbred LIFeRuffians for Racing | 90

Volume 3, Issue 1

THe COVeR An Original By Internationally Renowned American Sports Artist Armando Delgado(For More On Armando Delgado, See Page 10)

18

77

28

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For ThoroughbredStyle Magazine advertising rates, please visit our website www.thoroughbredstyle.net or call 1-866-333-3374

a magazine that captures the essence, passion and lifestyle of the racing experience!

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Page 8: Thoroughbred Style

8ThoroughbredStyle

Larry SimpsonExecutive Editor

ThoroughbredStyleV o l u m e 3 , I s s u e 1

Larry Simpson, Executive EditorBill Heller, Racing Editor

Fran Sherman, Graphic DesignRichard Henley, Advertising SalesLeslie newton, Advertising Sales

Liz edwards, Editorial Assistant

[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected] [email protected]

www.thoroughbredstyle.net

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The editor’s Desk

There’s a ‘Hint’ of Derby in the air!

o F F a n D r u n n I n g

We wish to call your attention to the fact that for an unprecedented two years run-ning, ThoroughbredStyle Magazine has been privileged to include as part of our Ken-tucky Derby feature section, the ‘Official Art of the Kentucky Derby’ poster series.

Last year, as you may recall, our front cover featured the ‘Official Art’ by Trish Biddle, that depicted a retro-vintage couple dressed in their Kentucky Derby best, watching a race from perhaps the most famous first turn in Thoroughbred racing, that being Churchill Downs. Of note, is that since this Derby work, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in San Diego, California, commissioned Trish to create a new equestrian piece that will be unveiled in a special ceremony in July. This image will be used on Del Mar’s daily racing program cover, posters, t-shirts and other items, and features Trish’s use of bright colors and her ‘penchant for glamorous women in fabulous places™’.

This year, Atlanta-based artist, Jeff Williams, was chosen to provide the Official Kentucky Derby poster art. His design depicts the final moments of the Derby, with ‘stylishly-dressed’ racing fans cheering from their vantage point in ‘Million-aire’s Row’. Jeff ’s art appears on page 38, part of our feature on Derby Hats, entitled ‘Plume Crazy’. Like the previous artists selected before him, Jeff ’s artwork will ap-pear on posters, prints, tickets, racing programs and several new, officially licensed products for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. And like Trish’s 2008 Ken-tucky Derby work, Jeff ’s art is as much about fashion, as racing, and continues to capture the lifestyle surrounding the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks. Also of note, we want to point out that our Kentucky Derby featured section begins again

this year, with the same photo of Churchill Downs’ famous first turn, just shot a little sooner in the race than last year’s picture.

While on the subject of the Kentucky Derby, Woodford Reserve, the ‘Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby’, announced recently the release of its limited edi-tion 2009 Kentucky Derby bottle, featuring the artwork of retired jockey Tom Chap-man. Tom’s artwork is vibrant and colorful, and uniquely captures the intensity and excitement of the Kentucky Derby from a jockey’s perspective. As a jockey, Tom Chapman won more than 2,500 races and rode in the Kentucky Derby. The limited edition liter-size bottle is available now in 38 states. Woodford Reserve has served as the official bourbon for the past eleven years and also sponsors the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, one of racing’s premier stakes events, run on Derby Day.

Finally, on the crossing page, one of our affiliate companies recently acquired International Thoroughbred Digest, which enjoyed over 25 years of uninterrupted publishing. Plans call for it to be rebranded as International Horse Racing Digest, and launched in both print, in a newspaper format, and online, as an e-magazine, that has all the look and feel of a printed copy, but offers 24/7 availability over the Internet. At this point, we anticipate having the online version available before the end of May. Check the website for further publishing updates, www.international-horseracingdigest.com.

Page 9: Thoroughbred Style

The Next Generation of Horse Racing News!The Next Generation of Horse Racing News!

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Page 10: Thoroughbred Style

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Cover artArtistthe

1 2

andthe

By richard Henley

ur cover art for this Spring edition of “ThoroughbredStyle” is “Down the Stretch”, one of many horse racing studies by internationally re-

nowned american sports artist armando Delgado. a native of San Francisco, and now residing in San Jose, California, with wife Charisse

and their three children, armando has always aspired to be versatile; in his own words, “even as a kid, I wanted to be a Renaissance Man”. The

dictionary definition is “a modern scholar who is in a position to aquire more than superfi-cial knowledge about many different interests”, armando has certainly met this criteria, to the point that his skills in the fields of Window Painting, Studio Backdrop Design, Sculpture, Murals, and Computer Graphics are not even touched on here. neither is there space to catalog his commissions from well known personalities and organiza-tions, nor to relate his personal relationship and experiences with some of the great-est icons in International Sports, Tiger Woods and Joe Montana serving as examples. Suffice it to say that works by armando Delgado have been displayed in The White House, have been featured on television, have toured the Country on exhibition, have been used on stamps by the uS Postal Service, and are sought after by collec-tors across the Globe. armando has never lost his enquiring mind and comments, “I won’t say no to any project, if it involves something I don’t know about, then I’ll learn it”. He tells all young people, especially young artists, “to keep their minds open”. His motivation for such achievement - The horse.

3

Page 11: Thoroughbred Style

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at age fourteen armando had already been recognized as a talented young artist, and encouraged by his parents, schooled in portraits and landscapes during evening and weekend classes by his seventh grade art tutor, he would quickly sketch horses as he watched Westerns on television, and for a time considered that he would concentrate on Western art. While exhibiting an early painting of two horses on a hill he was tak-en aside by a gentleman who had studied the piece and asked

if he would mind “a little constructive criticism”. He was informed that the mus-cles weren’t quite right and that “if you study the horse, you can paint the horse, and if you can paint the horse, you can paint anything”. armando relates spending three weeks as a guest of this prominant horse ranch-er and established art patron, having to do little but study the anatomy of his favorite subject, “and after that”, he says “my commissions be-gan.”

One afternoon at age eighteen armando found himself at the perfect site and situation to become motivated as an artist with an interest in both sport and horses, the finish line at Bay Meadows. you can still hear the excitement in his voice when he describes his first experience watching that wonder-ful combination of horse and human athlete, resplendant in color, and glorious in motion, thundering across the line. To put it simply, he says,”I was really hooked”.armando has since painted many of the great Thoroughbreds, and in do-ing so has been at many famous finish lines, and often in the company of famous people. Who among us would not have enjoyed the experience of being invited to the jockeys room by Bill Shoemaker, and then to find him playing cards with Joe DiMaggio.Both of these icons commissioned works, and later Joe took “The Shoe” and armando to Las vegas to watch a George Foreman boxing contest, this leading to a personal introduction to “Big George” and a whole series of boxing works; but that’s another story in itself. To armando, his most memorable finish is being on the line at Golden Gate when “John Henry”with Chris McCarron aboard, seemingly with-out effort passed the field, and broke the Track Record; he holds the record to this day. a close second would be the image of “The Shoe” raising his hand, when, as a supposedly “over the hill” jockey, he brought “Ferdinand” home to vic-tory at 14/1 in the Kentucky Derby of 1986. Both events led to famous Delgado paintings.

Our cover, “Down the Stretch” conveys the excitement of Racing. armando himself describes his work in a manner that we can all understand. “ThoroughbredStyle” asked why he had chosen horses coming off the final curve for his painting, his reply, “I wanted to capture the moment in every race that causes fans and bettors to hold their breath for a few seconds”

The actual painting is a mural in oils, took a full week to de-sign, and a further week to complete. It measures 5’ x 7’, and is the focal point at The Turf Club in the Satellite Centre at San Jose Fair Downs where armando Delgado is held in such esteem, that director Tony Tramontano informs us anyone wishing to view it will be admitted regardless of membership restrictions.

While taking a limited number of commissions each year, armando is also active in raising funds for many charities and is currently working on a tribute to his beloved Bay Mead-ows. It is scheduled to be unveiled on the first anniversary of the tracks closing, August 17th 2009. Like us all, armando looks forward to a Triple Crown winner, “especially as we

have come so close in recent years”. We asked how he would depict the next champion, and with a laugh he replied, “I have had my paints ready for a long time now. I think on a pedestal, myself in the background with arms in the air, and there would have to be some champagne corks in there somewhere”. Should you be interested in spending a pleasant and relaxing hour, go to the website below, and then you will be bound to agree that armando Delgado truly is a “Renaissance Man”.

you can view armando Delgado art across a wide range of sports, and see available prints, by visiting the artist’s website at www.paint-eroflegends.com

enquiries on commissioning the artist can be sent to [email protected]

4

51. “Big Red’s MasteRful Reach” secRetaRiat, acRylic 5’x7’- PRivate collection of MR. aRi Ben-Menashe, MontReal, canada

2. “down the stRetch” 0il 5’ x 7’-the tuRf cluB, san Jose downs, san Jose, calilfoRnia

3. “winnest Jockey” Russel Baze, oil 24” x 36”- Pleasanton satellite Racing facility, Pleasanton, califoRnia

4. “the duel” oil 5’ x 7’-Pleasanton satellite Racing facility, Pleasanton, califoRnia

5. “seaBiscuits” cy young winneR, tiM lincecuM, acRylic 24” x 36” cuRRently PRivate collection of the aRtist

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

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Page 12: Thoroughbred Style

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Thoroughbred David Cassidy Continues To

Thoroughbred ThoughtsD a V I D C a s s I D y

racingmake His mark In

By L arry sImPson

nown to many as Keith Partridge of the 1970s TV show

The Partridge Family, by the time he was 21, David Cassidy had become

the highest-paid solo performer in the world and had a fan club larger than Elvis Presley’s or

the Beatles’. What followed were Broadway performances in Joseph

and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Blood Brothers, several television appearances, concert tours and worldwide record sales exceeding 35 million copies. During this time period as well, David also stamped himself as a significant owner and breeder of Thoroughbred racehorses, and is a regular visitor to the Saratoga race meet during the summer months.

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THOROuGHBREDStyle: David, as we speak you are in the midst of a concert tour and it has just been announced that you will be part of a new television series, Ruby and the Rockits, working with your brothers. Tell us a little about the show.

DAVID CASSIDy: Ruby and the Rockits is a comedy, set to air this June on aBC Family channel. My brother Sean is the executive Producer / Head Writer, and my brother Patrick and I are starring in it, along with alexa vega who was in the movie, Spy Kids. It’s a half hour situation comedy with music, and lots of it. I think it is very funny, and we go into produc-tion the middle of april. Personally, I think it’s the best work I’ve ever done. Patrick and Sean feel the same way. actually, my other brother Ryan is going to be the set decorator. I guess you could say that it is totally a family affair, the first time all of us have worked together, which makes it very ex-citing.

TS: Can you give us a quick overview of the show?DC: Patrick is a former teen idol who is living quietly with

his wife and two sons. He and I were band mates in a group called Ruby and the Rockits, and I unexpectedly show up on his doorstep with my newfound teenage daughter in tow. al-exa vega plays my daughter and I guess you could say that our family life from then on becomes anything but normal.

TS: you were obviously best known for your role in The Partridge Family, however there were other Tv appearances be-tween that show and Ruby and the Rockits?

DC: I was actually nominated for an emmy for a two hour Police Story, some years ago. I also did Man Undercover and Spirit of ‘76. But I mostly have worked in the theatre and in Las vegas, and of course my concerts.

TS: What attracted you to Thoroughbred Racing?

DC: I grew up around racing from the time I was about five. I was born and raised in new york City. When my parents divorced, I went to live with my grand-parents (my mom’s par-ents), about a half hour outside of new york. My Grandfather was a tremendous sports fan, a huge yankees fan. He

was also a big horse racing fan, and he took me to the race-track for the first time when I was about 10. We were living in new Jersey just outside of new york. He took me to Gar-den State Park, and then we took the train to aqueduct the following year. I remember reading the sports section when I was nine or ten. Back then the horse racing coverage was far more extensive then it is now. I especially remember too, the coverage given to a horse they called ‘The Gray Ghost’ who was the first horse, to my recollection, ever to be on Tv. even though he had just been retired, he was still very popular with racing fans. actually, his real name was native Dancer but everyone referred to him as ‘The Gray Ghost’. It just so happens that he went on to become the broodmare sire of northern Dancer, who is probably the most important influ-ence in Thoroughbred racing of the twentieth century around the world. If you just consider northern Dancer’s offspring itself, and the fact that native Dancer is the sire of premier sire, Raise a native, who is the sire of Mr. Prospector, and as we mentioned, the broodmare sire of northern Dancer, you don’t need to say any more if you know anything about Thoroughbred racing and breeding.

and that’s the story. I grew up with the shows on televi-sion, My Friend Flicka, Hop along Cassidy; you know the sweet and innocent stuff. I moved out to California with my mother in the early 60s. I think I was in the 5th grade, and my mother took me to Santa anita, but I was already a big racing fan. I got my first riding horse when I was 15. He was stabled about 45 minutes away up a large hill and canyon, which I would have to ride my bike to. I would go riding after school. I have been an avid lover of horses and animals since then.

TS: What was life like as a teenager?DC: I played guitar

and drums and became very focused on becom-ing an actor. after I grad-uated from high school, two weeks after moving back to new york, I got my first professional job with a Broadway show when I was 18. I then started getting act-ing jobs when I was 19, although I looked a lot younger, I got some leads in some of the popular dramatic shows that were on at that time. Shows like Mod Squad, Ironside, Marcus Welby, and Bonan-

During a recent concert tour, ThoroughbredStyle had the opportunity to catch up with David Cassidy and the following interview about his career, and of course, his interest in horses transpired. “my grand-

father was a

tremendous

sports fan,

a huge yan-

kees fan. He

was also a big

horse racing

fan, and he

took me to

the racetrack

for the first

time when I

was about 10. “

DaviD (top right) with fellow members of The ParTridge Family. photograph CoUrtesY of soNY piCtUres televisioN iNterNatioNal

Page 14: Thoroughbred Style

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za. Certainly, great shows for a young actor like myself to be playing leads in. I think I did nine or ten shows. and at the end of that year I got a pilot called The Family Business, which was then changed to The Partridge Family and it ‘sold’. Once we started shooting the series. I was working every night, working all day long, and working weekends on a concert tour. and interestingly, our cameraman had a small ranch and had been breeding and racing Thoroughbreds, so he would bring in the ‘Thoroughbred Record’ and ‘The Blood-Horse’ to read. The ‘Thoroughbred Record’ is now ‘Thoroughbred Times’, and I still read them religiously today.

TS: So would you say that your horse racing interest had been rekindled?

DC: It never really went away, just maybe put on hold while I focused on my acting career. you have to realize that the amount of information available on horse racing back then was quite limited and slow compared to what is available now. But anyway, I began reading the trades and then bought the ‘Daily Racing Form’ everyday, even though I didn’t gamble and I have never really been much of a gambler at all. In fact, I still continue to buy “the Form” now everyday, as I prefer the printed version rather then getting it online.

TS: The ‘Daily Racing Form’ is quite informative isn’t it? Do you think it gives you an edge as a Thoroughbred breed-er/owner?

DC: It’s a lot more informatative now then it used to be. I think it helps you stay current, than I think as a breeder/owner you have to be. you especially need to be aware of the breeding market. It can change so dramatically within a couple of years. a stallion that is hot and commercially viable one year, in two years of your breeding program may be as cold as ice. I always relied on my ‘gut’ instinct and also what I believed was going to be best for my mare. I don’t necessarily

breed for the market although I’m very conscious of it, and I have bred to some popular stallions. In 2007-2008, I was the number one breeder in new york, for average earnings per starter, percentage of stakes horses and stakes winners, for the second year in a row, which I’m really proud of. I bred three stakes horses, two stakes winners, and one graded stakes winner out of six foals.

TS: What is your breeding farm called?DC: I don’t have one. I don’t own a farm. I did in the

mid 1980s. I bought a farm in California that was previously owned by Harry Mangurian who moved to Florida and had a farm called Mockingbird.

TS: David, tell us a little about your breeding program then.DC: I have had a couple of Canadian bred Thoroughbreds.

I have one in training as I speak to you today; he’s a two-year-old. I have a new york bred by a Canadian stallion by the name of Trajectory. She’s just a yearling, and she is eligible for the Ontario Sires Stakes and a couple of the new york bred programs. I’m almost exclusively breeding and have been breeding in new york, although I do breed to stallions out-side of the state. There’s a good stallion now in new york though that I believe is going to be a really nice stallion called Read the Footnotes, and I have a mare that is a sister to three other graded stakes winners that is in foal to Pleasantly Per-fect. She is currently at Gardiner Farms up in Ontario where she will foal then come back to Kentucky. With her we are taking advantage of the breeding bonuses available in new york, and in Ontario, where there is not a better bonus pro-gram in the world.

TS: The Canadian breeding and racing program is pretty good isn’t it?

DC: It’s not ‘pretty good’; it’s just the best! and I predict

“I began

reading the

trades and

then bought

the ‘Daily

racing Form’

everyday,

even though I

didn’t gamble

and I have

never really

been much of

a gambler at

all.”

above - sweet veNDetta wiNNiNg the blaCk eYeD sUsaN last Year photograph bY Jim mCCUe, marYlaND JoCkeY ClUbright - photograph bY bobbY baNk

Page 15: Thoroughbred Style

15 ThoroughbredStyle

that it is going to get better. The purses are great at Woodbine. actually, I have a bit of a soft spot for Woodbine as three years ago I shipped one of my new york bred fillies up there and won a stakes, beating the champion older mare whose name has slipped my mind right now.

I spend quite a lot of time at my friend Dr. Jerry Bilinski’s Waldorf Farm in new york. In fact, I keep my mares that are in new york there. When their foals are weaned they are sent to Florida, and I spend quite a bit of time near Ocala, where my ‘babies’ are brought up and broken. Some go on to various sales or I may hold on to them, although I don’t race that many. I have to, for economic reasons, sell most of them. So some may sell at Sara-toga or Fasig Tipton in Kentucky.

TS: So at last count how many horses do you have?

DC: Combined, with mares and foals, year-lings and two-year-olds, 30. I probably own about 15 of them myself. But I like the idea of having the ‘right’ partner. I had one really bad experience with a partner. It just didn’t work out. (laughs)-His dream and objective was that he had to win the Kentucky Derby ev-ery year. Some people just have an unrealistic expectation. I’ve had a lot of successful part-nerships, but in some cases racing winners, or stakes winners just isn’t enough. People don’t understand the risk and reward. It’s not just about making money. For me it’s a passion, something that I love, and I have been very fortunate to be able to do it.

TS: What are some of your philosophies for breeding?

DC: They say you should never fall in love (with horses) and occasionally I have. It is hard to put into words, the love I have for horses. I think I’m proud of what I have done as a breeder. In the past, I had to sell horses that I knew were far more valuable, but I couldn’t afford to hold on to them. you have to sell when the time is right. I made the mistake a couple of times of not selling and then regretting it later. But, everybody makes mistakes, and I’ve made more then my share, but virtually I guess I have done enough ‘right’ that I have been able to stay in the business on my own terms. I can’t afford to breed to horses that have stud fees that are so high that if you don’t get a great foal, you are going to

lose money. If you have eight mares, and you put $250,000 into one stud fee and you get a bad foal, it just doesn’t make economic sense, especially when there are stallions out there with stud fees of $25,000 or less that you can make a reasonable profit with. I like the idea of doing it on my own though, and I don’t say this egotistically. I like using my extended knowledge and the research I did over the past 35 years, to my advantage. Studying what has worked consistently.

TS: Is it safe to say it’s still your goal to either breed a Kentucky Derby winner or to race a horse in the Derby?

DC: yes, definitely. It’s probably any seri-ous horsemen’s dream. I would say though that most of the horses that I breed, are bred obviously with an awareness of the commer-cial market while at the same time with the hopes of breeding a classic racehorse. With what has happened in the last decade, we have created what I think is a ‘bad mess’, of breeding for early speed. Four, four and a half and five furlong races early in the sea-son, which is all fine and dandy in May of their two-year-old year, but how many of these horses are going to be around in May of their three-year-old season? We unfor-tunately breed for speed, speed, and more speed! We breed unsoundness! We breed horses with distance limitations, and we breed what sells! I sell a good percentage of my horses in the two-year-old sales. I sell no earlier than March; I have one in the april sale, sorry two in april, and three in May this year.

TS: Recently, as you know, we interviewed Bo Derek who had just been named as a Commissioner to the California Horse Rac-ing Board…

DC: She and John Derek used to live about two miles away from the farm that I mentioned earlier that I had had in the 80s.

TS: So like Bo Derek, have you any aspira-tions to someday get into the regulatory side of racing?

DC: I was the keynote speaker three years ago at the Thoroughbred national Museum in Saratoga for the Hall of Fame, and part of my speech, was about how we need to bear in mind that the integrity of any sport is es-sential to its survival, its growth, its develop-

DaviD siNgiNg the NatioNal aNthUm at the worlD series.

DaviD with maYaN kiNg

Page 16: Thoroughbred Style

16ThoroughbredStyle

ment and its awareness. and being an animal lover, and being supportive of the animal rights, I have a tremendous concern about what is going on in other sports (steroids). There are always going to be people that want to cheat, and do it at the expense of everyone else in the sport.

TS: you seem to be quite an ambassador for Canada, spe-cially its Thoroughbred-racing product?

DC: you know, it is my belief that if the weather in Canada was like that of California, everybody would live there. It’s a fantastic country! I have a couple of good friends who live in Ontario and once or twice a year I will go up to visit them and take in the races. Plus, I usually perform in parts of Canada regularly throughout the year as well. It has been a great long-term relationship for me with Canada.

I only hope that at some point down the road, I would be able to be more involved with breeding in Ontario. The qual-ity of racing is so high, like new york. Basically, I believe that every champion in every division needs to show itself in new york (Belmont, Saratoga), or in Canada at Woodbine.

TS:If it was possible, and you could be named the Racing Commissioner or ‘Racing Czar’ for all of horse racing, what would be the first thing on your agenda to improve the racing product?

DC: I’ve toured all over the world and I have seen racing at the highest levels. I attended the Melbourne Cup, I have been to the Irish Derby and the epsom Derby and I have at-tended racing at the highest level in new Zealand, where it is an entertainment event. I would make racing and our tracks, multi- entertainment facilities that are child- friendly and don’t necessarily accentuate the gambling side, while at the same time, giving people some education about the horse, and rac-ing in general. actually, I think what I would consider doing first, would be to call John Ferguson (Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock manager), who I consider to be a good friend, a

great guy, and a great horse racing mind. I would have John consult, and spearhead, especially if money was not an issue, a program that would take certain parts of what they do in Ire-land, the uK, France, new Zealand, australia and Japan and combine the best from each, and make racetrack ‘ events’ out of them. especially on weekends. Make these events more fan friendly and I think I would do much more advertising and marketing that educate what horse racing is all about.

TS: In other words, try to interest a younger generation?DC: To some degree. unfortunately though, there are so

many of the younger generation now, who have a limited dis-posable income, and their entertainment income is also very limited. Therefore, you have to make the racing product, very fan friendly and appealing. In other words, where else can you go for 20 bucks, and have a chance to not only win a lot of money but also involve them in something that is really enter-taining with great food and fantastic atmosphere? and bring in the young ‘stars’ in all fields of entertainment, meaning, invite the stars from naSCaR, movie stars, music stars, or television stars to a day at the races. What young people want, is to feel like they are part of something that is attractive and cool! That’s what racing used to be like in the 30s 40s and 50s. It’s what Hollywood Park and Santa anita were all about. There were movie stars there! The same at Del Mar. Sure, Bing (Crosby) was the ‘face’ of it, but Jimmy Durante was part of that era, and the track goers wanted to be around ‘those people’. From a marketing stand point it only makes sense.

TS: So what part of racing do you think ‘dropped the ball’? DC: I think it has been ‘baking in the oven’ for a long, long

time. The infighting within the industry didn’t help, nor did the arrogance. The racetrack was the only place where people could legally gamble besides Las vegas, and I’m talking de-cades ago. and when other sports marketed themselves such as the nFL, the nBa, Major League Baseball, Thoroughbred racing was just very short sighted. They are controlled by a lot of people who are not necessarily in touch with the public. extraordinarily wealthy, elitists perhaps, but also there was the infighting between tracks and associations, as opposed to a ‘lets all do this together’ attitude. The aFL merged with the nFL and they had this event called the Super Bowl, which in its first few years was probably undistinguished until ‘Broad-way’ Joe namath made the ‘pitch’ and ran with it. Instead of trying to bury the aFL, which I am sure the nFL tried in the beginning, they merged and came up with a better product. Racing too did finally realize that instead of trying to kill each other or fight each other, lets get together and come up with something better, which they called the nTRa. I think that’s an essential part of what was missing 30 years ago, and I be-lieve that it came from such a long standing arrogance that people are going to come to the track, because ‘we are the only game in town’. you know, there are 600 Indian Casinos in north america and I have ‘played’ most of them. So all of that changed, people just didn’t go to the track anymore! and

“I’m almost

exclusively

breeding and

have been

breeding in

new york,

although I

do breed to

stallions

outside of the

state.”

DaviD at the eClipse awarDs with JerrY baileY

Page 17: Thoroughbred Style

17 ThoroughbredStyle

a separate problem was the lack of exposure for racing on television. That’s where racing really fell down! now it is time to face the music. Sure attendance is down, but it is down ev-erywhere, in everything. So you have to offer something else. There is a way to approach it that has to be completely and totally transparent, and everybody involved has to be on the same page, that your survival depends on my survival.

TS: What do you prefer more, acting or performing?DC: I love to do all of it. even as a writer, producer, and

songwriter. I love to entertain people. I love to play live. If you gave me a choice to do anything I probably would say, give me a microphone, give me my guitar and my band, and let me go out and spend an evening with people and just take them on a little musical journey, which is what I’m going to continue to do.

TS: It all started with The Partridge Family show correct?DC: It did for me as a recording artist. as I said, I had

already been on Broadway, I had done ‘families’ and dramatic shows, but the rest of my career has been launched in an enormous way from The Partridge Family, all over the world. I have been blessed to have a lot of fans that have stayed with me over the years, and many new ones that have come to see the work I’ve been doing the last several decades.

TS: Do you ever see any members of The Partridge Family?DC: Shirley (Jones) is the only one I see. I love Shirley, she’s

my step mom, but she’s my brothers’ mom, and she’s a legend, one of the nicest most genuine talented people I have ever met or worked with.

TS: What’s your favourite place to play?DC: I can’t really say there is one place I prefer, as I am for-

tunate to have the kind of fan base that is so remarkably sup-portive and enthusiastic. I did over 2000 shows in Las vegas. I love the uK, australia, new Zealand and I love performing in Canada. The Canadian fans are just fantastic!

TS: Would you say John Lennon was the most influential person in your career?

DC: very, I’d say John was by far the most important. It was so important to know John, as well, and play with him, or just hang out with him and yoko. I have such great respect for him as a human being. I think the world is a worse place now without him. I think he especially influenced all of us through the lyrics, ‘all we are saying is give peace a chance’. Look how the world has evolved since he wrote that. The world was certainly a kinder gentler place, with his influence in it. and that being said, he was my friend. I learned to play guitar after I saw the Beatle’s on ed Sullivan, and like many other boys at that time, I went out and bought an electric guitar, which eventually enabled me to play with some of the greatest musi-cians that ever lived.

TS: Do you think there are any similarities between horse racing and the entertainment industry?

DC: yes, they are completely and totally unpredictable. you never know when lightening can strike and then you can go dormant, meaning without work. There is nothing consis-tent about either. you learn to expect their inconsistencies!

Rapid FiRe Questions with david Cassidy

greatest horse YoU ever saw?Secretariat

greatest keNtUCkY DerbY ever witNesseD? Alydar and Affirmed (1978)

greatest JoCkeY ever? Angel Cordero Jr.

favoUrite soNg or performer? John Lennon

last movie YoU saw?Slum Dog Millionaire

favoUrite DriNk? Diet Pepsi

favoUrite restaUraNt? Don’t have one!

favoUrite raCetraCk? Saratoga

favoUrite raCetraCk CelebritY? Bill Parcells

favoUrite sports team?UCLA Bruins (basketball)

greatest raCetraCk momeNt? When Sweet Vendetta (a filly that I bred and I co-own) won the Black Eyed Susan Stakes the day before the Preak-ness last year!

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

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sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

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Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

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Page 18: Thoroughbred Style

18ThoroughbredStyle

JohnHenryregarding

By Cynthia grisolia

ith their new documentary John Henry: The Steel Driving Racehorse, two fledgling

filmmakers from Los Angeles take on the task of venerating one of racings greatest legends.

heaD shot of JohN heNrY JUst a few weeks before his Death. photograph bY steve faUst

Page 19: Thoroughbred Style

19 ThoroughbredStyle

Henry

The legendary racehorse John Henry was known for beating the odds. In his eight seasons on the track between 1977 and 1984 he was always the runty, ill-tempered , “back at the knee” engine that could. even Father Time didn’t stand a chance. When old age threatened to take its toll John did what he always did: He kicked his butt.

and to raci ng fans John’s story is lore: He floundered until owner Sam Rubin and trainer Ron Mcanally un-leashed his potential and set forth a career unmatched in the stat books: Thirty-nine victories, seven eclipse awards, including two “Horse of the year” crowns, and a bank bal-ance of over $6.5 million—at the time, he was richer than any other racehorse in the solar system.

even his retirement was the stuff of dreams: Follow-ing his career John Henry spent 22 years at the Kentucky Horse Park where followers flocked to his paddock like Catholics to the vatican. “He was instrumental in putting the Horse Park on the map on a national level,” says John nicholson, the park’s executive director. When John Henry died in October 2007, nearly 500 hundred people attended his memorial, some coming from as far away as California.

This spring, two young filmmakers are hoping John Henry’s knack for performing against all odds still holds, and more so, that he’s not only the stuff of dreams, but of cin-ema. John Henry: A Steel Driving Racehorse, a documentary pro-duced by the L.a.-based Open Sky entertainment, is expected to be released around Derby time. It’s directed by Cameron Duddy and Christian Koby, filmmakers who, at age 23 and 26, respectively, are too young to have witnessed even one of John’s come-from-behind wins or charging stretch drives—a minor detail that has not kept them from being fully taken with his legacy.

“The idea for the film came from my grandfather,” says Koby. “When he retired, he moved to Kentucky to be near family and he used to spend a lot of his spare time visiting this horse—this crazy, ornery,

mean-as-hell horse. and he would talk to me about it all the time. My grandfather,” Koby adds, “isn’t even a racing fan.” (For the record, neither were the filmmakers or the producers before embarking on this documentary. each admits to the occasional trip to Santa anita, but none were in any danger of being labeled a “railbird.”)

Koby and Duddy originally set out to do a short exposé about John’s annual birthday bash at the Horse Park, which usually attracted large crowds from across the country. They came to the 1000-acre Mecca for horses just outside Lexington to film in January ’07. But after spending a few days at the park and learning more about John by read-ing Steve Haskin’s John Henry: Racing’s Grand Old Man, they were converts—two more moths pulled ever close to John’s flame. “We decided that it would be a great [feature-length] story,” says Koby. “an all american rags-to-riches story.”

Duddy and Koby pitched the documentary to Open Sky, which just happens to be run by Duddy’s father, Christo-pher, and his producing partner Glen Garland. But the idea succeeded on its own merits. “We just fell in love with the story and what the horse did,” notes producer Duddy, a former Hollywood visual-effects artist and cinematogra-

“When he

retired, he

moved to

Kentucky to

be near family

and he used to

spend a lot of

his spare time

visiting this

horse—this

crazy, ornery,

mean-as-hell

horse....”

Page 20: Thoroughbred Style

pher who has worked on such films as The Sum of All Fears and Waterworld. “We felt like not only horse people, but all people could relate and be inspired.”

The decision to go with a full-length documentary brought with it some worry about unearthing the material necessary to tell John’s tale. But the film-makers were soon surprised to find themselves embraced by an industry as enthused to tell the story as they were. Footage of John’s major races were made readily available from Belmont to arlington to Santa anita, and every-one involved in John’s career consented to be interviewed, including Mcanally, longtime groom Jose Mercado, and such Hall of Fame jockeys as Lafitt Pincay and Chris McCarron, who rode John Henry in his last 14 starts. The filmmak-ers also spoke to track announcers, fans, everyone at the Horse Park, and even riders who competed against John Henry in many races. Owner Sam Rubin has passed away, but his daughter, Phyllis Layton, who gave what Duddy calls, “a very emotional interview,” represented the family.

“We wanted to ask the question, ‘what made John Henry special?’” says Koby, “and so we not only went inside the horse community, but outside as well,” which led to at least one rather startling discussion. “We talked to nancy Regalmuto, who is an animal psychic,” says Koby. “She is the only person to ever have –quote unquote—spoken with John.” (Regalmuto mind melded with John as part of a investigative report done by Equus magazine in 1985.) “We were both mesmerized by this woman,” Duddy adds quickly, as if anticipating skepticism. “She was very convincing.”

Of all of the participants, Duddy notes that he was most moved by Phil Marino. Marino trained John as a two-year-old for Louisiana eccentric Colleen Madere, one of his early owners, and he was among the first to recognize the colt’s greatness. Marino conditioned John for his first big win, The Lafayette Futurity at Evangeline Downs in 1977, but later lost the horse when a losing streak at Fair Grounds led to a falling out with Madere. With every trip John later made to the winners circle, Marino’s life fell deeper into ruin. He was forever dubbed “the man who couldn’t win with John Henry.”

“I can’t wait for people to see the film,” says Duddy, “because I feel like if I’m doing this for anyone beside John Henry, I’m doing it to vindicate Phil Marino.”

“We felt like not only horse

people, but all people could relate

and be inspired.”

above: faNs sigNiNg JohN’s memorial baNNer. photograph bY marC maNNiNgleft: JohN heNrY oN his DailY walk. photograph bY JohN kaiser

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Page 22: Thoroughbred Style

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***John Henry died at 7p.m. on October 8, 2007, euthanized due to the infir-

mities of old age. He was 32, or well over 100 in human years. Shortly after his death was announced, the Kentucky Horse Park erected a memorial page on it’s website that included a link to a “guestbook” dedicated to the horse that had, by this time, become a state icon. as of this writing, the guestbook contained 69 pages—a verbal crazy quilt of memories and farewells from fans everywhere. One posting is from Brazil. On the day of his passing, a woman from Colorado noted: It will be a great time in Heaven tonight. I’ll listen for you in the thunder, John Henry. You will never be forgotten. Two days later, a fan from new Jersey added: I will have that moment for all eternity when we met in ’93 and our eyes gazed into each other’s soul….

More than 14 months after his passing, fans are still sharing their grief. as of this writing the last entry was posted December 16, 2008: “you will be missed,” it says. “Gone forever, remembered always.”

and so a funny thing happened to Duddy and Koby on the way to mak-ing this documentary. They became accountable. at first, they were just two novice filmmakers (this is their first professional project) who were, “a bit too ambitious,” says Duddy, “I think for our own good.” But with John’s passing not ten months into filming, Duddy and Koby suddenly became custodians of an important piece of a golden era. Their documentary would serve, possibly, as the last archive for everyone that was a part of John’s exceptional life and every fan that made a pilgrimage to see him. They might as well have made a film about elvis.

“Chris and I had no idea what we were getting into,” says Duddy. “Like I say, we’re sort of ambitious and we went for it. But not even half way through, it

dawned on us that we were responsible for making it as best as it could be, and in a way that wouldn’t disappoint anybody.”

The people moved by John’s life—and that’s a lengthy list—are hoping for just that. “This will be an important vehicle in keeping John’s memory alive for his fans and for introducing him to future generations,” says the Horse Park’s nicholson. “For those who didn’t know him, this may seem outrageous, but we can honestly say that the world is a better place for John Henry having been in it.”

author Haskins, who, in addition to being John’s biographer, is an award-winning turf writer and correspondent for The Blood Horse, believes the telling of John Henry’s story is imperative not only to history but to the sport of racing. “If any horse should be immortalized on film it is John Henry,” he says, “because unlike most of the great racehorses John’s story is about people and the many lives he touched in such a profound way.”

Films like this one and also 2008’s eclipse-award winning The First Saturday in May, a documentary about six trainers’ journey to the Kentucky Derby, may be vital to a sport whose reputation is dwindling with each media report on drugs, steroids, and fatal breakdowns. “We have to show non race fans that the beauty far surpasses those unfortunate aspects of the sport,” adds Haskins.

***For Open Sky, the largest hurdle now lies ahead. Producer Christopher

Duddy reports that a solid cut of their documentary has been complete for several months and initial plans were to “show it around and try to get a distri-bution company on board,” he says. “But you know, the studio distribution deal is not…” he trails off. “We’ve been dealing with it on a couple of other mov-

. marino trained John as a two-year-old for

Louisiana eccentric Colleen madere, one of his

early owners, and he was among the first to

recognize the colt’s greatness.

kobY aND DUDDY talk with verNa lehmaN (JohN’s breeDer) aND JeaN CallowaY (his first owNer) aND others DUriNg the birthDaY partY. “theY sigNeD mY thoroUghbreD legeNDs book (bY steve haskiN), whiCh i haD everYoNe we talkeD to Do,” saYs kobY. photograph CoUrtesY of DireCtor ChristiaN kobY

Page 23: Thoroughbred Style
Page 24: Thoroughbred Style

24ThoroughbredStyle

ies we’ve produced. It’s very difficult working with them. They don’t share the money the way it should be.”

Perhaps with rea-son: Documentaries are a thorny market-ing challenge. There have been a few block-busters—2005’s March of the Penguins, 2002’s spelling-bee cliffhanger Spellbound, and pretty much most of the films made by Michael Moore are some that have broken box office barriers—but as a rule, they don’t perform well theatrically, and so distribu-tion companies are hesitant to invest in costly promotion. “They would rather put another $10 million into Iron Man or Hulk,” says John Hennegan, who produced and directed The First Saturday in May with his brother Brad. Their film broke well from the gate and was critically well received, but it never attracted a big distribution deal. “We premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival in New York and we ended up being the runner up for the audience award out of 180 films,” says Hennegan. “That and $2 got us on the subway.”

To distribute its 83-minute documentary and, with any luck, make it a success, Open Sky is opting to rely, once again, on the group that has always stood behind John Henry: His fans. “We’re going to try a little out-of-the-box

distribution,” says producer Duddy. “We’re going to do a direct-sales deal and sell it ourselves, which is really hard, but when you know who your audience is, it gets much easier. With this movie there is such a spe-cific audience we feel we can reach out without the studio mechanism.” While a formal agreement was not yet in place, Duddy says they are currently “nego-tiating an unprecedented direct-sales deal with a Hol-

lywood company.”The campaign will count on advertising, websites, race-

track gift shops, and a series of targeted screenings, to rev up word-of-mouth and promote and sell the film. Like the Hennegans, Duddy and Koby are also planning on tapping the festival circuit. They were not accepted to screen with the mega players at either Sundance or Toronto this year, but they are currently submitting to a number of smaller, more intimate fests. “We want to get the film out to the audience who will appreciate it the most,” says Koby, “so we are considering festivals in horse-enthusiast areas such as Great Lakes Indie, Memphis Indie, Denver, and aus-tin. The second approach is focusing on documentary film festivals such as San Francisco, atlanta, and Boston Doc.”

The idea, says producer Duddy, is to create a sort of slow burn. “We hope we’ve made a strong, inspirational movie. We’d love to do a direct-sales deal and a Tv deal. and the option for theatrical distribution is always there. We’re not selling all rights,” he adds. “We would also love the opportunity to make a narrative out of it, too. It really depends if the documentary gets out there and turns some heads.”

as one who’s been through it, Hennegan does not dis-agree with the approach. “The race fans, if you can find them, are a rabid group,” he says. While The First Saturday in May did eventually have a brief theatrical distribution last spring (around 20 screens), Hennegan says that in the end he was happy to have maintained the rights to his film and kept the options open. “We’re able to navigate the waters ourselves,” he says, noting that he has also used modern marketing techniques like websites, Facebook, blogs, and

“This will be

an important

vehicle in

keeping John’s

memory

alive for his

fans and for

introducing

him to future

generations,”

opeN skY’s gleNN garlaND, kobY, DUDDY, aND gebharD followiNg aN iNterview with howarD mCklUrkiN, a JohN heNrY sUper faN, at olD frieNDs retiremeNt faCilitY iN keNtUCkY. photograph CoUrtesY of DireCtor ChristiaN kobY

JohN heNrY with his former riDers lafitte piNCaY aND Chris mCCarroN at the keNtUCkY

horse park

photograph bY tammY siters

Page 25: Thoroughbred Style

25 ThoroughbredStyle

email campaigns to keep up DvD sales. But he also warns of a downside. “If you do it on your

own, there are countless things you are always doing. I’ve become the lawyer, accountant, treasurer, marketing direc-tor…it becomes like a child.”

and what about the deadly “M” word? The challenge for A Steel Driving Racehorse, or any film that centers on horseracing for that matter, is to attract the ever-illusive mainstream audience, something the sport itself has not been able to do for decades. “My Pollyanna outlook on racing is that it must reach people nationwide, either in Tv or theaters or it will remain confined to its own little world,” says Haskins. “We have to get the name John Hen-ry on the lips and into the homes of non-racing people.” But, he admits, “That’s easier said than done.”

Still, the filmmakers are optimistic. “Hopefully movies like this will crossover,” says producer Duddy. “For us it would be awesome if it did. I know I’ve become way more interested in the sport since we started making this docu-mentary.”

The younger Duddy, however, admits to an even grand-er goal. “We’ve touched on how our film might help raise awareness of racing as a sport and help bring younger peo-ple to the tracks,” he says. “But for me, now—since I wasn’t a horse person before—I want people to care more about the horse as an animal. They are just so special. Whether it puts people in the seats at Santa anita or not, more than anything, I hope people can walk away with that.”

When the horse in question is John Henry, the odds on that are pretty good.

Cynthia Grisolia is a freelance journalist and public relations profes-sional. Originally from New York, she now lives in Versailles, KY.

“my Pollyanna

outlook on

racing is that

it must reach

people nation-

wide, either

in TV or the-

aters or it

will remain

confined to

its own little

world,” says

Haskins.

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

teD bassett, Chris mCCarroN, tom leviNsoN, aND former goverNor martha laYNe ColliNs at JohN’s memorial at the keNtUCkY horse park iN 2007. photograph bY marC maNNiNg

Page 26: Thoroughbred Style

Former rider Turns Writer

GBy LIZ eDWarDs

KrisPrather

rowing up in what could be considered a small and sleepy town of Missoula, Montana, it is probably safe to say that former jockey

Kris Prather was not actually born into horse racing. “I read about it” she says, citing an interest in the ‘Black Stallion’

series of books, “and everywhere I could, I would watch horse racing, especially the Kentucky

Derby on the first Saturday in May. I would actually start dreaming about being part of

it (racing),” said Prather in an interview early this year with ThoroughbredStyle Magazine. “ Actually I think from the time I was six, I dreamed of becoming a jockey, a world famous one,” she added.

pHOTOGRapH COuRTeSy OF paT LanG pHOTOGRapHy

pHOTOGRapH COuRTeSy OF KRIS pRaTHeR

pHOTOGRapH COuRTeSy OF KRIS pRaTHeR

Page 27: Thoroughbred Style

27 ThoroughbredStyle

Former rider Turns Writer

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

Prather

Kris left Montana and moved to Kentucky to fulfill this dream of becoming a professional jockey, with her first job exercising horses for Harold Jordan, a position that she claims was actually obtained over the Internet. “I then started break-ing some ‘babies’ and moved on from there”, she adds, “then I eventually galloped horses for Wayne Lukas, allen Jerkens and Frankie Brothers.”

While exercising and breaking ‘babies’, Kris met jockey Donna Barton, now Donna Brothers. “Donna took me un-der her wing and tried to teach me concepts and techniques of riding. She taught me not only about racing but she was like my mother and best friend, teaching me how to make a life outside of racing too.”

Besides Donna Brothers, Prather also idolized the style of riding of jockeys Richard Migliore, Francisco Torres and Cal-vin Borel. “no one rides like Calvin can. He has nerves of steel. you could be sitting next to him in the starting gate and his horse would be getting nervous, actually going berserk, and he would be just sitting there talking like nothing is hap-pening. Its actually quite bizarre watching him.”

It has been stated in several racing journals, that ‘Kris Prather did not just enter the world of Thoroughbred horse racing in 2000’, she literally ‘burst onto the scene like a woman on a mission’.

Having been schooled very well by Donna Brothers, and another top female jockey, Hall of Famer Julie Krone, Kris won 27 races at the short Turfway Park meet as an apprentice to lead all riders, while the following year and still a ‘bug’ rider and only 21-years-old, she rode the winners of 109 races at the Turfway winter/spring meet. This broke Turfway’s record for wins by a jockey at a single meet. What made the feat even more incredible was that Kris set the record while missing the final six weeks of the meet with an injury, her first of two serious ones. and at the time of the injury, Kris led the nation in wins and had shattered the Turfway Park meet record for most wins by a jockey on a single day. “It felt really good and extraordinary,” she said about the record six wins in a day.

Kris calls herself the ying and yang of horse racing, hav-ing been on both sides of the spectrum. “When I was racing I did very well, and when I wasn’t racing I was completely out with injury. There was no happy medium, it was like a ‘bipolar’ career, either all the way to the top or all the way to the bottom.”

Her first serious injury was on a horse by the name extra exchange, at Turfway Park, a horse known for acting up in the starting gate at times. “I had ridden her two or three times before, but this time she was in the two hole. I think she sat in the starting gate too long, got fidgety and when the other horses were let out of the gate, she just flipped and didn’t give me any time to recover and pinned my knees,” she says. Shortly after her recovery Kris was injured again galloping a

horse in the morning at Churchill Downs. after getting her feet stuck in the stirrups and trying to hold on, she popped her shoulder out and tore her shoulder tendons, an injury that would continue to haunt her even today. “My shoulder injury ended my career”, she says, even though she tried to continue to ride off and on for the next three years. “ I had two surger-ies to repair a broken shoulder blade and torn rotator cuff. I’ve had two full replacements at this point and have another one coming up.” In 2004, Kris had to accept the fact that her riding career was over. “I kept trying to come back but the doctor’s wouldn’t let me anymore, plus I was in chronic pain,” she says, adding that the thought of not riding again was devastating.

It was obviously time for a career path for Kris Prather. While she was still riding, Kris studied Criminology in school, graduating with a Degree in Criminal Justice; however, she notes, “there is nothing I can really do with that (the Degree). I could probably become a Parole Officer, or something simi-lar, but I would have to pass a physical, and unfortunately right now that is out of the question.”

enter another one of her passions-writing. again with en-couragement from Donna Brothers and her husband, trainer Frank (Brothers), Kris started to write journals, focusing on stories about horses. eventually Kris published her first book, ‘The Horse Tamer’s niece’, a remarkable feat considering she had never taken any formal journalism courses. “I kind of based it on experiences from my own life”, she adds, noting that the novel was about a girl who wants to become a jockey and overcomes quite a bit in her life to eventually ride in the Louisiana Derby.

Recently Kris, who now resides in Louisville, Ky, had her second book published and with the help of a new found literary agent, hopes to release several more over the next couple of years.

Does she miss the life at the racetrack? “yes”, she states adamantly. “except for the Kentucky Derby though, I never go to the track now. I really don’t have the time to go. That, and I think you feel a type of pain when you see other people participating in a sport that was your passion and you are not able to compete anymore. Don’t get me wrong though. I am certainly grateful that I did have an opportunity to ride even for a short time. now it is time to develop my other passion-writing!”

(editor’s note- ThoroughbredStyle would like to welcome Kris Prather as a contributor. Her first article appears on page 50 of this issue.)

It has been

stated in several

racing journals,

that ‘Kris

Prather did

not just enter

the world of

Thoroughbred

horse racing

in 2000’, she

literally ‘burst

onto the scene

like a woman on

a mission’.

pHOTOGRapH COuRTeSy OF paT LanG pHOTOGRapHy

kRis Receiving the leading RideR awaRd foR the 2000 holiday Meet. with heR aRe MaRy tRoilo, tuRfway’s diRectoR of siMulcasting, and RoBeRt elliston, tRack PResident and ceo.

Page 28: Thoroughbred Style

28ThoroughbredStylepHOTOGRapH COuRTeSy OF DeRBy aRCHIVe

Page 29: Thoroughbred Style

29 ThoroughbredStyle

infoRMation and PictuRes PRovided By chuRchill downs

Churchill Downsmay 2nd, 2009

135KentuckyDerby

Page 30: Thoroughbred Style

30ThoroughbredStyle

Where to WAtch

the infield

The Infield on Kentucky Oaks and Derby Days compares only to Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras; pairing the legacy and history of the Kentucky Derby with that famous all-out party atmosphere. Every year 80,000 revelers pack the Infield, hoping to catch a glimpse of the next Derby winner, to re-unite with old friends, and to have the experience of a lifetime. The Kentucky Derby is full of hope, optimism, risk and anticipation. It’s an experience of acceptable excess and is forgivably risqué—a place where you overeat, overspend and over flirt.

Traditionally, the infield offers two perspectives. The Third Turn Party, where young collegiate-aged rookies and Louisville veterans create the all out crazy party that is the Kentucky Derby Infield. On the opposite end, Turn 1 offers a family-like picnic setting, great for all ages, far different from the Third Turn crowd. In between lies a vast sea of people with their territories roped off, wearing their best derby attire with their beverage of choice in hand. no matter which Derby experience you choose to have, it will certainly be a memorable one.

De

RBy

DO

InG

S

pHOTOGRapH COuRTeSy OF DeRBy aRCHIVe

Page 31: Thoroughbred Style

31 ThoroughbredStyle

MillionAire’S roW

Throughout the years of the Kentucky Derby, the race has had a special appeal to the celebrity set. The rich and famous that mingle among the Derby Day crowd add a unique dimension to the spectacle of the “Run for the Roses.”

One of the first celebrity sightings dates to 1877 when famed Polish actress Helena Modjeska attended the third running of the Kentucky Derby. In the 1945 book, Down the Stretch, it was noted that Modjeska was impressed by the Der-by but even more charmed by the mint julep to which she was introduced by Churchill Downs founder M. Lewis Clark following the race.

Over the years, a stream of celebrities from film, music, sports, politics and wealth have been drawn to the Derby. On at least one occasion, a celebrity with a more notorious background was the talk of the Derby. The 15th renewal in 1889 brought bank and train robber Frank James to Louisville. The brother of famed outlaw Jesse James and a leader in their outlaw gang, Frank was on hand to watch Spokane take the victory over favored Proctor Knott.

CelebRity owneRs

although most of the rich and famous who attend are guests of prominent ticket holders, the Derby has also attracted an impressive roster of celebrity horse owners. Since 1990, this group of celebrity owners has grown to include musician Hammer (1992 - Dance Floor, 3rd); composer Burt Bacharach (1994 - Soul of the Matter, 5th & 1995 - afternoon Deelites, 8th); music producer Barry Gordy (1994 - Powis Castle, 8th); film producer albert Broccoli (1994 - Brocco, 4th); New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner (1997 - Concerto, 9th); University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino (1998 - Hallory Hunter, 4th); movie director Ste-ven Speilberg (2003 - atswhatimtalknbout, 4th); and new york yankees owner George Steinbrenner (2005 - Bellamy Road, 7th).

royAlty

as a direct descendent of england’s epsom Derby, Churchill Downs has

pHOTOGRapH COuRTeSy OF DeRBy aRCHIVe

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played host to British Royalty on four different occasions for the running of the Kentucky Derby. In 1930, Edward George Villiers Stanley, the 17th Earl of Derby, from whose family name the term Derby was derived, became the first english nobleman to attend. Prohibition was in effect at the time and Lord Derby stated his disappointment in not being able to sample a mint julep. “you have a great many advantages I should like to copy for england,” Derby said, “but prohibition is not one of them.” Derby was followed in 1951 by the Duke of Windsor, who had renounced the British throne in 1936 so he could wed the american divorcee Wallace Simpson. The 100th running of the Kentucky Derby in 1974 brought Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret and her husband Lord Snowden. Princess Margaret, the sister of the Queen of england, took part in the trophy presentation and awarded winning owner John Olin a specially crafted trophy for the milestone victory. In 2007, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attended the 133rd Ken-tucky Derby and watched Street Sense win the run for the roses. The queen wore a lime green wool coat with a matching silk dress and lime green hat with fuchsia trim and arrived two hours before the Kentucky Derby.

u.s. pResidents

Seven politicians who have gone on to become president have watched the clas-sic race and witnessed the electricity and excitement of the Derby. Harry S. Tru-

man was reported as the first and was followed in 1952 by Lyndon Johnson who attended while a Texas senator. Richard M. nixon is the only president to have attended while already serving in office. He visited in 1968 as guest of Kentucky Governor Louie B. nunn and commented that if he were elected president he would return to the 1969 Derby. 1969 also attracted two future presidents, Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan. no other president has witnessed more Derbys than Ford. Beginning in 1977, Ford and his wife Betty attended almost every Derby for ten years as guests of longtime friend John Galbreath, a former Churchill Downs chairman of the board. In 1983, for the 109th Derby, two past presidents and one future president were in attendance. Ford was joined by Jimmy Carter, the demo-crat who had defeated him in 1976, and Vice President George Bush, who would win the 1988 election. Other vice Presidents who’ve attended include Charles Curtis, 1931, and John Nance Garner, 1937.

My OLD KenTuCKy HOMeBy Stephen Foster

The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home,

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Tis summer, the people are gay;

The corn-top’s ripe and the meadow’s in the bloom

While the birds make music all the day.

The young folks roll on the little cabin floor

all merry, all happy and bright;

By’n by hard times comes a knocking at the door

Then my old Kentucky home, Good-night!

Weep no more my lady. Oh! Weep no more today!

We will sing one song for my old Kentucky home

For the old Kentucky home, far away.

the drinkMint JuleP

The Mint Julep has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. Early

the Song My old kentucky hoMe

In the world of sports, there is not a more moving moment than the one when the horses step onto the track for the Kentucky Derby post parade and the band strikes up “My Old Kentucky Home.”

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Times Kentucky Whisky has been privileged and honored to be a part of that tradition. The Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail has been “The Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky Derby” for more than 18 years.

each year, almost 120,000 early Times Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. a feat that requires over 10,000 bottles of early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.

The early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail is a staple at the track the rest of the year as well. In fact, the Grade II Early Times Mint Julep Stakes on June 17 at Churchill Downs is sponsored by early Times.

you can also find the early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail at your local retailer. The commemorative bottles have become collectors items for many, capturing the mood and spirit of the famous Churchill Downs track and Kentucky Derby race. If the early Times Ready-to-Serve Cocktail is not available from your local retailer, you can make your own with this time-honored recipe:

• 2 cups sugar• 2 cups water• Sprigs of fresh mint• Crushed ice• Early Times Kentucky Whisky• Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh

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mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Gar-nish with a sprig of fresh mint.

The best times are enjoyed responsibly. Early Times Dis-tillery Co., Kentucky Whisky. 40% Alc. By Volume. Louisville, KY2006.

the SPoilS troPhy

Since the 50th running of the Kentucky Derby in 1924, Churchill Downs has annually presented a gold trophy to the winning owner of the famed “Run for the Roses.”

ThE Early TimES minT JulEp rECipE

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History is unclear if a trophy was presented in 1875 to the winner of the first Kentucky Derby, and trophy presentations were sporadically made in following years. Finally, in 1924, legendary Churchill Downs President Matt Winn commissioned that a standard design be developed for the “Golden anniversary” of the Derby.

Outside of the jeweled embellishments that were added to note special Derby anniversaries in 1949 (75th), 1974 (100th), and 1999 (125th), only one change has been made to the original design. For the 125th Kentucky Derby in 1999, Churchill Downs officials de-cided to defer to racing lore and change the direction of the decora- t ive horseshoe displayed on the 14-karat gold trophy.

The horseshoe, fashioned from 18-karat gold, had pointed down-ward on each of the trophies since 1924. To commemorate Derby 125 the change was made and the horseshoe was turned 180 degrees so that its ends pointed up. The trophy now annually incorporates the horseshoe with the ends pointing up. Racing superstition decrees that if the horseshoe is turned down all the luck will run out.

Since 1975 the trophy has been created by New England Sterling located in north attleboro, Ma. The trophy, which is topped by an 18-karat gold horse and rider, includes horseshoe shaped handles, is 22 inches tall and weighs 56 ounces, excluding its jade base. The entire trophy is handcrafted with the exception of the horse and rider that are both cast from a mold.

To complete the trophy by april, craftsmen begin the process during the fall of the previous year and literally work hundreds of hours. The trophy is believed to be the only solid gold trophy that is annually awarded the winner of a major american sporting event.

the AttrActionS feStivAl

What started with “two minutes” has since evolved into two weeks. What the “Run for the Roses” is to horse racing, Louisville’s Derby Festival is to community celebrations. The Festival is one of the premiere events of its kind in the world. It brings fun, excitement, international recognition and a spirit that is unmatched

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anywhere. Each Spring nearly 1.5 million people gather to celebrate the unique vitality of the Louisville community.“We are a community organization of 4,000 volunteers who work all year to provide quality entertainment that brings our entire community together,” said Festival

Chairman and volunteer Doug Hamilton. Produced annually since 1956, the Derby Festival has become a whirlwind of 70 special events.The Festival blasts off with the Opening Ceremonies - Thunder Over Louisville, the nation’s largest annual fireworks extravaganza! The ensuing weeks of excitement

and entertainment promise something for everyone. For sports fans there is basketball, volleyball, football, golf and more. For music lovers the concerts are almost non-stop.

With two-thirds of the Festival events free, families can enjoy numerous just-for-kids activities without stretching their pocketbook. Other highlights include a new full and half Marathon and the Great Balloon Race. The Great Steamboat Race pitting Historic register riverboats is the last of its kind in the world.

From country and rock concerts to the elegant Derby Ball, dance and dress range from frivolous to fancy. The Festival includes several formal affairs, as well a casual, foot-stomping good times. More than just entertaining, the Derby Festival generates over $93 million annually for the local economy. Festival events also raise nearly $300,000 for area charities each year.

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The Commonwealth’s largest single annual event, and one of Louisville’s most popular entertainment attractions, the celebration is produced by Kentucky Derby Festival, Inc., a private, not-for-profit civic organization.

For details on this year’s events, visit the Kentucky Derby Festival Web site at http://www.kdf.org.

gArlAnd of roSeS “run for the roSeS”

The roses were first established as part of the Derby celebration when they were presented to all the ladies attending a fashionable Louisville Derby party. The

roses were such a sensation, that the president of Churchill Downs, Col. Lewis Clark, adopted the rose as the race’s official flower. The rose garland now synonymous with the Kentucky Derby first appeared in the 1896 when the winner, Ben Brush, received a floral arrangement of white and pink roses.

In 1904 the red rose became the official flower of the Kentucky Derby. The tradition was strengthened when, in 1925, new york sports columnist Bill Corum, later the president of Churchill Downs, dubbed the Kentucky Derby the “Run for the Roses.” The garland as it exists today was first introduced in 1932 for the 58th running won by Burgoo King.

each year, a garland of more than 400 red roses is sewn into a green satin backing with the seal of the Commonwealth on one end and the twin spires and

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number of the running on the other. each garland is also adorned with a “Crown” of roses, green fern and ribbon. The “Crown,” a single rose pointing upward in the center of the garland, symbolizes the struggle and heart necessary to reach the winners’ circle.

each year the Governor and other dignitaries present the winning jockey with a bouquet of 60 long stemmed roses wrapped in ten yards of ribbon.For several years, owners of the Derby winner also received a silk replica of the garland, but since Grindstone’s 1996 victory, the actual garland has made the trip to

Danville, Kentucky to be freeze-dried. Some owners have even gone as far as to have a flower dipped in silver. a silver dipped flower from the garland of Gato del Sol, the 1982 winner, is on display in the Kentucky Derby Museum.

The Kroger Company has been the official florist of the Kentucky Derby since 1987. After taking over the duties from the Kingsley Walker florist, Kroger began constructing the prestigious garland in one of its local stores for the public to view on Derby eve.

The preservation of the garland and crowds of spectators watching its construction are a testament to the prestige and mystique of the Garland of Roses.

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Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

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P crazyLume

By Cynthia grisolia

It’s all about Tradition

photograph CoUrtesY of ChUrChill DowNs

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few years ago, Sheila Nobles of Louisville’s C.K. Nobles boutique got a call on Oaks night, the eve of the Kentucky Derby. “It was about six

o’clock, and it was a gentleman telling me he had a hat emergency,” recalls Nobles. “I thought someone was playing a joke—like, yeah,

right, you have a hat emergency. But he said, ‘ yes ma’am, I do, we have a horse running tomorrow.’ And my heart just fell.”

crazyLume

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above: several hats DesigNeD bY ChristiNe moore are featUreD iN the 2009 “offiCial keNtUCkY DerbY paiNtiNg”, bY artist Jeff williams.

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The crisis call turned out to be from one of the own-ers of 2001 Derby contender Private emblem. His wife had already bought two hats, but there was a problem

with them, so nobles and business partner Kevin Swansey did what any milliner worth their charmeuse would do: They sewed like crazy. “Their racing silks were sort of an egg-plant and a gold,” says nobles, “and I didn’t have any gold hats, so we went to the mall 10 minutes before it closed. We found the exact purple fabric to match her jacket. Kevin made this gorgeous bow, and I sat there in her hotel room sewing beads on it. and she just loved it.”

The easter Parade aside, the Kentucky Der-by is the most hat-centric occasion in united States. The donning of a not-so-humble cha-peau is as time-honored a race-day tradition as the mint julep—although somewhat more mysterious.

The inaugural run for the roses took place at Churchill Downs in 1875, an era when hats were “mandatory and in vogue,” says Wendy

Treinen, Director of Communications at the Kentucky Derby Museum. “yes, you wore hats to the races, but you wore hats everywhere in common society,” she says. “From the research we’ve done, there is no defining mo-ment that made hats synonymous with the Derby,” Trein-en states. “It’s a tradition that always stuck. We don’t really know why.”

Treinen notes that in the 1950s and into the 1960s, race-day ensembles clearly became less formal (bye-bye white gloves), but hats grew more lavish. The completion of Churchill Down’s posh “Millionaire’s Row” in the late ‘60s may also have contributed to the phenom as it provided a high-fashion destination, not to mention a high-fashion celeb factor.

according to Treinen, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, the choice of hat was a no-brainer: “Before many of the boutiques were around everyone wore a Frank Olive hat,” she says. But if you’re headed to the 135th running, who ya gonna call? new york-based designer Gabriel amar now owns the Olive franchise. and a quick Google search or a flip through any central Kentucky yellow Pages will reveal no shortage of milliners for whom classic, elegant Derby Hats are a brimming part of the repertoire. However you go, a

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“belles,” a stUNNiNg silver aND blaCk DUpioNi silk hat with silk orgaNza trim was DeisgNeD bY sallY faith steiNmaNN of maggie mae DesigNs iN Cape CoD, mass. it was DoNe as a tribUte to keNtUCkY DerbY CoNteNDer eight belles, the fillY who raN seCoND to big browN bUt was tragiCallY eUthaNizeD followiNg the raCe wheN she fraCtUreD two froNt aNkles gallopiNg oUt. photograph CoUrtesY of sallY faith steiNmaNN

fasCiNators, like this oNe DesigNeD bY ChristiNe moore that appeareD iN a reCeNt episDoe of tv’s gossip girl, are a New

treND oN the DerbY reD Carpet.photograph bY ChristiNe a moore milliNerY

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Not every racing insider in the market for a Derby

hat opts for the designer trail. Take for instance,

owner Ann Moss.

moss, who has numerous Thoroughbreds in train-

ing on the West Coast with her husband, Jerry, first

went to the Derby in 1994, when filly Sardula won

the Kentucky Oaks. “i wore a little black velvet ar-

mani hat that i just picked up,” she says. “it’s a velvet

cap. it’s very easy to wear.”

The mosses didn’t return to the Derby until 2005

with Giacomo. This time, moss thought more seri-

ously about her choice. “as we got closer, i said,

well, you know, it’s a wonderful idea, the hat idea.

it’s fun to be part of it all.” moss chose a beige hat

wrapped in tulle and flowers from Neiman Marcus.

“i was looking for a Derby hat and two girlfriends just

showed up,” she laughs, “so we picked it together.

That was kind of magical.” The magic continued on

Derby Day when Giacomo, at 50-1, became the sec-

ond biggest upset winner of all time.

in 2007 Tiago, Giacomo’s half-brother, sent the

Mosses back to Churchill Downs and Ann back to

neiman marcus. “i went back to the same spot, of

course,” she says, “it was a good place.”

Moss reveals that she still has all three pieces,

and is, naturally especially sentimental about “Gia-

como’s hat.” “The Derby museum wanted my outfit,

which i was happy to give, but i wasn’t ready to let

go of my hat,” she says. in fact, she’s in the process

of immortalizing it.” i’m a painter,” she says “i do por-

traits, but I started a still-life painting of the Giacomo

hat. It was really spectacular.”

off the rack, Into the Winner’s Circle

chapeau of this magnitude equals serious shopping. “If you’ve never been to Louisville or Lexington or Saratoga or even to a horse race,

you have no clue what people are talking about when they’re talking about hats,” says new york-based Christine a. Moore, who is the exclusive custom designer for Louisville’s Luna Boutique and also for the Keeneland track gift shop. (Her hat designs are featured in the Of-ficial 2009 Kentucky Derby painting, done by artist Jeffrey Williams.) “It was an amazing eye opener for me once I saw the culture,” she adds. “These women were very serious, and it’s not just about a large hat. It’s about fashion and being completely and perfectly put together.”

Styles of the contemporary Derby hat vary, from wide-brimmed and romantic, to under-stated, to huge edifices of colorful eye candy, but the one thing all designers agree upon is that a Derby hat must be unique and it should reflect the personal style of the person wearing it. The process of buying a Derby hat can start as early as one day after Derby to a few days before. But for those choosing a custom design it may take months to plan and finalize. Fabric swatches, photographs, dress style, color choices, and—if you’re an owner or trainer—your horse’s silks can all play a role in the sometimes theatrical creation.

“I love to be able to choose a hat for a woman’s face and body type and what she’s going to wear,” says anne Sawyer of the Lexington-based Fabulous Hats. “If I can’t meet the client in person, I have them send me a full-length photograph, a close up of their face, and I do a customer profile—what your style might be. and they often send a picture of their outfit.”

Sally Faith Steinmann, who makes her Maggie Mae Designs from the sandy shores of Cape Cod, always encourages a client to “start with the hat and work down. Invariably it’s really tough to find a hat to go with, say, a yellow dress or shoes.” at Derby, Steinmann continues, the hat “starts the show. If you can focus there first, the outfit just works out more smoothly.”

Moore even offers customers a “tip sheet” on wearing your hat with confidence. “Tilt the brim to one side for a bit of sass,” it recommends, “or wear the trim to one side of your face.” But the one hard and fast law of buying a hat, says nobles, is fit and comfort. “If this hat does not feel good on your head, do not wear it. There’s nothing worse than to see a woman in the crowd constantly worried about her hat.”

as personal as the Derby hat experience is, it’s also about business—big business. Most designers say that making Derby hats accounts for 50 percent or more of their annual sales. Hats for all racing events— from Saratoga to Dubai to the Japan Cup, from Polo to steeple-chase and carriage driving—can add up to closer to 70 percent for some.

Most milliners agree that it’s hard to put a price on a Derby hat as the amount of bling has a deep effect on the ka-ching. Choices of fabric, amount of intricate detail, feathers versus flowers, size, time, and rush ordering (remember that hat emergency?) all contribute to the final price tag. On average, a custom Derby topper will set a trendy attendee back about $300-$600, but can run well over $1,000 and as much as $1,500. a one-of a kind couture design by Sawyer begins at $600.

“The most expensive hat I have ever created is the one that I donated to the Derby Mu-seum,” says Moore. “It was $1,700. It was a medium brim covered with red, hand-rolled roses, and I mean covered. It took days and days to finish!”

a museum piece certainly seems an enviable accolade for any leading hat designer, but for some, there is an even greater Grail. “My dream is to have a hat in the winner’s circle,” says nobles. “That’s the Oscar, you know. We’ve come close several times.”

If that’s the Oscar, then Sawyer is the Meryl Streep of the most exciting two minutes in sports. “I have been very blessed,” she says. “I have had a hat in the winner’s circle every year

aNN moss with hUsbaND JerrY iN the 2005 wiNNer’s CirCle after loNg-shot giaComo gallopeD iNto DerbY historY. “it was sUCh a prettY hat,” saYs moss. “it was a ‘wow’ hat.” photograph CoUrtesY of ChUrChill DowNs

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since 2003, on either the own-er, owner’s wife, trainer’s wife, or jockey’s wife. Of course, some of these big horses now have multiple owners,” she notes. “So it’s easier.”

In the past, Sawyer has been an event sponsor at Churchill Downs, which al-lowed her to retail hats at the track on Derby day. a move that really paid off in 2003 when Dorothy Knowlton, wife of Sackatoga Stables’ Jack Knowlton, co-owner of Funny Cide,“ came down two races before that gelding won the Derby and purchased a hat,” exclaims Sawyer. (Okay, now that’s a hat emergency.)

Moore, meanwhile, has found a foolproof method for getting her hats in the limelight. She counts Tra-cie evans, wife of Churchill Downs, Inc. President and CeO Robert L. evans, as a regular client. “She’s always in the winner’s circle,” laughs Moore. “you know what was really the best thing? We have a picture on our mantle of Tracie shaking hands with the Queen” (Queen Elizabeth II attended the Derby in 2007).

“My hat met the Queen!”The last few years have ushered in changes in attitude

and changes in style for the classic Derby hat. Influenced by the runways as well as pop culture, the Derby hat has moved into the 21st century. While the huge-brimmed standard may never disappear, the designers say custom-ers have begun asking about smaller, cocktail designs and

Tulle-ing around: The shopping guide

maGGIe mae DeSIGnS De-signer Sally Faith Steinmann can be reached by mail at P.O. Box 929 South harwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts 02661. For infor-mation you can also call 508-430-1626 or email [email protected]. her Derby hat “salons” are viewable on her website: www.maggiemae.com.

CHRISTIne a. mOORe mIL-LIneRy Moore sells wholesale only, but to see the collection in person (the showroom is located at 110 West 34th street, Suite 1009, new york, ny 10001), call 1-212-279-1775 or email [email protected] for an ap-pointment. you can also visit the website at www.camhats.com. moore’s designs can be ordered through the luna Boutique in louisville (859-454-7620; www.lunaboutique.net) and at the Keeneland gift shop in lexington (1 866-477-4339).

FaBuLOuS HaTS, InC. Design-er/Director Anne Sawyer sets up shop at the Griffin Gate Marriott, 1800 newtown pike, lexington, Kentucky 40511. For information and ordering call 1 866-478-4287 or email [email protected].

CK nOBLeS, LLC mILLIneRy DeSIGn Partners Sheila Nobles and Kevin Swansey operate out of nobles’s home at 5209 arrowshire Drive, la Grange, Kentucky 40031. you can reach Sheila at 502-797-0003 or email [email protected]. C.K. Nobles is also the official local designer for the Kentucky Derby Museum gift shop.

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ChristiNe a. moore hat. “this is oNe of mY favorite hats iN terms of liNe aND form,” saYs moore. “it’s the qUiNtesseNtial DerbY hat to me. it’s CleaN, it’s DetaileD.” photograph CoUrtesY of Jettstream proDUCtioNs

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shapes. after Sarah Jessica Parker, star of Sex and the City, wore a towering lime-green “fascinator” to the film’s London premiere, the style really took off. (To define fascinator, think headpiece without a brim, tilted to the side of the head, plus accessories that are, on occasion, feats of engi-neering.) expect to see many more in this year’s red-carpet hat parade at Churchill Downs, espe-cially among the younger Derby goers.

and the Derby Hat is not about just the la-dies anymore. “We’re doing a big push for men’s hats,” says Moore. To boost the idea, she has do-nated a man’s hat to an auction Churchill Downs is planning that will sell Derby apparel for charity.

and speaking of the gents, Sawyer offers Der-by couples one last bit of guidance: “If your hat is asymmetrical,” she says, “I would recommend that your husband, boyfriend—your derby date, sit on the side that they can see you.”

Hats off to that.

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

DerbY fiNerY bY aNNe sawYer. “i’ve haD hats iN the wiNNer’s CirCle siNCe

2003,” saYs the keNtUCkY-baseD DesigNer. “i tell them it’s Not those

verY fast Colts, it’s the lUCkY hats!” photograph CoUrtesY of

aNNe sawYer

Page 44: Thoroughbred Style

44ThoroughbredStyle

he road to the Kentucky Derby keeps changing. Twenty-five years after the first $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile induced

some trainers and owners to re-think their strategy about racing two-year-olds past the summer and early fall - and whether it

would affect their chances in the Run for the Roses the following May - the route to Derby glory is so different today it’s hard to

recognize.

changeT

By Bill Heller

derby

photographs bY barbara D. liviNgstoN

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45 ThoroughbredStyle

change

derby differenceS

now, there’s a new entrance into the Derby in england of all places, an extremely dubious decision which could cost a deserving american-based three-year-old a chance in the starting gate.

In just the last few years, other traditional barriers have come down - at least temporarily. now we know:

• A horse can win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Derby the following spring.

• A horse can win the Derby off just three career starts. • A horse can win the Derby off a five-week layoff.• A horse may be able to win the Derby without having raced

at the age of two.• A horse may be able to win the Derby without ever racing

previously on dirt. Does all this mean that tenets held dear to horsemen’s

hearts for generations are no longer valid? Is it now meaning-less to give a two-year-old a deep foundation to prepare for the Triple Crown Classics the following year? Do Grade 1 two-year-old stakes such as the Hopeful and the Champagne no longer produce winners of Triple Crown races?

“I don’t think things have really changed,” California-based trainer eoin Harty said on March 30th. “I think, basically, the way things have always worked, will work. I think a founda-tion at two and a certain number of prep races are the way to go. The Champagne and Hopeful are always going to be important. Big Brown upset the apple cart, but he was an ex-ceptional horse.”

yet the last horse who won the Hopeful - named because the connections of any two-year-old who raced well in that stakes hoped that they’d impact the Triple Crown the follow-ing year - to also win the Derby was affirmed, our last Triple Crown winner, in 1978. In the intervening 30 years, only two Hopeful winners, Summer Squall and afleet alex, also won a Triple Crown race. Summer Squall won the Preakness in 1990, and afleet alex captured both the 2005 Preakness and Bel-mont Stakes after finishing third by three-quarters of a length to Giacomo in the Kentucky Derby.

Only one Champagne winner, Sea Hero in 1992, has re-turned to win the Derby since Spectacular Bid won the 1978 Champagne and the Derby and Preakness the following year.

Last year’s Hopeful and Champagne Stakes winner, vine-yard Haven, never even got on the Derby trail after being sold and shipped to Dubai.

“One of the things that changed it (getting horses ready for the Derby) was the Breeders’ Cup,” Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey said March 30th. “Before, you’d go in the Champagne and your horse was done and got time off. With the Breeders’ Cup, you don’t have a chance to give them time off. I think it takes its toll.”

Only once in 25 years has the horse who captured the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile returned to win the Derby: Street Sense in 2006. Obviously, he had a strong foundation at two preceding his success at three. But even so, it’s only happened once. and it won’t happen in 2009. Last year’s Two-year-Old Colt Champion, Midshipman, also wound up in Dubai and was injured and ruled out of the Derby months earlier.

What’s odd is how well the top three finishers in the in-augural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 1984 at Hollywood Park performed the following spring and summer. Juvenile win-ner Chief ’s Crown finished third in the Derby, second in the Preakness, third in the Belmont Stakes and captured the Trav-ers; second-place finisher Tank’s Prospect won the Preakness, and the third finisher in the Juvenile, Spend a Buck, won the Kentucky Derby.

However, the average number of starts for all Thorough-breds has been plummeting ever since the late ’60s and early ’70s, coincidentally the same time the diuretic Lasix and the analgesic bute showed up on the backstretch of racetracks in north america. In 1960, the average number of starts per Thoroughbred was 11.31. In 2007, it was 6.31.

It’s hard to ignore the unpleasant reality that breeding Thoroughbreds who rely on race-day medication have pro-duced Thoroughbreds who are less sound and have less en-durance than previous generations. How can that not impact the Triple Crown?

Do contemporary, more fragile two-year-olds need fewer starts to impact or even win the Run for the Roses?

Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby in just his fourth life-time start. He had raced just once as a two-year-old, romping in a maiden grass race at Saratoga. But he did race on dirt, winning an allowance race and the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, before entering the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.

Two-time Horse of the year Curlin, who was un-raced at two, finished third in the 2007 Derby in just his fourth career start. Then he won the Preakness and sculpted his magnifi-cent career. He, too, had raced on dirt before the Derby.

Is it just a matter of time before a three-year-old wins the

Page 46: Thoroughbred Style

46ThoroughbredStyle

Derby in his first start on dirt?Last year, Harty prepped Colonel John for the Kentucky

Derby in California, where he won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes and the Grade 1 Santa anita Derby. But Colonel John had never raced on a dirt track, and he finished sixth by 14 ¼ lengths in the Derby. Then, after finishing third in the Grade 2 Swaps on Hollywood Park’s synthetic course, he came back east to Saratoga Race Course to win the Grade 1 Travers Stakes on dirt at the same mile-and-a-quarter distance as the Derby, literally by an inch over Mambo in Seattle.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has a three-year-old potential barrier breaker in Dunkirk - if he gets to start in the Kentucky Der-by. If he started and won, Dunkirk would be the first Derby winner who didn’t race at two since apollo in 1882. Pletcher, a four-time eclipse award winning trainer, may be just the man to do it. Though he’s zero-for-21 in the Derby, he saddled Rags to Riches to win the 2007 Belmont Stakes and become the first filly to capture the last leg of the Triple Crown in 102 years. “I do think it (an un-raced two-year-old winning the Derby) will happen,” Pletcher said. “Whether Dunkirk is that horse I don’t know. If he gets in, he’ll have a real chance.”

But Dunkirk may not get into the Derby, thanks to an ill-conceived notion which this year guaranteed an automatic berth in the starting gate to the winner of Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes at Kempton Park in england, won this year by Mafaaz. To further entice european interest in the Derby, the owners of Mafaaz will receive a $100,000 bonus if he starts in the Derby.

Since the Derby is now limited to the 19 three-year-olds who have the highest graded stakes earnings, no. 20 is out. after the Florida Derby, when Quality Road won and Dunkirk finished second, Dunkirk’s $150,000 in graded stakes earnings placed him 20th.and he won’t race again before the Derby. “We all knew what the rules were going in, but maybe there needs a more sophisticated system than graded earn-ings,” Pletcher said March 31st.

If Dunkirk or Quality Road win the Kentucky Derby, it will be off a five-week layoff following the Florida Derby. In 2006, Barbaro’s trainer Michael Matz was questioned hun-dreds of times about his decision to not give Barbaro a prep race in the intervening five weeks until the Kentucky Derby. There was a reason. There hadn’t been a Derby winner off a layoff as long as five weeks in 49 years.

But Barbaro not only won the Derby, he dominated his opposition to remain undefeated. Big Brown won the Derby and Preakness off that same five-week gap to keep his perfect record intact. “Five weeks I love,” Pletcher said. “It’s an ad-vantage. To have five instead of two or three, it’s a big edge. We’ve actually seen it with Barbaro and Big Brown.”

no horse has won the Derby off a six-week layoff since

needles in 1956, but that may be another barrier about to be broken. Trainer Larry Jones sent out Hard Spun off a six-week layoff in the 2006 Derby and he finished second to Street Sense. now, Jones is going to enter Louisiana Derby winner Friesan Fire in the Run for the Roses off a seven week layoff. Jones’ other top contender for the Derby, Old Fashioned, will take a more conventional approach, using the arkansas Derby three weeks before the Kentucky Derby for his final prep. Old Fashioned won the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes last year and has four wins and a second in five career starts.

Will another barrier come down in this year’s Derby? One thing is certain: the road to get there is still under reconstruc-tion. “There’s certainly a lot of changes in racing that have been made, and some of them are managerial decisions: the time between races and maximizing performance,” Pletcher said. “I’m not going to say that the way we handled Dunkirk was because of those changes. He had sore shins. It’s paid off. However, he hadn’t any graded earnings early on.”

Dunkirk was two-for-two before the Florida Derby; went off the favorite, and made a huge, wide rally on the final turn before flattening out late and finishing second to Quality Road, who could be the Kentucky Derby post time favorite. If Dunkirk remains 20th in graded stakes earnings and loses his spot in the Derby starting gate to the trumped-up winner of an undistinguished, contrived stakes race in england, there better be another change. either that goes or the people who decided america’s most important Kentucky Derby prep race, the only one that guaranteeing a shot at the Run for the Roses, is on the other side of the Pond.

This is certain; the Derby has changed forever and there’s no going back. Whether or not that’s a good thing has yet to be determined.

Eclipse Award Winner Bill Heller’s 20th book, “Howard Parker, Saratoga Harness Legend,” was published

last August.

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

de

rby d

iffe

ren

ce

S

Page 47: Thoroughbred Style

47 ThoroughbredStyle

Official Dress.

Official Drink of theKentucky Derby.

Be a winner.Drink responsibly.

Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs and the Twin Spires design are registered

trademarks of Churchill Downs Incorporated. Early Times Distillery Co., Kentucky Whisky, 30% Alc. by Volume, Louisville, KY ©2009. EARLY TIMES

is a registered trademark.

Official Drink.

Page 48: Thoroughbred Style

48ThoroughbredStyle

By L arry simpson

What’s In a name?

grapefruit’s sournotthis

After his victory in the $200,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park, California-based colt The Pamplemousse stamped

himself as a major contender in this years Kentucky Derby, on May 2nd.

pHOTOGRapHS COuRTeSy OF BenOIT pHOTO

Page 49: Thoroughbred Style

49 ThoroughbredStyle

derby triviA

unfortunately though, the morning of april 4th, Santa anita Derby Day, a vet check determined that The Pample-mousse had a tendon injury, serious enough to necessitate a scratch out of the stakes race that would serve as his final prep race for the Kentucky Derby. Since then, it has been determined that the colt’s injury will cause him to miss a start in the Derby, however The Pamplemousse should be back in training after six months of recovery time. a disappoint-ment obviously for his owner’s and fans, but it certainly doesn’t change the story behind the good colt with the unique ‘moniker’.

a son of Kafwain, which in arabic means ‘doubly strong’, The Pamplemousse was named for the Pample-mousse Grille, a restaurant located just across the street from the Del Mar Racetrack backstretch, since 1996. Of note, is that the Pamplemousse Grille has been known to offer a lunch menu that includes Kobe

beef burgers for $24, or a $50 grilled cheese served with roast-ed lobster and shaved truffles. Owned by Jeffrey Strauss, the Pamplemousse Grille boasts several culinary awards, and like the stakes-winning colt of the same name which Strauss is a part owner of, is named after a member of the citrus family, in this case a ‘grapefruit’.

And Why ‘PAMPleMouSSe’?

So the story goes, Strauss was working for a restaurant in the south of France, where a head chef asked him to get a ‘pamplemousse’ from the refrigerator. Strauss thought it was a joke until after continual

screams of ‘a pamplemousse! a pamplemousse! Why do I hire such a useless american?’ forced him to ask one of the other guys in the restaurant what a ‘pamplemousse’ actually was.

‘a grapefruit’, he was told, and ever since then it has been his favorite word.

Strauss owns The Pample-mousse (the horse), in partner-ship with his brother Bill, founder of ProFlowers, Chuck Winner, David Bienstock, Tom Lenner, Tom Murray, Jess Rav-ich, and bloodstock agent alex Solis Jr. The Pamplemousse is trained by Peruvian Julio Canani, a three-time Breeders’ Cup winner who had never been on the Kentucky Derby trail up until now, and ridden by alex Solis, the father of the part owner.

Known for its casual but elegant atmosphere, the Pamplemousse Grille offers upscale French Continental Cui-sine, including grilled seafood, meats and daily specials. Foods that delight the senses! and with the restaurant’s success, Strauss has become a benefac-tor of the sport, as once every year he turns his restaurant over to the local jockey colony and hosts a fundraiser for the Don MacBeth Fund.

pHOTOGRapHS COuRTeSy OF THe pampLemOuSSe GRILLe

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

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erby

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51 ThoroughbredStyle

By K rIs Pr aTHer

ouisville, Kentucky is associated with three things; Bluegrass, the Thoroughbreds raised on it, and “The

Greatest Race”, the coveted Kentucky Derby. Located alongside the Ohio River, Louisville vibrates with lively

excitement that grows with ever increasing energy until it finally explodes each year the first Saturday in May.

Horsemen from every walk of life and all parts of the globe flock each year to the renowned Churchill Downs Racetrack with the same dream, to win the Kentucky Derby. Since 1875, Churchill Downs has been home to this acclaimed, eminent race. Its synonymous landmark, the twin spires have stood like surveying sentinels over the legendary racetrack since its genesis, attracting art-ists, architects, and tourists alike. The Kentucky Derby, however, is not all Louisville has to offer, as Derby mania begins long before the first Saturday in May.

A series of events kick off the Derby festival, begin-ning in April with the $1 million Hole-In-One contest, a public golf event where anyone can become a mil-lionaire. There is the Hot Air Balloon Glow and Race. The night before the race, these giant spectacles are set aglow against the night sky creating an entrancing scene. The race occurs the Saturday before the Derby, worth seeing, and taking much longer than the famed two minutes. The Great Steamboat Race takes place on a fourteen mile route beginning at the Clark Memorial Bridge, proceeding to Mile Island before returning and finishing back at the bridge. This race takes about an hour and a half on average, but probably the most antici-pated Derby event is ‘Thunder Over Louisville.’

This sensory overloaded show is a day long event con-sisting of more than one hundred planes doing daring aerobatic stunts. Then, as evening approaches, eight four hundred foot barges assemble on both sides of the Second Street Bridge to form a waterfall of fireworks, jumping and cracking in a patterned display, synchro-nized to music. Few who attend will ever forget the adrenaline rushing display.

Now for the parties. Don’t worry about trying to find

one. you’ll probably find yourself at one, just before stumbling onto another. During Derby week, Louisville is quite literally one big party, however there are some that should be noted by name.

If you’re looking for a formal black-tie and gown af-fair, I recommend the Mint Jubilee, generally held at the Galt House. Jockeys typically attend this event, and it is a chance to dance and get to know these brave and amazing athletes. It is also a fundraiser for non-profit or-ganizations assisting cancer patients and their families.

Probably the most sought after tickets, other than to the Derby itself, are the ones to The Barnstable Brown Gala. This party is the most exclusive and celebrity filled party in town. This event is a chance to rub elbows with Hollywood’s elite, also there is always an amazing musi-cal performance put on by a popular guest artist. And as would be the expected “norm” at such a celebrity at-tended event, there are generally a few spontaneous per-formers who are more than willing to step on stage and entertain. Half the proceeds from the event go toward the diabetic research at the university of Louisville, the other half supports diabetic research at the university of Kentucky.

Hollywood and parties aside, a few hotspots the Der-by attending horsemen are likely to hit include: Wag-ner’s Pharmacy which has become a meeting melting pot for old school racetrackers as well as the new. Ken-tucky Derby history decorates every inch of its walls and while Wagner’s breakfast is nothing to boast about, its one of best places to sit in the morning to catch the early racetrack gossip.

In the evenings, Jack’s or Equus is the place to be. Both are owned and operated by Chef Dean Corbett, a

Probably the

most sought

after tickets

other than to

the Derby itself

are the ones to

The Barnstable

Brown gala.

L o u i s v i l l e , K e n t u c k yderby deStinAtionS

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loyal friend and fan of horseracing. For a more casual evening, Jack’s Lounge offers a comfortable, living room style atmosphere, with a TV and bar, and excellent food and drinks that are beyond reproach. Equus, next door, however, is an upscale affair with romantically dim light-ing, but enough to read your menu by without squinting, decorated with fine china and crystal for serving the epi-curean delights this Louisville gem has to offer.

Also, on the list popular with the horsemen, would be John E’s. In 1997, Bob Baffert won the Kentucky Derby with Silver Charm, and he celebrated with about a forty person posse at John E’s directly following the winning ceremonies. Now in this horsemen frequented eatery a small dining room to the right is entitled “The Baffert Room”. Throughout, there is horseracing memorabilia and if one hangs out long enough, stories from past wins are sure to follow.

All of this of course leads up to the one day, the one race, the greatest two minutes in sports, where one horse will be crowned the greatest in the world for a day. Whether this is later proven or unproven is irrelevant, as to win the Kentucky Derby is to touch immortality.

If a person, as the majority of people, are not lucky enough to be a racehorse owner, trainer, or jockey, one can always visit the Kentucky Derby Museum situated at Churchill Downs front gate entranceway. The Derby Museum offers an up close and personal perspective on

racing, what it takes, the legends who gave it, and the promise and dreams to come. There is a real life-size starting gate as you enter the museum facing a screen projecting images from the historic race. There are ex-hibits displaying Mint Juleps and Derby Hats, the Gar-land of Roses, saddles and jockey scales, and interac-tive educational videos and activities. But the best part of the entire museum, the reason for going, is to watch “The Greatest Race”, a unique high-def short movie, highlighting some of the most famed moments in Derby history. This movie is shown on a 360 degree screen in a vivid, emotional array of images that if the race itself didn’t make you cry before, this video certainly will.

Now, after the race has been run, and every person of legal age and slightly under are recovering from the Derby and weeks of parties leading up to it, there is only one spot to be that following morning and I suggest, if you expect to eat, to make reservations. It is Lynn’s Paradise Café. Horse racing’s elite, annual Derby goers, locals, and fans converge on Lynn’s the morning after like it is the only place with a generator during a power outage. Lynn’s is one of a kind, like its slogan “No place on Earth like it.” with its eclectic funky flare, to its ex-quisite filling fare. Lynn’s décor and gift shop carries things, seen anywhere else, one would want to throw out, but in Lynn’s you want to buy them all over again and sometimes . . . you do. Lynn’s is as unique to Louisville as the Kentucky Derby, and offers a comfortable respite to relax and rejuvenate, once the festivities are over.

If you find yourself loitering around Louisville once Derby is over, never fear, there are still plenty of activi-ties to participate and exhibits to entertain. There is the Louisville Waterfront Park, located against the Ohio River. Also known as ‘The Great Lawn’, this park offers jogging and biking trails, a playground and water park area. Its grassy acres also offer a nice place to lie and digest your Lynn’s Paradise Brunch.

The Derby

museum offers

an up close

and personal

perspective on

racing, what

it takes, the

legends who

gave it, and

the promise

and dreams to

come.

photographs CoUrtesY of keNtUCkY DerbY mUseUm

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ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

The Louisville Slugger Museum provides guided tours through the fac-tory, where one can learn about the history of the famous Louisville Slug-ger, and even pick up a free miniature bat souvenir at the end of the tour. The full tour takes about an hour and a half.

Speaking of sluggers, the recent addition of the Muhammad Ali Cen-ter located in downtown Louisville, Ali’s hometown, is an excellent way to spend an afternoon. The museum walks you through Ali’s life from ado-lescence to the troubled 60’s, through his amazing boxing career to present day. The museum outlines his life, his career, as well as making a consti-tuted effort to promote the six ideals that drove him; respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, spirituality, and giving. It’s worth the time to see it, and just outside the glass walls one can observe the Ohio River.

The Speed Art Museum is the oldest and largest art museum in Ken-

tucky. It carries a wide range of works from renaissance to contemporary, and many local artists. It also changes its exhibitions frequently, so even if you’ve visited before, there is always something new to see.

Fourth Street live is the pulsing heart of downtown Louisville, from live music, shopping, a food court, to premier dining, and plenty of entertain-ment. Fourth Street Live is within walking distance of nearly every down-town hotel, nightclub, bar, or restaurant. It’s but a brief jaunt to the water-front park, Main Street, or Slugger Field, if you care to see the Louisville Bats in action. There is the Improv Comedy Club, always a big hit, the renowned Maker’s Mark Bourbon House and Lounge, and for the kids and some family fun, the Louisville Science Center is nearby as well.

Weather permitting, I would recommend visiting the Louisville Zoo, featuring Scotty the baby Elephant and the latest edition, Bakari the baby giraffe. Also, if it’s dry out and you’re hot, visit Six Flags Kentucky King-dom. It offers everything from roller coasters, to the steady secured pace of the carousel, from Hurricane Bay’s wave pool and slides, to its less chaotic beach sunning area.

Louisville is a vibrant city, full of life, with more than enough attractions and exhibits to offer. And while many of these exhibits may resemble or be similar to a place you have visited here or abroad, there is one thing Lou-isville will always be home to . . . the Run For the Roses. See you in May!

the New 2009 exhibit DerbY DeCaDes simplY ChiC. this DYNamiC exhibit promises to be a hit for oNe aND all! ask aNYoNe from loCals to iNterNatioNals. the DerbY is aboUt oNe thiNg --- the hats of CoUrse aND the fashioN too. photograph CoUrtesY of keNtUCkY DerbY mUseUm

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symphonyMasterpiecea new england and Canada sailing

aboard Crystal Cruises’ Crystal symphony

This

Is a

By Judy Cuervo

rystal Cruises is an anomaly in the luxury cruise market. While most luxury lines

feature small vessels accommodating just a couple of hundred guests and follow an “all inclusive” format with

regard to alcoholic beverages and tipping, Crystal’s devoted followers prefer

the larger Crystal ships for the myriad activities and the lavish entertainment that those smaller ships simply cannot provide. At the same time, these affluent, well-traveled individuals shun the crowds and chaos of today’s megaships, demanding exquisite cuisine and dining variety, extraordinary personalized service, meaningful on board activities and opulent accommodations. They have no objection, either, to dressing up and following the shipboard dining tradition of assigned tables and early (6:00 p.m.) or late (8:30 p.m.) dinner seatings.

My husband and I sailed the 51,044 grt Crystal Symphony this past Octo-

C r y s T a L C r u I s e s

pho

tog

raph

s Co

Urte

sY o

f Cr

Ysta

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Uise

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D JU

DY C

Uerv

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Thoroughbred Cruising

54

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Masterpiece

ber, an 11-day fall foliage cruise that took its 940 guests from new york City to quaint new england towns before crossing the border to call at Halifax, nS; St. John, nB; and Quebec City before concluding with an overnight call at Montreal. This close-to-home itinerary, one of the four new england/Canada sailings offered by Crystal each year, raised some eyebrows among my friends who, though aware that 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, seem to believe cruise destinations are limited exclusively to the Caribbean or ports along the Italian coast.

In fact, while Crystal Cruises, for the 15th year voted “Best Large Cruise Ship Line” by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler, certainly offers Caribbean and Mediterranean sail-ings, its two-ship fleet (Crystal Symphony and Crystal Se-renity) can just as likely be found in the waters off alaska, asia, australia and new Zealand, Mexico, South america and other areas of the globe.

a 9:00 p.m. sailing from the port of new york was the perfect way to launch our journey to new england and Canada. Sailing past the glittering new york City sky-line, it wasn’t long before Crystal Symphony cruised past

the Statue of Liberty, the familiar icon illuminated, while guests in the Crystal dining room interrupted their Bon voyage dinner to scurry over to the starboard windows to view the majestic sight. With the Lady and skyline of Manhattan soon behind us, we set a course toward new-port, RI, some guests anticipating visits to the ornate man-sions of the area; others debating where they would find newport’s very best chowder. Before exploring newport, however, I wanted to explore Symphony beginning with our Penthouse accommodations.

all Penthouse suites are located on Deck 10 of Crystal Symphony. Ours was a generous 367 square foot one that included a living area and private verandah. Done in a blue and beige color scheme and featuring a large tile and marble bathroom with double sinks and separate Jacuzzi tub and shower, Penthouse accommodations include a large walk-in closet, complimentary soft drinks, beer and bottled water; afternoon canapés; a bar set-up of one com-plimentary bottle of wine and one complimentary bottle of spirits per person; color flat-screen Tv and DvD and the services of a personal butler who is available to un-

Despite the ship’s considerable size, navigating Crystal symphony is

an easy undertaking, with most public rooms concentrated on the

ship’s sixth deck, swimming pools and casual dining spots on the 11th

and beauty, fitness and spa facilities at the top.

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pack, iron, shine shoes, book shore excursions or secure reservations at Symphony’s alternative restaurants.

Despite the ship’s considerable size, navigating Crystal Symphony is an easy undertaking, with most public rooms concentrated on the ship’s sixth deck, swimming pools and casual dining spots on the 11th and beauty, fitness and spa facilities at the top.

One enters Crystal Symphony on the ship’s fifth deck by way of a tasteful atrium that features a cozy piano bar and an elegant sculpture set against a fountain that ser-enades guests with the soothing sound of a gentle rain. Climb the dramatic glass and wood staircase or ride the elevator one floor up to arrive at the entertainment heart of Crystal Symphony. Here you’ll find the single-level Galaxy Lounge and its Broadway-style production shows, The Hollywood Theater, with its first-run movies, and The Starlite Club where Crystal’s “ambassador Hosts,” gentlemen who know their foxtrot from their cha-cha, of-fer to take single ladies for a spin around the dance floor. a shopping arcade occupies midship and, nearby, you’ll find the vegas-style Crystal Casino, Luxe nightclub and a Library, where you can borrow DvDs for viewing in your cabin or suite. Smokers can enjoy a cigar and brandy at The Connoisseur’s Club, a beautiful, well-ventilated room done in jewel-tone leathers, wood and brass and, at the ad-jacent avenue Saloon, which continues the rich décor of The Connoisseur’s Club, you can enjoy a pre-dinner drink (without the smoke) while listening to the sounds of the room’s talented pianist.

Following our visit to newport, Crystal Symphony sailed up the u.S. coast, calling at Boston, Ma for an over-night stay that allowed guests to walk the Freedom Trail, shop, pop into Cheers, a rep-lica of the bar made famous by the long-running sitcom or, through Crystal’s shore excursion program, attend a 2008 Red Sox first-round payoff game at the legendary Fenway Park.

Sailing from Boston, the brilliance of the foliage was becoming more vivid, the reds, golds and purples of the trees triggering “ooohs” and “aaahs” as we sailed into Bar Harbor, cradled off the crag-

gy coast of Maine. acadia national Park, the 35,000-acre preserve that is the city’s most famous attraction, was a riot of color as Symphony guests toured or bicycled through this spectacular forested wilderness.

Back on board Crystal Symphony, two consecutive days at sea gave me the perfect opportunity to sample the ac-tivities, seminars and lectures that have helped set Crys-tal Cruises apart from other large cruise lines. First stop: Computer university at Sea, an internet café that doubles as a classroom, offering instructive courses such as “Basic Digital Photo Finishing,” “Basic Spreadsheets in Micro-soft excel,” and “Word Processing.” While I fiddled with spreadsheets, other Symphony guests could release their inner artist with watercolor technique classes, immerse themselves in conversational French classes in preparation for our visit to Quebec, attend any one of a number of fitness sessions at the well-equipped and supervised fit-ness center or attend health-related seminars sponsored by Symphony’s spa, the only feng shui-inspired spa at sea.

Crystal invests a great deal in its Creative Learning In-stitute, a program of celebrated speakers in the field of the arts, history, current events, wine and other topics. On our sailing, Ken Rees, previously northern Bureau Chief with Britain’s flagship network program, ITn’s news at Ten, presented “a Million Miles, a Thousand Stories; The Highs and Lows of Life on the Road as a Foreign Cor-respondent.” In this captivating talk, Rees opened up his tape archives and shared moments from the stories he cov-ered throughout his career, some sad and heart-wrenching and others laugh-out-loud comical. another outstand-ing lecturer, Dr. Louis Rene Beres, author and professor

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of Political Science and International Law at Purdue uni-versity, spoke about “america’s Presi-dential election and the Changing Shape of World Power,” a timely topic with the u.S. Presidential election taking place just weeks after we’d return home.

While Crystal Symphony’s showcased activities give some indication of the sophistication and worldliness of its guests, there’s one topic that captures the attention of cruisers of all kinds and that is cuisine. It didn’t take me long to notice that Symphony guests, unlike those on so many other ships I’ve sailed, didn’t bolt immediately for local restaurants the moment Crystal Symphony arrived in port, even in culinary capitals like Montreal and Quebec City.

Symphony’s dining experience begins with breakfast, either in the dining room or the more popular Lido Café where selections go far beyond Continental offerings to include made-to-order omelets, pancakes, breakfast meats and the crispest waffles imaginable. The afternoon brings even more choice with either a sit-down formal affair in the dining room or a vast Lido buffet selection of sand-wiches, hot dishes, custom pastas and salads. even the casual poolside Grill which on most ships offers a limited choice of burgers, hot dogs and, perhaps, a grilled chick-en dish, dazzles at lunch with the standard fare as well as wraps, pizza, chili, main course salads and specialty sand-wiches like reubens. For dessert, the nearby Ice Cream Bar offers home-made ice creams, warm waffle cones, a selection of toppings and just-baked cookies. On sea days, things become even more extravagant when Symphony pulls out all the stops with themed luncheon buffets or the gala buffet, a celebration of foods from all over the globe enhanced with ornamental displays, ice sculptures and, my personal favorite, seafood tables overflowing with lobster tail, shrimp and crab claws.

afternoon tea, held in the airy Palm Court located high atop the ship, is Symphony’s oh-so-civilized afternoon break. a delightful refuge, tea sandwiches and sweets, don’t miss the Mozart Tea, a very special event manned

by period-costumed waiters and musi-cians playing—what e l s e ? — M o z a r t . even Wolfgang amadeus himself, or at least a luscious facsimile, is in atten-

dance, realistically created in…chocolate cake! as the sun sets, the atmosphere aboard Crystal Sym-

phony turns from one of a casual, sporty resort to sheer elegance. Crystal Cruises bucks the “casual” trend so popular among megaships and some small luxury vessels with “informal” evenings outnumbering “casual” ones and three “formal” nights designated within our sailing. Swavorski crystal chandeliers glisten, tinkling piano music forms the backdrop and ladies and gentlemen glide into the Crystal Dining room to peruse menus filled with tempting selections like Dover sole a la Meuniere, pink-roasted duck breast, grilled black angus sirloin steak, and pan-fried crab cakes as well as vegetarian or “light” offerings.

alternative dining aboard Crystal Symphony is superb, with northern Italian-inspired Prego and Silk Road/The Sushi Bar, an asian culinary experience that reflects Crys-tal Cruises’ partnership with world-renowned Chef nobu Matsuhisa. unlike many other ships, Crystal Cruises im-poses no additional charge for dining at its alternative res-taurants, other than a flat $7 per person gratuity.

Prego, hidden away on 6th deck aft, is a cozy bistro with whimsical décor reflecting the familiar attire of venetian gondoliers. Prego’s hot, savory mushroom soup, served in an oregano bread bowl, has been frequently cited among the main reasons guests return again and again to Crystal Symphony! Pastas, hearty meat dishes like Osso Bucco and traditional Italian desserts and wines bring a touch of the Continent to diners…even if they’re actually sailing from Quebec City to Montreal.

Silk Road and The Sushi Bar, done in subtle tones of sage, citrus green and aubergine, is accented by warm golden sheers and plum colored glass tiles. Mood lighting and backlit wall treatments create a serene dining experi-ence that begins with a delightful amuse bouche of sea-salt crusted edamame, and your selection from The Sushi Bar. nobu signatures like Kobe-style Wagyu beef, rock shrimp

unlike many

other ships,

Crystal

Cruises

imposes no

additional

charge for

dining at its

alternative

restaurants,

other than

a flat $7

per person

gratuity.

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Crystal Cruises shares with Thoroughbred Style the closely-guard-ed recipe for its Cream of Forest Mushroom Soup, a signature dish served at prego, Crystal Symphony’s italian alternative restaurant:

CrEam OF FOrEST muShrOOm SOup

1 oz. dried morels, or 2 oz. fresh morels3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil1/2 cup portobello mushrooms, finely sliced2 oz. white mushrooms3 oz. fresh porcini mushrooms, finely sliced3 shallots, minced2 garlic cloves, mincedSalt & freshly ground white pepper1/2 cup dry white wine4 cups chicken stock1/2 c. heavy cream2 tbsp. minced fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsleyleaves from 1 fresh oregano sprig, minced2 large fresh basil leaves, choppedFour 6-inch round bread loavesGarnish: Fresh rosemary sprigs.

Chef’s notes: at Crystal, we serve this soup in oregano bread cups. Any plain or flavored bread loaf may be substituted, but this soup is also delicious simply served in shallow soup bowls.

prEparaTiOn: if using dried morels, wash the caps and soak them in warm water to cover for 10 minutes. Remove the stems and discard them. Cut small morels in half and large ones into 3 or 4 pieces.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and sauté all the mushrooms for about 3 minutes. add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add the wine, and cook to reduce the liquid by half. add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer the soup for about 25 minutes. in a blender or food processor, puree half the soup until very smooth. Return the puree to the pan. Stir in the parsley, thyme, oregano and basil and cook for about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Keep warm.

TO SErVE: preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Cut off the top of each bread loaf. With a large spoon, remove the soft inner part of the bread. Place the loaves on a baking pan and warm in the oven for about 5 minutes. remove the warm bread loaves from the oven and pour the hot soup into the bread cups. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve.

tempura and miso glazed cod are represented on Silk Road’s menu, along with nearly two dozen other delectable selections.

an additional dinner option is Crystal Symphony’s vintage Room, a new private win-ing and dining concept limited to parties of up to 12 guests. Created to promote wine education and the vast selection of very fine wines offered on board, a vintage Room dinner is a special arrangement whereby guests choose an array of wines from the ship’s exclusive reserve wine list and, based on this selection, the executive Chef pairs a selec-tion of special culinary creations to enhance the quality of the wines chosen. at $2000 per person, this very special dining experience is not for the budget conscious!

The splendor of Fall accompanied Crystal Symphony as she crossed the border to visit St. John, new Brunswick, and sailed on to Halifax, nova Scotia where the nearby Mari-time Museum of the atlantic houses relics of the doomed Titanic and the devastating Halifax explosion which took over 2000 lives. next, Quebec City greeted us with its art galleries, building murals and cobblestone streets and, for two days, Montreal, the Paris of the north, enchanted us with its beautiful 18th century buildings, a stark contrast to its ultra-modern downtown.

I returned home from Crystal Symphony without a tan, and without hefty credit card charges billed in the euro. What I did return home with was a keen appreciation of the history and beauty that lies in my own back yard--and the clear realization that Crystal Symphony, herself, might just be one of the best destinations of all.

In 2009, Crystal Cruises’ offers four New England/Canada sailings beginning on October 1st. For more information, visit www.crystalcruises.com

Judy Cuervo is a freelance travel writer located in New York State.

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

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60ThoroughbredStyle

Determination

K a y L a s T r a

Dedication

Pand

By art Wilson

erhaps Webster’s Dictionary should add a picture of Kayla Stra next to its definition of the word “determined.” And while the folks are at it, they might also want to place a likeness of the 24-year-old jockey alongside words like “dogged” and “tenacious.”

pHOTOGRapHS COuRTeSy OF BenOIT pHOTO.

Thoroughbred Women

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Determination

Stra, who’s found the transformation from her native australia to arguably the toughest jockey colony in the u.S. tougher than expected, has no intention of fleeing South-ern California to try to make it big on a lesser circuit.

Riding only one or two horses a day, many of them hopeless long shots, might discourage a lesser competi-tor. But Stra, who began riding at australia’s bush tracks when she was 17 and won more than 250 races, is not your ordinary athlete. It’s as if she’s trying to reaffirm an in-ner confidence that tells her she can make it while riding against the likes of Garrett Gomez, Rafael Bejarano, Joel Rosario and alex Solis.

For Stra, it’s California or bust.“I know I can ride, (and) I believe in myself,” Stra said

recently after finishing second in the first race at Santa anita aboard Goodlookindude, another of those long shots she’s forced to ride until she convinces owners and trainers she deserves better. “If I just keep persevering, keep trying as much as I can, then eventually I’ll get the

opportunities to prove that I can do it.“you have to start by getting on all these horses that

nobody wants to ride, but it’s better than waiting. even if I just improve a bad horse by five lengths and still finish mid-field, I’m going to be happy. People take notice, and if they want to watch me then they will.”

Fans took notice when Stra came charging through the stretch one late afternoon this year at Santa anita and got

up at the wire to win the day’s final race by a nose aboard 22-1 outsider Paddlin Mud, causing a two-day, pick-six carryover of more than $700,000. She almost took more pride in that victory than when she won the first stakes race of her career aboard navy Shaker in the City of Mar-ion Stakes at Morphettville Racecourse in adelaide, South australia.

She hasn’t won any stakes races in the u.S. yet, but this is just her first full year of riding in america. a native australian who has dual citizenship because her mother is american and her father is australian, she didn’t begin her U.S. career until September 2007 at Fairplex Park in Pomona, California. She remained in California the rest of that year, scoring her first u.S. victory aboard the Jennie Green-trained Flying Bearcat in November 2007 at Hol-lywood Park, before returning to australia in early 2008 to fulfill riding commitments. She returned to the u.S. six months and 32 winners later because the lure of sunny Southern California was too great. She’s been here since.

“everything was good (in australia), but I just decided I wanted to come back here and give it another try,” Stra said. “I just felt like I wanted to be here.”

Stra could have remained in australia, where she be-gan winning almost from the start, before she even knew how to properly use a whip. She got noticed early and was given opportunities to ride better horses than she’s ridden so far in the u.S. She earned leading apprentice and leading

“If I just keep persevering, keep trying as much as I can, then eventually

I’ll get the opportunities to prove that I can do it...”

Dedication

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62ThoroughbredStyle

jockey honors her first two years while riding at smaller South australian tracks like Morphettville, victoria Park and Cheltenham Park.

She had graduated to australia’s two major tracks in Melbourne, Flemington and Caulfield, by the time she de-cided it was time to try her luck in america the first time. aided by the support of her family -- Stra’s grandparents on her mom’s side live in Fountain valley, California -- she’s been able to cope with all the early morning hours spent on the backstretch helping grooms and working as many horses as she could in an effort to land a foot in the door.

But getting out of bed each morning at 3 or 3:30, go-ing to the track in sometimes less than ideal weather con-ditions and trying to drum up business can be tiresome enough without the added burden of returning to the races that same afternoon and watching more established jockeys reap the rewards from all your hard work.

“I’ve worked so many horses since I’ve been here, and only just now I’m starting to ride the ones that I’m work-ing,” Stra said. “I had to be mentally strong to hang in there because I’d work a horse and I’d see it race in the afternoon with somebody else, and that was definitely frustrating.”

enter agent Mike Ciani, who was handling veteran Jon Court’s book before Court decided to return to arkansas

in January. Ciani began working for Stra in mid-February and has helped her establish connections with trainers like James Cassidy, Howard Zucker, Jeff Metz, Mike Pender and Matthew Chew that she didn’t have before.

“I think with her old agent, (trainers) had her work a lot of horses and they didn’t ride her,” Ciani said. “That’s discouraging for any rider. now, everything we work, I’m trying to get a mount out of these guys.”

One of Stra’s biggest fans is trainer Gary Sherlock, who put the 5-foot jockey on a cantankerous claimer named

a native australian who has dual citizenship because her

mother is american and her father is australian, she didn’t

begin her u.s. career until september 2007 at Fairplex Park in

Pomona, California.

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�oroughbredStyle 70 71 �oroughbredStyle

Thoroughbred LivingA R E A D I N G R O O M

G I F T R E C O M M E N D A T I O N

Ballads of the Turf And Other Doggerels

By William Galvin and Jim Coleman

William Galvin’s “ballads of the turf and other doggerels” is a hidden treasure of stories and poems from another era of horse racing. �ey reveal the author’s deep a�ection for �oroughbred and harness racing cultivated from his many positions in the industry: backstretch worker, writer, author, poet, racing o�cial, publicist and historian. He helped revive both trotting races under saddle and trotting races on ice in Canada, spending over 20 years with the Ontario Jockey Club and the Canadian Trotting Association where he was the executive editor of TROT Magazine.

Two stories from Jim Coleman who began covering �orough-bred racing for the Winnipeg Tri-bune are a bonus.

�ere are no celebrities in his book, only characters, human, equine and even fowl. �at’s right: fowl. You may have never heard of George the Goose but a�er reading his story, poem and eulogy, you won’t likely forget the one-time guardian of trainer Dick Townrow’s shed-row at Woodbine. George the Goose was so beloved that he was buried at Woodbine near the inner rail.

Puss n Boots will be memorable, too, not only because he blew a huge lead in the stretch in a turf race at Fort Erie Race Track by

jumping into the in�eld lake, but that he returned there to win the Niagara Stakes under Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte. Having justly atoned for his swimming sin, Puss n Boots was honored with a stakes race in his name at Woodbine. �e winning jockey, and sometimes the winning trainer, celebrate by jump-ing into the lake.

�en there’s Calgary barber Chatahoochie Smith, who supple-mented the little income gener-ated by his two cheap horses by taking his barber’s chair with them from track to track doing haircuts for horsemen. He was doing okay until he let one of his steeds graze on the in�eld steeplechase course at Woodbine. He’s remembered in a story by Coleman and celebrated in a ballad.

�e sagas of Sheepherder Bill, Bill the Reverend and his horse St.

Gregory, and Johnny Needle-Nose are chronicled along with What Might Have Been, A Horsemen’s Prayer, �is Jock’s First Ride, Times to Remember, �e One-Hundredth Running of the Queen’s Plate, and November Song. �ere’s even a glossary of racing terms and ex-pressions in the back of the book for novice horse lovers.

It’s a joy from cover to cover. – Bill Heller

C M Y CM MY CY CMY K

For the Horse Lover on Your List

88-93 E-WCatalona DreamingofAnna_v1b.indd 91 9/19/08 9:23:10 PM

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Soda Pop Kid last year and saw it win twice with her aboard.

“That was kind of a crazy horse, but she helped get him to settle down,” Sherlock said. “I think she’s a very good rider. She’s got very good hands, she knows no fear.”

But trainers often times are not the ones who decide what jockey is going to ride which horse. Like so many other trainers who might want to give Stra a shot, Sher-lock’s hands eventually were tied. as Soda Pop Kid moved up the class ladder, Stra lost the mount.

“I have owners to please, you know what I mean?” Sherlock said. “There are a lot of riders here now, a lot of good riders here now, and the problem is the owners want the name riders. It’s just a tough circuit. There’s a lot of good riders that aren’t riding a lot of horses, and there’s a lot of good riders that are leaving here.

“It’s the same thing with trainers. a lot of trainers have good ability and don’t have the horses, and that’s just part of the game.”

Still, all the hard work has paid dividends. Last year, af-ter Stra returned from australia, she won eight races from 150 mounts -- a 5 percent success rate. This year, she’s winning at an 8 percent clip (4 of 53 through March 16). The numbers maybe aren’t as glittering as those of Cana-dian jockey Chantal Sutherland, perhaps the nation’s top female rider since Julie Krone. Sutherland won 14 percent of the time in 2008 and has won with 12 percent of her mounts in 2009 while riding more than twice the amount of races as Stra.

But Stra doesn’t worry about what Sutherland is do-ing. yes, she admits there’s a bit more pressure because she’s riding on the same circuit as a woman jockey who boasts a more accomplished resume due to her exploits at Woodbine Park in Toronto, but Stra tries to block out that distraction and put all her concentration into what she can control.

“I just have to keep my mind on my job and what I’m doing and not worry about certain people,” she said. “I think that will just ruin me. I just try and think of what I’m

“There are a lot of riders out here and there’s not as many

horses as there used to be. you’ve got to build your business,

get some good horses and you’ve got to ride them good to get

them back. every wins helps too. ..”

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65 ThoroughbredStyle

doing and that’s it. I’m trying to stay humble and happy, and I think that’s the way that I ride best.”

Said Sherlock: “To me, (Stra) had to prove herself from scratch. Chantal, well, she’d been riding in Canada and you could look and see what she’d ridden for the year. She’s done well up there.”

Stra’s efforts to make it on the Southland circuit were well-chronicled this year on animal Planet’s reality series entitled “Jockeys,” a behind-the-scenes look at riders and the problems they face that the average fan might not real-ize. The show was recently picked up for a second season.

“I think they picked me because I was a new person and I was trying to make myself known to get on the better horses,” Stra said. “They just wanted to show the differ-ence between every jockey here.”

The exposure helped, generating new fans who now lend support and cheer for Stra when they come to the track. as she said, “all of those people who are doing that, I suppose it’s kind of made me stronger because I don’t want to let anyone down. They all believe in me so much and they want to see me do well here. It’s crazy. I have to keep walking because I can’t always pick them out and get to know them. There’s a lot of people that support me. It’s good.”

Still, she remains focused.“I want to be recognized for being a good rider, not for

being on a Tv show,” Stra said. Ciani is optimistic it’s going to work out. He sees the

progress that’s been made in the short time he’s worked for Stra.

“I think it’s a building process,” he said. “There are a lot of riders out here and there’s not as many horses as there used to be. you’ve got to build your business, get some good horses and you’ve got to ride them good to get them back. every wins helps too. Winning produces more busi-ness and shows you can ride. even if (horsemen) don’t see the race, they say, ‘Oh, you won again?’ People notice wins, they don’t notice seconds.

“She’s got a great personality and smile, and she needs to use that and win some races … we’ve gotten more wins since I took her book, and she seems happy. She seems like she is focused, and I think it’s going in the right direction.”

Ciani doesn’t believe it would have helped Stra crack the tough Southern California circuit if she’d started at a smaller track like Turf Paradise in Phoenix or Golden Gate Fields in northern California.

“It would have been easier at that circuit, but it wouldn’t have been easier after riding at that circuit to come here,” he said. “It’s tough here. even if the top riders from up north come here now, it’s going to be tough for them.”

as Sherlock said, “a good rider is riding only three or four horses a day sometimes.”

So Stra takes what she can get for now and hopes better days are ahead.

“I just figure if I’ve got one or two (mounts), at least I’m not sitting at home,” she said. “It’s been hard to hang in there because I expected it to happen quicker than it has, but I think I may have earned more respect from people by showing that I can hang in there, that I can wait for it, because I want it so badly. It’s what I love doing, and I can’t see myself doing anything else.”

She doesn’t expect to become the next Laffit Pincay Jr. or win a Kentucky Derby anytime soon. Those would be nice goals for any young rider on the way up, but Stra just wants her small niche, her little part of Southern Califor-nia.

“I’d just like to become well-established enough to be comfortable and not have to wait for my next check,” she said. “I’d like to team up with some good trainers and hold that respect as a team, try to have some foundation like that. It would be nice, rather than just try to pick out hors-es wherever I can. I’d like to have some support behind me from bigger stables.”

If hard work, dedication and determination mean any-thing in this business, Stra figures to have a good shot at achieving her goals.

Art Wilson is a horse-racing writer for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

Page 66: Thoroughbred Style

66ThoroughbredStyle

TLands That elusiveBIg one

Gryder By Bill Heller

he fall of 1992 must seem like a lifetime ago to jockey Aaron Gryder. The California native was 22-years-old and on top of the world when he rode Senor Thomas to victory in the $750,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs.

Though Gryder would begin 2009 as the 34th leading jock-ey in career earnings with more than $102 million, he had yet to win a richer purse.

It seemed like he’d spent his entire career waiting for the one big horse in the one big moment which would take him to a racing pinnacle he never quite reached.

until March 28th , 2009. That’s when Gryder, who was 13th in the jockey standings at Santa anita, and his six-year-old gelding Well armed blew away 13 opponents to win the $6 million Dubai World Cup by 14 lengths gate to wire in what was the final race at the nal ad Shiba track.

What a sweet feeling it must have been for Gryder when the horses came out of the final turn and he saw the horses behind him being ridden hard, while he had a ton of horse underneath him. “I could feel how much energy he had left,” Gryder said three days later. “I hadn’t asked him.”

When Gryder let Well armed roll, he exploded in a man-ner seldom seen in million-dollar races. “I’ve done this for 30 years, and I’ve never been happier,” Gryder’s agent, Craig O’Bryan, said. “aaron’s such a good guy, and he deserves it so much.”

Gryder said, “It was a huge personal satisfaction. Twenty-two years of riding and I’ve had some good days, but this was winning the biggest race with horses from countries all over the world. Fourteen lengths, you don‘t expect that. On the right day, he ran the best race of his life.”

There may be more. under expert handling by trainer eoin Harty, Well armed has stamped himself as one of the best horses in the world, and certainly one with a huge chance later

this year when the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic is con-tested at Santa anita.

after finishing a dismal 11th in the uae Derby in Dubai, March 25th, 2006, Well armed was shipped to the united States and placed in Harty’s care. after an 18 month layoff, Well armed has prospered, winning four of 12 starts, with three seconds and one third, a front-running third in the 2008 Dubai World Cup behind two-time Horse of the year Cur-lin and asiatic Boy. Gryder has ridden Well armed in every north american start.

“I’ve stuck with aaron because he fits the horse,” Harty said.

yet Gryder spent years trying to figure out where he fit. Gryder was born in California, not far from Santa anita,

and, after winning his first race on Ragin Henry at agua Cali-ente in Tijuana, Mexico, on January 18th, 1987, he began rid-ing at Hollywood Park and Santa anita. He had spectacular success immediately, winning the Hollywood Park meet as an apprentice rider in 1987 and taking his first Grade 1 stakes on asteroid Field in the Matriarch. “To say I’ve been riding 22 years, and the best horses were in my first couple years is amazing,” he said. “I got to ride (champion mare) Baya-koa five times and won her first stakes in america (the June Darling in 1988), and I got to ride (1989 Horse of the year) Sunday Silence once (finishing second by a head in allowance race). I’ve ridden some great horses. I’ve been happy with my career. But at times I’ve been disappointed with myself, not on a horse, but my absence of finding good horses.”

So he went searching for them, leaving California to ride in

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67 ThoroughbredStyle

Lands That elusive

the Midwest and the east, winning riding titles at Churchill Downs in Louisville, arlington Park in Chicago and aqueduct Racetrack in new york.

He’d ridden briefly in new york in 1991-92, but on his return in the winter of 1996-1997, he felt he was in New York to stay, which he did for 10 years. He was doing as well as just about anybody, finishing third for the year in 1998 behind Jorge Chavez and Richard Migliore, and second in 2000, only seven victories be-hind norberto arroyo, Jr., who had been an apprentice for part of that year.

Though he was third in new york in 2001 with 151 winners, Gryder’s business began dropping off and he moved back to California in December, 2005. “I was making a decent living in new york, but my wife, Karen, is from California, and my kids, Christian (9) and Grace (6) would be able to see their grandparents,” Gry-der said. “I said I can do at least as well in California as I was doing in new york.”

If he hadn’t returned to California, he never would have been chosen to be one of the cast members of “Jockeys,” the animal Planet reality series focusing on several California riders which debuted last winter. “It’s as close to a reality show as you can get,” Gryder said. “I think what it’s done is open the eyes of people who don’t know racing. Whether you like the show or not, it’s good for the sport. They’re working on a second season now.” Previously, he had appeared on Tv in the “Sopranos” and “Dellaventura.”

But Gryder’s most important California connection came when he worked a horse for eoin Harty, a gelding who had won just two of his first 11 starts in eng-land and Dubai. Well armed was abysmal in his last two starts in Dubai, finishing ninth and 11th in two graded stakes. yet he was a new horse when he arrived in California. “When I got on the horse and worked him five-eighths of a mile, two years ago, I told my agent at the time, `Don’t take me off this horse,’” Gryder said.

Following his long layoff, Well armed finished fourth and then first in a pair of allowance races. When Gryder guided Well armed to a second by a length and first by a head in a pair of Grade 2 stakes at Santa anita, he was off to Dubai for the 2008 World Cup. Sent off at 35-1 in the field of 12, he led, then didn’t have enough to hold off runaway winner Curlin and asiatic Boy, who edged Well armed by a neck for second.

Harty gave Well armed time off and he returned in mid-July to win the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap by a length and a quarter and finish second by a neck to Go Between in the $1 million Grade 1 Pacific Classic. Then Well armed came from off the pace to capture the Grade 1 Goodwood by a length. In the inaugural running of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Well armed went off the 6-5 favorite, was steadied, and finished ninth.

Harty freshened him and pointed for this year’s World Cup off two Grade 2 handicaps, the San Pasqual and the San antonio. In the first, Well armed finished fourth by two lengths as the 3-2 favorite. “visu-ally, it wasn’t that impressive, but we were very satisfied,” Gryder said. “eoin wanted two preps for the World Cup. I thought it was a good tightener.”

In the San antonio, Gryder placed Well armed on the lead and he opened a 4 ½-length lead early. But he weakened late, finishing second by a length to Magnum. “He had a three or four length lead on the turn,” Gryder said. “at that point, you’re supposed to win, but the track wasn’t favoring speed that day. I thought he ran great. I was very happy. you want to win, but I wasn’t disappointed at all.”

Gryder backed that up by taking nine

days off from Santa anita to go to Dubai and work Well armed for the World Cup. “That’s a lot to miss from a meet, but I went there not worrying about what I was missing, rather what we were going for,” he said. “He breezed great, a half-mile in :49. For him, that’s just galloping. He just skips over that track.”

Gryder truly believed Well armed could win the World Cup. “I thought, going into the race, this was the year I could win,” he said. “There were horses in there we had to respect: asiatic Boy, Casino Drive, Kieran McLaughlin’s horse (albertus Maximus), but a lot of people overlooked Well armed.”

The start of the World Cup couldn’t have been better for Gryder. “When he broke out of the gate, he out-broke them by a length,” he said. “I could drop my hands. I let the reins dangle for a good 50 yards. I let him go in the pace he wanted. Last year, he was more aggressive.”

This year, he was traveling comfortably and had no challengers. “By the top of the stretch, I felt I was going to win,” Gryder said. “I wasn’t getting any pressure. I was loving every stride he was taking. I thought it would take a hell of a horse to beat him. I just opened my hands and he extended his stride. I said, `They’re not going to run him down today.”

They couldn’t even keep up. Harty said, “I was quite delighted. a lot of these races are decided at the wire.”

not this one. Gryder will do everything he can to build on the biggest victory of his career.

“as good as I’ve done, I haven’t put myself in the situation I’m in now,” he said. “I’m 38 years old now. The doors are open, and it’s all up to me and my agent to take advantage of it. There’s a window there that doesn’t stay open very long. What

this did for my career is give me the opportunity to approach other clients for stakes races. They can’t say, `you’re a good rider, but

you can’t win the big one.’”

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

photograph bY barbara D. liviNgstoN

Page 68: Thoroughbred Style

68ThoroughbredStyle

HBy Kimberly French

e has collected 20 leading trainer titles at Laurel Park Racecourse, 25 at Pimlico Race Course, has the most victories of any Maryland conditioner, led the nation in races won twice in the 1970’s, and is the third winningest trainer of all-time behind only Dale Baird and Jack Van Berg. yet King T. Leatherbury insists his accomplishments, which have never really received much national recognition while being revered in Maryland, are not worthy of accolades.

He has collected 20 leading trainer titles at Laurel Park Racecourse, 25 at Pim-lico Race Course, has the most victories of any Maryland conditioner, led the nation in races won twice in the 1970’s, and is the third winningest trainer of all-time behind only Dale Baird and Jack van Berg. yet King T. Leatherbury insists his accomplishments, which have never really received much national recognition while being revered in Maryland, are not worthy of accolades.

“Oh my god its been 50 years since I saddled my first winner (Mister L) at Sunshine Park, which is now Tampa Bay Downs in Florida,” explained the Shady Side, Maryland native and current resident, who has won 6,267 races and count-ing. “I really don’t know why you would be interested in writing about me. I am and always have been just old news. Besides, I have never concentrated on the higher class horses. I’ve only had two Grade I winners, I am The Game and Taking Risks.”

Born on March 26, 1933, which is the same year Prohibition was repealed and the first drive-in movie theater opened in Camden, new Jersey, Leatherbury was raised on a 300 acre farm he now owns. His father, Taylor, a successful well-

LeatherburyKing Is still sending out Winners

photographs bY barbara D. liviNgstoN

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69 ThoroughbredStyle

driller, originally purchased the property to hunt on, but instead of pointing a pistol, the elder Leatherbury turned his hand to raising horses.

“He was a country guy and he developed it into a farm,” his son told Jack Mann of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred in 1993. “He gradually got into horses and af-ter awhile he went to Kentucky to buy yearlings cheap. He had a good eye for a horse, had his own stud, never bred to anything big. He had some allowance winners.”

When Leatherbury headed off to college at the university of Maryland in Col-lege Park, he had no burning desire to become a horse trainer. In fact, he told Jack Mann the only occupation he had ever truly considered was “to drive a bulldozer,” but the young man, who eventually graduated with a degree in business adminis-tration, had always been drawn to various games of chance.

“Sociologists say 50 percent of the people like to gamble, 50 percent don’t,” Leatherbury told the Baltimore Sun in 2003. “It has nothing to do with your eco-nomic status, your education -- anything -- how you were raised, doesn’t matter. “I just happen to have always been a gambler,” he continued. “I’ve been associated with gamblers my whole life and I enjoy it. It’s exciting and entertaining.”

after graduation, Leatherbury signed on for a two-year tour of duty with the army Chemical Corps, and began to gravitate towards entering the racing industry.

“I read everything I could get my hands on about horses and racing while I was in the army,” Leatherbury recalled. “I just liked it so much that I decided I would go ahead and plunge into it as a trainer. I wasn’t tied down; I wasn’t married; so I didn’t have to get a real job so to speak, so why not do something I enjoyed? I wasn’t really expecting to do well.”

and he didn’t.The 25-year-old, who took five of his father’s horses to Sunshine Park in 1958,

managed just one win at that track’s 1959 meet, and only had 30 victories from 142 starts more than four years after he commenced his career.

“I did a lot of the work myself and learned through trial and error,” he re-membered. “I was just existing and had no real objective other than getting into something I liked to do.

Over a short period of time, I started getting some outside owners and it just grew, basically, one horse at a time. When you start doing well and winning races, you know people will call you up and want you to train their horses.”

Leatherbury did not become a trainer because of his unadulterated passion for equines.

“I am not a horse lover,” he told the Thoroughbred Times in 1983. “If it weren’t for racing I would have nothing to do with them.”

The competitive nature of the sport intrigued Leatherbury and when he saw the success Hall of Famer Grover “Bud” Delp, who conditioned dual classic win-ner and 1980 Horse of the year Spectacular Bid, was enjoying, it inspired him.

“everyone else was running a mom-and-pop store against a supermarket,” he explained to Jack Mann of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred in 1993. “Bud set the standards for the rest of us because he was such a fierce competitor. Look at what happened when he lost his whole stable in that fire. no, not just was he back claim-ing horses the next day, he was the leading trainer at the next meeting at Pimlico.

That man impressed me.”With the late Delp as his muse,

Leatherbury stepped up his game and throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s contended with the afore-mentioned Delp, Richard Dutrow Sr., and John Tammaro, Jr. as the top conditioners on the Maryland circuit.

Known as the Big Four, these four men revolutionized the art of claiming horses, and skill as a handicapper, rather than horse-manship, was the vital component. The rivalry between them was in-

tense, yet only Tammaro and Leatherbury seemed to take it to a personal level.“I didn’t even know Tammaro until he confronted me behind the stands at

Bowie one day and told me he was going to dedicate his life to ruining me,” Leath-erbury told Jack Mann. “He told me he hated me more than once. I was lucky in claims from him and it seemed I got the best of it nine time out of ten.

“I guess the last straw came at Delaware Park when I had a horse that was be-ginning to bow (a tendon,)” he continued. “I put a bandage on him so a little bit of sponge was showing over the top. I figured he (Tammaro) would figure I was making it look like he was bowed, so he wouldn’t be claimed.”

Tammaro proved Leatherbury wrong and took the horse, bowed tendon and all.

“He would claim off a man in his own barn who had only one horse,” Tam-maro said to the Thoroughbred Times in 1988. “I give him all the credit for being successful, but I question his ethics.”

So did others. Throughout his career, Leatherbury has been criticized for not spending nearly

enough time at the barn. For years, he has spent his mornings managing his stable via telephone instead of scrutinizing his horses’ exercise regimens.

“For years and years and years, when I first started, I was out there before the sun came out and I stayed there until it got dark everyday,” he explained. “I paid my dues and when you have 80 horses, you can’t possibly keep on top of every-thing, so that’s when you have good people to delegate too.

“I always trusted my exercise boys,” Leatherbury continued. “If you are getting on a horse everyday, you know exactly how that horse goes and feels, so I didn’t need to see anything. It’s boring as heck watching horses gallop, which is what they do 90 percent of the time. In a race it’s different, because the horses are actu-ally competing, but otherwise it looks good in the movies when you see a trainer standing out there in the morning on the rail with a stopwatch in his hand. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

He doesn’t walk the shedrow too often either.“He’d go out (to the barn) on payday, and that was it,” Delp told John Schein-

man of The Washington Post in 2005.Leatherbury, whose other top pupils include Thirty-eight Paces, ameri valay,

Malibu Moonshine and ah Day, believes the key to success is supervising your horses much like a boxing manager does his clients.

“you are dealing with an animal athlete, so basically, you are the manager of a prize fighter,” he explained. “a manager is trying to put together a good fight, with opposition he can beat while trying to keep his fighter healthy and sound. That’s basically what you do as a trainer, because a horse is a natural runner when he’s

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“you are

dealing with

an animal

athlete, so

basically,

you are the

manager of a

prize fighter,”

born. He wants to run, so you are just cultivating and manag-ing him. a good horse will kind of do his own thing and make you look good.”

So Leatherbury, who led all Maryland trainers in wins from 1993 to 1996, won five races in one day four times and cap-tured six races on one card, spends his afternoons in a his Skybox at Laurel Park handicapping and betting.

“It’s almost like you’re working at a puzzle -- and that’s what makes our game so exciting,” he said to the Bal-timore Sun in 2003 of his fascination with wagering on races. “The bettor gets the chance to analyze, and he gets a feeling of satisfaction when he picks a winner. “Whether his analysis turns out right or wrong, what’s in his mind is: ‘Damn, I figured that damn thing out. I knew that one was going to win,’ Leatherbury continued. “I go up there and pick up my money. and he’s tickled, not only financially, but he is tickled and satisfied mentally in that he has beaten the game.”

In his younger years, Leatherbury would often accompany his horses when they shipped out of town, but now prefers to watch his charges’ races from the sanctity of his box seats.

“I remember I ran a horse at Garden State in the second race and then came back to Delaware for the sixth race and then Charlestown for the fourth race but I don’t do that any-more,” he said. “I hit all the tracks and I do miss going to them, but (traveling) especially flying is so hard to do nowa-days, that it’s just as good to watch on television.

“Plus as Jim McKay would say, the agony of defeat is softer or easier if you don’t have to think about it on that long trip back home,” Leatherbury continued. “I’ll watch the races from Laurel and that way, if I win, I’m thrilled to death and if I lose, I’m only 20 minutes away from home and I’ll go there to get over the disappointment.”

At 76, his zest for training has not waned, but Leatherbury has a reason why his stable has declined from more than 60 head to 25.

“I’m outliving all my owners,” he said. “In fact, I just had one pass last week (in March.) The owners are usually younger than the trainers and if they get in the game, they should choose a young, up-and-coming trainer they can grow with. I can’t blame them for not selecting me.”

Besides being a conditioner, Leatherbury is an owner and breeder, although his breeding operation has downsized sig-nificantly over the last several years. His six-year-old home-bred ah Day, a son of Malibu Moon and endette, won the Grade III Toboggan Handicap on March 7 at Aqueduct and

finished sixth in the Grade I Carter Handicap, also at aque-duct, on april 4.

The gelding’s dam was sired by none other than Thirty-eight Paces, who Leatherbury purchased as a weanling in a partnership for $38,000 and later trained and stood at stud. The stallion earned nearly $500,000 on the racetrack and was Grade I placed.

“I only have one broodmare left, but at one time I had 20,” Leatherbury said. “I definitely was not as smart as everyone thought I was, and just tried some things out to see what hit because just like with anything else, there’s a run of luck in-volved, and with ah Day, I got lucky.

“at the time Malibu Moon, who has since hit the big-time, was standing here in Maryland at the Pons Farm for $2,500,” he continued. “The mare didn’t even break her maiden, but she was out of the one of the best mares I had and I wanted to keep breeding on that line.”

His main motivation remains simply to win races, but Leatherbury acknowledges some of the achievements on his resume are a great source of pride.

“I’m the third winningest trainer ever and so that means something to me,” he said. “I was the leading trainer in the country for a couple years back in the 1970s. Those are the kinds of records that when you have them, no one can take them away from you, but even today, I still get a thrill out of winning races and basically that’s what you have to do to stay in business. If you don’t, then you fall by the wayside.”

Kimberly French is a freelance writer in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

Page 71: Thoroughbred Style

71 ThoroughbredStyle

.com.comOnlineLeagueTracker

Best of Breed Web Based Golf League Tracking Solution

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DAVE JOHNSON, PGAPAST PRESIDENT, NEBRASKA SECTION

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Online League Tracker is a golf league solution that allows the league’s manager to create, calculate, track and display golf handicaps, individual and team points, score cards, schedule matches, display the season’s calendar and easily communicate with league members. Each league has a private website to display the above information along with its roster, league rules and a photo gallery.

Online League Tracker can also be utilized to track the rounds, handicaps, points and skins of a golf trip or a guy’s getaway. The annual subscription of $99 is waived when a league or group is set up by a PGA member. Ask your Golf Professional to register your course and your league or group today.

Page 72: Thoroughbred Style

72ThoroughbredStyle

riding in style on the argentine PampasBy Ilana Clenman

or those who have yet to visit the Argentine Pampas, that immense South American prairie, it is hard to picture.

It is one of those rare places on earth where words fail describe it and no camera lens is wide enough to

capture its vastness. While the endless fields and pastures are beautiful, possibly the most spectacular

sight on the Pampas is the sky, an uninterrupted and ever changing collage of light and colour.

L a o r I e n T a L

oriental: Estancia La

Thoroughbred Travel

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73 ThoroughbredStyle

For those who have yet to visit the argentine Pampas, that immense South american prairie, it is hard to picture. It is one of those rare places on earth where words fail describe it and no camera lens is wide enough to capture its vastness. While the endless fields and pastures are beau-tiful, possibly the most spectacular sight on the Pampas is the sky, an uninterrupted and ever changing collage of light and colour.

For those who appreciate the company of horses, there is no better way to enjoy the landscape than on horseback, as argentines have for hundreds of years and continue to do. argentina is unusual in the way that horses have be-come so entrenched in the local culture and society. The poor take pride in their riding and cart horses and depend upon them for labour and entertainment, while the wealthy enjoy their hobby and sport horses. Thoroughbred racing is a multimillion dollar industry that recently produced the appropriately named superstar ‘Invasor’, the invader. Whether one is interested in trying out local Criollo horses in unique soft flexible saddles, or looking for a fleet year-ling set to leave the pack in the dust, argentina is an ideal

destination for the equine oriented. If you are looking for an elegant and peaceful spot in the countryside to put your feet up – either by the pool or up in the stirrups, estancia La Oriental is not to be missed.

entering the estate from the surrounding open farm-land, one crosses the dusty railroad built by the english and opens a simple wooden gate and iron chain. There is no lock, no doorbell, and certainly no doorman. Despite being one of the most elegant and oldest estates in the province, unlike so many others it is still truly a working ranch and bears no pretensions to be otherwise. Passing through the main wrought iron gate, the hot baked earth scented wind gives way to cool woodsy aromas of moss, leaves and flowers and the sun disappears beneath a natu-ral cathedral of eastern Cottonwood, well into their sec-ond century of life. at the end of this long tunnel of trees one reaches the main garden and sunbathed house, which although large compared to other turn-of-the-century es-tate homes in the province, it is far from being a mansion and is impressive without being excessive. It is most no-table for its impeccable condition, especially considering

oriental: argentina is

unusual in

the way that

horses have

become so

entrenched

in the local

culture and

society.

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74ThoroughbredStyle

most of the

furniture was

imported from

France at the

time that the

house was

built, as was

the fashion

in 1880, and

some pieces

were already

antique.

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75 ThoroughbredStyle

that the local elastic clay soil has left many old buildings sinking, slanting, or otherwise resembling a Gaudi design.

Once inside one is immediately dwarfed by the seven meter ceilings. The rooms and corridors, in contrast, are spacious yet reasonable in size, as though designed to care-fully avoid appearing ostentatious. Raphael Torello and estela Ocampo de Torello own and manage the estate, Ra-phael trained as an agricultural engineer and estela is an in-terior designer. Her blue eyes sparkle with pride when she tells talks about the place. “Imagine a young mother and baby alone in this place in the middle of the country”, she recalls, waving her arm in the air alluding to the immensity of it all. Having moved into the old house in dire need of repairs as a young mother she felt it was inappropri-ate for a baby. She converted some of the old horse stalls left empty from the time that the farm housed Don Justo Saavedra’s Thoroughbred racehorses into a modest home, and the main building was left empty. as years went by she felt compelled to clean up and renovate it, yet needed some motivation to do the work. She came up with the idea that they would open the place to tourism. although it was in a disastrous state, she emphasizes that everything is original dating back to when the estate was bought by Ra-phael’s grandmother in a so-called ‘closed-gate’ sale (which includes every animal, worker, and all contents). Most of the furniture was imported from France at the time that the house was built, as was the fashion in 1880, and some pieces were already antique. One bedroom contains a chest of drawers that includes a removable toilet, bidet and washbasin that would have been emptied by a servant in the morning. The current owners prefer guests use the

enormous bathrooms that are testament to the durability of late 19th century construction, with stylish undamaged tiles and original bath, shower, and pipes.

Guest are served three meals a day in a choice of loca-tions. estela says that many people enjoy dining together in the main dining room or weather permitting, outdoors, as the country atmosphere and small number of guests encourages people to socialize. Honeymooners and private guests also have the option of eating alone. The extensive planted forest, which includes eucalyptus, poplars, palm, and magnolia, provides shelter from the sun and wind, not to mention a constantly changing array of perfumes that are practically an olfactory symphony. In winter the house is heated in part by wood, which leaves a gentle smoky scent year round.

The days can very easily be whiled away eating and re-laxing. Meals include delicious grilled meat, homemade pastas, and elaborate breakfasts including homemade pastries, yogurt, fruit, and eggs. For more energetic indi-viduals there is a multitude of activities available. a quiet stroll through the estate woods (on the Pampas known as a ‘casco’ (helmet), because from a distance it resembles a sort of hat bulging out of the flat grassland), and into the surrounding fields, will reveal a lot of animals and very little sign of human life. even straining the senses one is hard pressed to detect a building or motor vehicle. Lizards, hares, foxes, nutria (a water-loving rodent), birds, and of course horses and cattle abound. For those interested in wildlife, the Salado River and Lake Carpincho border the estate and attract many bird species. For those who enjoy fishing, equipment is provided. Swimmers and sunbathers

Despite being

one of the

most elegant

and oldest

estates in

the province,

unlike so many

others it is

still truly

a working

ranch and

bears no

pretensions to

be otherwise.

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76ThoroughbredStyle

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

can relax at the pool which is inside the immense circular garden sheltered from the wind while an opening in the trees allows a stunning view of the countryside.

exploring the buildings and grounds is fascinating for anyone interested in antiques and history. Hidden amongst the trees there is an old chapel and a meat cellar that was used to store slaughtered animals before the time of re-frigerators. empty horse stalls once housed the stallions Malagueno and Madrugador whose colts and fillies ran in white and pink stripes at Palermo racetrack in the early 20th century. The tack room still has dusty racing saddles that have been unused for over eighty years.

Horseback riding is a way of life in argentina, and for those looking to spend hours in the saddle or get on a horse for the first time, visiting the country presents an ideal opportunity. unlike europe and north america, rid-ing here is very affordable. La Oriental offers unlimited guided riding tours included in the cost of the room. es-tela says that with the small number of guests, the planning of activities is rather informal. usually plans for the day are discussed the evening before. a friendly and patient fellow named Miguel is in charge of the 30 riding horses and can accommodate any riding level. The argentine Cri-ollo is one of the most docile breeds in the world. Descen-dants of Spanish horses, they are remarkably hardy and generally eager to work. They are famous for their smooth canter that makes it possible even for beginners to gallop long distances if they like. english saddles and helmets are available, as well as the traditional argentine recado, which is composed of layers of leather and sheepskin but lacks the wooden tree that gives most saddles their shape. One can ride along the river, out to the lake, or the more ambi-tious can take a day trip to a nearby country village.

unlike most estates open to tourists that merely pro-

vide a contrived ‘gaucho show’, La Oriental is still a work-ing cattle ranch with about 400 head of Black angus and Hereford on 2500 acres and allows guests to take part in routine chores such as moving herds, checking fences, checking calves, and rounding up for vaccinations and sale. Without a doubt many people leaving La Oriental will miss gazing out at the horizon with a pair of pointy ears in the way.

any time of year is a unique time to visit La Orien-tal, with different trees and shrubs flowering throughout spring, summer, and autumn. For those who cannot toler-ate heat and are willing to pile on the sweaters, winter is also pleasant and has the added benefit of being virtually insect-free. Freezing temperatures are rare and many trees keep their leaves year-round, such as the giant delicious smelling eucalyptus that are home to flocks of parrots. Keep in mind that the seasons are reversed, therefore the hottest months are December, January and February. Sun-ny days are the norm year round, yet heavy rainstorms can occur at any time. Fear not though, rain on the Pampas is usually a dramatic spectacle of nature and well worth wit-nessing, and by borrowing a set of rubber boots one can set out to witness the green burst of life that follows one of these refreshing storms. Buses run daily from Buenos aires to the nearby town of Junin, which itself is a busy rural town worth a visit. La Oriental can easily be reached by taxi, called remis, or by prearranged pickup. Plan for the trip to take about three hours. although it is well off the beaten tourist track, and many city dwellers in Buenos aires would consider it too far out of the way, it is well worth the trip for anyone looking for an authentic rural stay in stylish surroundings.

A

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At Woodbine racetrack in the heart of Toronto there is a delightful creation fondly known to backstretch horse people as Baker’s acres. De-veloped by Colonel Charles Baker during his tenure as Chairman of the Ontario Jockey Club, ‘The acres’ is a half-mile meadow track of finely harrowed sand hidden in the far-west corner of the backside barn area. a charming little sand-track, twenty-feet wide and co-loured like a painted postcard in the dusty browns and greens of a country farm and ringed by shady maple trees and a white painted fence. young horses find it especially cool, a place where the training is fun.

Charles Baker first saw the value of Baker’s acres when it was only a forgotten and dusty meadow behind barn 12a; what is now barn 35. no fence at the time, a plain dirt trail six or eight feet wide with knee-high weeds and grass growing wild in the centerfield, the meadow gallop was country living for horses and right here in the middle of Toronto. almost ideal for a horse to vacation between races, accomplished horseman Charles Baker was impressed.

norcliffe, his dazzling three-year-old colt, was the 1976 Winter Book favourite to win the coming Queen’s P l a t e . Bred by e.P.Taylor at Windfields Farm in Oshawa

Ontario, norcliffe was sired by Belmont winner Buckpasser, from the stakes winning northern Dancer mare, Drama School. One of the most expensive yearlings of his crop, Charles Baker had signed the $80,000 auction slip at the 1974 Saratoga Summer Yearling Sales. The colt then broken to the saddle by Baker himself, proved such a wonderful individual that Baker was inspired. Indeed, he bet with his heart when he named the powerful bay norcliffe, after the farm where he lived in the hunt country of King Township.

norcliffe was never a disappointment; precocious as a two-year-old and masterfully trained by Roger attfield, a young transplanted englishman aspiring to make his mark, the colt set a stakes record for juveniles in Woodbine’s prestigious Coronation Futurity.

Thoroughbred horse racing however, can be shockingly cruel. The following spring in March, norcliffe’s training pro-

gram was compromised by a serious foot problem. now seen as similar to the injury which plagued Big Brown, the 2008 Kentucky Derby winner, norcliffe devel-oped a quarter crack in his near front foot.

“But different than Big Brown and his foot problems, way back

in 1976 a quarter crack was a major disaster,” Rog-er attfield explains. “The wall of norcliffe’s hoof

had split at the coronet band. Painful when he galloped, the usual thing was to wait three or four months and let the crack grow out of the foot. Sickening for all of us; that meant norcliffe was out of the Queen’s Plate; that all the dreams had ended.”

Roger is sitting quietly on his long toothed Thoroughbred pony

Training Champion norcliffe at Baker’s acres

rogerBy gerry BeL anger

attfield

photographs CoUrtesY of the CaNaDiaN horse raCiNg hall of fame.

photographs bY liz eDwarDs

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and breaths a long sigh. early morning and foggy here at Woodbine, his set of two colts are entering the well groomed sand track which rings Baker’s acres. attfield, a patrician man with an english, ‘Windsor’ face, is the essence of a gentleman horse-trainer. Well seasoned by more than fifty years of rid-ing and working with horses, he is wearing a throat warming wool knit sweater and a tweed hacking jacket with the lapel turned up to thwart the chill. His hazel eyes thoughtful un-der the brim of a dusty helmet, his colts are now only vague shapes in the billowing waves of fog.

“We can all thank God that Colonel Baker was not the sort to give up,” Roger continues. “He’d been a member of the Canadian Jumping Team that won gold, and knowing horse people in Kentucky, he searched for answers, learned of a new method to heal quarter cracks called the Bane Patch. almost identical to the patch Big Brown wore in the Kentucky Derby. at the time, it was very expensive. Still, the Colonel wanted to win the Queen’s Plate. So sparing no expense we flew in Bill Bane, the farrier who invented the patch. and scary then to watch the cutting out of the crack and the filling in of the bloody hole with some sort of plastic, even when the patch was in place, I was nervous”.

norcliffe loved to train and was a big, strong, beautiful moving horse, but would the patch come loose with racing and training? Would the patch last until the Queen’s Plate?

Concern wreathes Roger’s face even now. “So of course Colonel Baker was worried too. But never surrendering, it was also his idea to train norcliffe in this here meadow. Hop-ing to get him off the bit; we could save the foot, you see.” Roger pausing, the memory clearly vivid, his eyes are on his two colts as they are caught suddenly in a shaft of brilliant sunlight. Both horses with their heads bowed and appear-ing happy, the riders are standing up in the tack. The view only for a moment, again they are smudged shapes moving through the fog.

“yes,” Roger exclaims, “and like those colts out there, nor-cliffe loved training at Baker’s acres. My first ‘Big Horse’, just lovely for me sitting on him, he always stopped right here and stood posing before we galloped. Checking out the fox and geese in the infield, he would have stood for an hour if I’d let him. Wonderful times, then we would canter around the track, getting in the miles.”

norcliffe was Roger attfield’s first Queen’s Plate winner. Roger elegantly represented every Thoroughbred horse train-er for that milestone occasion while wearing silk top hat and tails, he has since knelt before Queen elizabeth and has won the classic race a record seven more times.

nevertheless, the breakdown of the Bane Patch or the ap-pearance of another quarter crack continued to be a worry-ing possibility and even after norcliffe had won the Queen’s Plate, attfield continued the frequent use of the meadow trail as a training site.

“I always grazed norcliffe out there in the centerfield,” Roger muses. “Magnificent standing there tail-swishing at

flies, it’s no wonder to me that he became a great stallion. The sire of Groovy, the eclipse champion sprinter, norcliffe was the leading sire of two-year-olds in america, only just bad luck that he died early from colic.”

Shifting in the saddle, Roger caresses the dozing pony whose lower lip is hanging comically. “Still, the Colonel was a stickler for the details. This meadow and that raggedy old dirt track was not a first class situation. unworthy of Woodbine, he wanted it cleaned up, and bringing in heavy grading equip-ment, he had the track levelled out there above that rise in the meadow. See it?” Roger says, and pointing, he stands up in the irons. “Out there and above the rise - where that row of trees was started.”

Sitting back in the tack, Roger nudges his knee and the pony turns a step. “So that’s when I started calling this place Baker’s acres. Just a great place to train, and Woodbine, al-ready about the finest training centre in the world and every horseperson on the backside, agreed with the idea. and look at these horses!” he exclaims. “Do you see that big colt gal-loping there on the outside? a great mover, he reminds me a lot of norcliffe. Strong, and with a real good mind; just look at him going by.”

now the horses and riders are emerging from the fog. The outside colt quickly looming large and galloping close to the rail, his ears are pricked and head bowed, he is concentrat-ing on his work. Impressively reaching for ground, clouded breath streaming from his nostrils, a hand can reach to touch him as he passes. a big dark horse with a deep shoulder and hip, his hocks are stroking straight and true and he’s a power-house when galloping away.

The two-year-old playfully bucking then, the colts again caught in the brilliance of a sun-streaked patch in the fog, he is another Roger attfield racing dream in the making. Perhaps another Queen’s Plate winner, of course the colt loves to train at Baker’s acres.

Gerry Belanger is a consultant to the Thoroughbred Industry.

young

horses find

it especially

cool, a place

where the

training

is fun.

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

Page 79: Thoroughbred Style

79 ThoroughbredStyle

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

photograph bY DaviD laNDrY

Page 80: Thoroughbred Style

80ThoroughbredStyle

By m argie Fishman

Pottery

Page 81: Thoroughbred Style

81 ThoroughbredStyle

The feathery light envelopes arrive from all across the country--from trainers looking to memorialize Thorough-bred Champions, to owners simply wanting to honor their loyal pleasure horses, with a pot, a vase or an urn marked with that special horse’s hair.

Whitworth, a professional horsehair potter, takes that hair and creates one-of-a-kind designs concocted by a bit of nature and luck. She hand throws each piece and bisque fires it in a kiln. Then, she transfers it to an open fire pit, raising its temperature to about 1,000 degrees. Once the pottery is removed from the fire, she lays strands of hair one by one on the surface, watching them dance and sizzle on contact. What’s left is a permanent carbon trace, resem-bling black veins or ink scrawls.

To the horse’s owner, though, those smoky lines hold a deeper meaning.

For Fran Lambert, an avid horsehair pottery collector

and horseback riding instructor in McHenry, IL, the pot-tery is living art, a vestige of the animal that is more mean-ingful than a photograph gracing a mantle. She has com-missioned Whitworth to design some 20 pieces over the years, sneaking into the stables to pluck hair from her stu-dents’ favorite horses to turn into Christmas ornaments.

“I see my animal and that is so personal and so special to me,” she said.

a relatively young native american tradition, horse-hair pottery was invented in the late 1980s—so the story goes—when a pueblo potter’s hair accidentally fell against the hot ware she was removing from her kiln. What fol-lowed was months of experimentation with straw, pine needles, feathers, and, finally, horsehair to achieve the de-sired effect: dramatic shading and lines that move with the contours of the clay. Horsehair will produce bold, broad lines, since it is generally longer and coarser than human

one-of-a-Kind Crafts

every week, artist Anna Whitworth receives at least 10 fistfuls of horsehair delivered to her Chapel Hill, TN post office box.

PotteryHorsehair

“I see my

animal and

that is so

personal

and so

special

to me.”

pHOTOGRapHS WITH BLaCK BaCKGROunDS By SanDI nyRen, anD pHOTOGRapHS WITH ReD BaCKGROunDS By anna WHITWORTH.

Page 82: Thoroughbred Style

82ThoroughbredStyle

hair.The craft was eventually passed down to other artists

in the native american community and beyond. Today, horsehair pottery is primarily found in the southwestern united States, although online storefronts allow potters to market and ship their wares around the globe. Sandi nyren, a potter based in Southington, CT, even documents her technique on you Tube.

Prices start as low as $10 for ornaments and can top $100 for larger pieces embellished with Chinese turquoise, elk antlers or leather stitching. Some potters choose to lay-er hair over the entire vessel, while others prefer to mark only certain sections. To appeal to a wider audience, artists have branched out to include dog and cat hair.

Customers select their preferred shape, from jew-elry boxes to picture frames to hanging lizards that can be sprayed with oxides to add a burst of seaglass blue or burnt russet, for example. (The white round pot remains the classic horsehair piece). Since the pottery is porous and not glazed, it is strictly for ornamental use. Some collectors choose to fill pots with dried flowers or place them next to a well-loved saddle.

While demand for the craft has grown over the past de-cade, only about a dozen professional potters in the u.S. regularly work with horsehair, according to several artists interviewed. That’s because creating just one piece is a lengthy, temperamental process. If a pot is too hot when removed from the kiln, the hair bleeds out without leav-ing an imprint. If it is too cool, the hair won’t stick. One unexpected wind gust and—poof!—a horse owner’s last memento disappears into a cloud.

“It’s a matter of moments,” explained nyren, whose heart leaps when she hears the tink of a cracking pot that took four weeks to create. She uses an electric raku kiln in her garage.

“If nothing else, pottery teaches you a certain amount

of patience,” she said. and a tolerance for the smell of burning hair.

Whitworth also takes the responsibility quite seriously. She immediately labels each bag of hair she receives to avoid mix-ups later on. a certified therapeutic riding in-structor, she taught herself the craft eight years ago to help heal friends mourning the loss of their companions. Roy Rogers may have stuffed his boy Trigger, but many horse owners don’t have the means to give their friends a proper burial or tribute.

“I’m crying with them when they lost their horse,” Whitworth explained. “I come back from shows emotion-ally drained.”

During her first craft show, at least 15 people inquired as to whether any horses were harmed in the process. (an-swer: They’re not, since the hair comes from brushing the mane or tail or is clipped by a veterinarian when a horse is laid to rest).

One hundred test pots later, Whitworth exhibits her work at art galleries, barn stores, western furniture outlets, pow-wows, and at several horse expos throughout the year, including the equine affaire in Columbus, OH.

Her championship roster includes famed quarter horse stallion “Rugged Lark” and paint stallion “TJ” from the movie Hidalgo. The owner of Zips Chocolate Chip was moved to tears, Whitworth recalled, after she created a pot in the shape of a chocolate chip for the world champion junior western horse. Whitworth’s company, From earth to art, even secured permission from the Kentucky Horse Park to use the hair from Thoroughbred racing legends Forego, John Henry and Cigar for a series of pieces.

Often, she will braid a piece of the horse’s actual hair around the neck of a vase, embellishing it with feathers. Dog tags are substituted to honor a favorite fido. One time, a mountain man mailed in his beard hair. (The artist now prefers working with animal hair alone).

Today,

horsehair

pottery is

primarily

found in the

southwestern

united states,

although

online

storefronts

allow potters

to market

and ship their

wares around

the globe.

Page 83: Thoroughbred Style

83 ThoroughbredStyle

Like an abstract painting, pottery is subject to individual interpretation, Whitworth said. Her customers will detect images emerging from the haphazard designs of the hair, such as horses running or a menacing thunderstorm.

“It’s like the ‘Where’s Waldo’ of pottery,” she said.Surprisingly, the craft is also the great equalizer of breeds. In horsehair pottery, the

white hair of a Palomino and the black hair of a Tennessee Walker both burn black. Subtle variations may exist depending on the texture of the horsehair. Thick greasy

hair will create a harsh line, for instance, while finer hair delivers a wispier quality. Hair from different dog breeds is even more inconsistent, with poodle hair forming curlicues and border collie hair resembling tiny cracks in the stoneware clay.

navajo artist Tom vail refuses to interfere with the whims of the burning hair.“When the horsehair pulls to the pot, it forms its own spider web,” he said.Three generations of vail’s family are engaged in the craft, etching elaborate designs

to complement horsehair patterns on mass-produced molds of warriors, bear figurines and ceremonial wedding vases. Their wares—coveted by collectors--are distributed at Indian village markets, curio shops and on eBay.

“The horse people are really the ones who have embraced this art,” said Deborah Saho, a software engineer by trade and a horsehair potter by passion. Saho runs a smaller shop than the vails’ called Claypony in northern California. She sells an average of 400 pieces a year.

Roughly half of her clients are grieving the loss of a horse, she said, including one weathered man who squirreled away his horse’s hair in a tack box for 30 years. The pot-tery is also a popular gift exchanged within one family of horse enthusiasts, between mothers and daughters and husbands and wives. Saho’s own Rocky Mountain gaited horse, Jordan, has provided some of the hair and inspiration for non-custom pieces.

For commissioned work, Saho will often post a picture of the customer’s horse or a handwritten letter when shaping a pot.

“I just want to be true to the horse,” she explained. On the bottom of each piece, she signs the horse’s name and attaches a personal note,

such as “To my beloved friend” or “We’ll miss you forever.” nearly every horse’s name is unique, she has observed.

Occasionally, the scorched hair will mysteriously “paint” the vessel in a reverse burn, Saho said, when the line turns an eerie white with black edges. She calls this her “ghost line.”

Her daughter prefers the term “little graves,” each one a tiny testament to a majestic creature.

Margie Fishman is an Atlanta-based freelance lifestyle writer.

“The horse people are really the

ones who have embraced this art.”

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

Page 84: Thoroughbred Style

84ThoroughbredStyle

When retired rancher and former racehorse trainer Ted Wells attends the races these days, it’s usually as the guest of his son Scott, President and General Manager of Remington Park racetrack in Oklahoma City. For the elder Wells, the contrast is stark between his earliest days of racing and today’s lavish surroundings. Whereas Ted learned lessons at rough and tumble bush tracks, his son gains experience presiding over a first-class modern racetrack complete with a casino.

“Oklahoma racing has come a long way,” Ted said. “We used to race anywhere they’d put up a purse and we’d run over any kind of racetrack. If you had a few bleachers and some shade, that was considered big-time. At one time, winning a race would hardly pay the feed bills. Now I see maidens running for purses of $20,000-$25,000.”

remingtonPark

By Lisa Janssen

Page 85: Thoroughbred Style

85 ThoroughbredStyle

red dirt rootSFor Ted and Scott, the journey has been long. Ted spent his childhood

working cattle on horseback on his family’s ranch. after serving in the army air Corps during World War II, Ted broke horses for the fa-

mous 6666 Ranch and the Bateman Ranch. He won his first race at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico in 1947 with a calf-roping horse.

By the early 1950s, Ted was supporting a growing family with prize money from local rodeos.

“My heart has always been with horses,” Ted said. “When I got a chance to train a stable for Walter Merrick in Den-

ver in 1956, I jumped at it. I was leading trainer that season and that set me on my way to getting more

good horses.”Ted made a career of having fast horses, mov-

ing from competing in rodeos to training for the track. His work with Merrick introduced him

to Bob’s Folly, a world-record setter that put Wells on the map. Within a few years, Ted

became known as one of the top Quar-ter Horse racing breeders. Throughout

those early days, his son Scott was present.

“Scott was involved in the racetrack from the time he was

just a little kid. as soon as he was big enough I put him to

work,” Ted said. “When I ran a bush track in the late ‘50s, Scott worked

in the concession stands. I joke that Scott learned all his racetrack management skills from me.”

Scott said he counts himself lucky to have been raised in that environment. He said his experiences have instilled in him a respect for the

hard work required in those days.“My father was part of a generation the likes of which we’ll never see. They literally grew

up on horses,” Scott said. “There’s no substitute for that instinct. I’m fortunate to be part of that and to have been in the saddle since I was six years old.”

Sticking With SAvAnnAh

“my heart has

always been

with horses,”

Ted said.

“When I got

a chance to

train a stable

for Walter

merrick in

Denver in 1956,

I jumped at it.

I was leading

trainer that

season and

that set me

on my way to

getting more

good horses.”

above: teD wells showN iN 1947 with the stallioN leo, oNe of the CorNerstoNes of the raCiNg qUarter horse breeD.

pHOTOGRapHS pROVIDeD By RemInGTOn paRK

Page 86: Thoroughbred Style

86ThoroughbredStyle

““savannah Jr.

changed our

lives forever,”

Ted said.

“That horse

enabled us to

buy a breeding

farm and to

develop azure

Te and easy six

and all the

other good

horses we

raised over

the years... “

a pivotal event in the lives of both Scott and his father occurred at Ruidoso Downs with a horse named Savannah Jr. The grey colt seemed unbeatable in his first few races, then began making mistakes and was outrun several times in a row.

“He was a tough horse to train,” Ted said. “He would show he had world-class speed and then sometimes he’d figure out a way to get himself beaten or disqualified. For-tunately for us, he fired at the right times.”

One of those times occurred during the 1965 all-american Futurity, set as the richest race of any kind in the world at $419,000. The experts picked Savannah Jr. to run 11th that day, and he upset them all by flying down the muddy track and winning by two and a half lengths.

“Savannah Jr. changed our lives forever,” Ted said. “That horse enabled us to buy a breeding farm and to develop azure Te and easy Six and all the other good horses we raised over the years. every one of the 2009 aQHa World Cham-pions carries the blood of one or more of the horses I either trained or stood at stud.”

Ted’s determination with regard to Savannah Jr. impressed the younger Wells. after college, Scott trained Thoroughbreds in 14 different states for 18 years, and worked for Hall of Fame trainers Jack van Berg and D. Wayne Lukas. But he said he credits his father as his most important teacher.

“Dad developed my instincts for horses and taught me a lot about training,” Scott said. “But his most important lessons have been in what kind of man to be. He’s a man of good intentions and high integrity and I hope the same can be said of me.” beyond borderS

Scott held an entry-level position for a few years at Remington Park in 1990 before beginning his career as a

track manager. He served as assistant General Manager of Hollywood Park and as General Manager of Ruidoso Downs, the track where his father first gained fame.

Scott gained international experience when he was hired in 1999 by Lone Star Park to reopen the national racetrack of Mexico. as the project manager, Scott oversaw the retrofitting of the Hipodromo de las americas in Mexico City, a track originally built in 1943. The grand opening was held in March, 2000.

“To see that new grandstand filled to capacity with ea-ger racing fans for the first time in many years was a great satisfaction,” Scott said. “It was a thrill to witness the level

of enthusiasm that Latin america has for horse rac-ing.”

Once the racing mar-ket resurged in Mexico, other countries followed suit. Scott served as a con-sultant on tracks in Peru, Puerto Rico and uruguay. He spent four years in Montevideo, uruguay re-storing Maroñas national racetrack, which opened in June, 2003.

“When I saw the track, I fell in love. It was a magnificent old track covered in vines,” Scott said. “When it opened, it was wonderful to see the dignitaries and celebrities come out to the races and celebrate these magnifi-cent animals.”

Scott’s father, while not quite a world traveler, did accompany him to Latin

america on occasion. On one of their trips to argentina they purchased Lake’s explorer, who set records on the track and is now a promising stallion. Scott said the horse serves as a fond reminder of their travels together.

“It’s pretty amazing to see your son hobnobbing with Presidents and Diplomats and doing Tv and radio inter-views in Spanish,” Ted said. “It’s a much different environ-ment than I’m used to. Scott has come a long way.”

return to reMington

teD wells oN his raNCh oUtsiDe of pawhUska, oklahoma. the 85-Year-olD CowboY riDes freqUeNtlY iN the osage hills of his YoUth.

Page 87: Thoroughbred Style

87 ThoroughbredStyle

Scott and his wife left uruguay in 2005 to return to Oklahoma City, where Scott has seen Remington Park break records, increase purses and emerge as one of the top three racetracks in the u.S., as rated by the Horseplayers association of north america.

Opened in 1988, Remington was the state’s most popular tourist attraction until an increase in tribal casinos left business in decline. Things changed after Oklahoma voters passed legislation in 2004 to authorize slot machines at racetracks. Despite competition from the 104 tribal casinos in Oklahoma, the racetrack is resilient, Scott said.

“Our business levels have improved even over the past six months of general economic decline,” Scott said. “Our casino has many more restric-tions than our competitors, but we give our guests the excitement of live horse racing.”

Daily purses at Remington Park average about $255,000 in 2009, as op-posed to $64,000 in 2004. Consequently, the quality of racing has improved. nationally-known stables make Remington Park a part of their circuit. Scott said a renewed stakes schedule for the 2009 Thoroughbred season in august will make the track even more tempting.

Remington raised the purses of the Oklahoma Derby to $400,000 and the Remington Park Oaks to $200,000. On opening weekend of the upcoming Thoroughbred meet in august, Remington will host a $200,000 open sprint and a $100,000 filly and mare sprint. Scott said he hopes to attract several of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint horses. The season will wrap up December 13 with a $200,000 mile stakes race for two-year-olds.

visitors to Remington can find Scott at the track most racing days, and often his father Ted will come down from his ranch in Pawhuska, Okla. a bronze statue of a horse and rider sits outside one of the suites, on loan from Ted and his wife vicki. It’s a reminder of days of racing past, and the bond between a father and son. Scott said the tradition and nostalgia of the races of his father’s time have shaped the evolution of the sport, which will continue to grow and change.

“There will always be a connection between horses and humans which is celebrated in horse racing,” Scott said. “There are few things in life as beautiful and thrilling. Horses have carried my father and me throughout our lives. We’ll never forget those memories, and I hope to make many more.”

Along with being a freelance writer Lisa Janssen works for Saxum PR, representatives of Remington Park.

Chickasha, Oklahoma resident and horse farm owner Esten leonard spends most of his time ministering to people in need. he walks among

them during the day, and prays with them at night. They are men and women of all faiths. attendees to leonard’s church services come as they are. Sometimes they are in uniform, wearing helmets and jodhpurs. The average height of many of leonard’s churchgoers is 5’3, and most weigh less than 150 lbs.

leonard and his fellow chaplain Carl Criss-well minister to the jockeys, trainers, workout rid-ers, grooms and other workers on the backside at Remington Park racetrack in Oklahoma City. They provide church services, Bible study, devo-tionals, a food pantry, a clothes closet and they pray with the jockeys before every race. They do so as part of a national organization called Race Track Chaplaincy of america (rTCa).

“Our chaplains at remington provide an invalu-

able service,” said Scott Wells, remington park president and General manager. “in the racing industry, workers often spend so much time at the track it becomes their home away from home. having the chaplains provides a spiritual aspect of life on the track that is important to many of our horsemen.”

The rTCa was founded in1971, and provides chaplains at racetracks across North America. There are more than 1,000 people living on these tracks 24 hours a day in the u.S. They are the backbone of the racing industry. The chaplains’ duty is to provide prayer and encouragement to the racing workforce.

“it’s kind of neat to have the answer to peoples’ problems,” Crisswell said. “When you preach the Bible and talk about what God can do for them, most problems can be solved.”

leonard and Crisswell have been chaplains for more than 30 years at multiple tracks around the country. They said they strive to create a

comfortable atmosphere for their congregation at remington. leonard said those outside of racing sometimes question the need for a ministry at the track. he argues there is a great need in the rac-ing community for religion.

“it’s like its own little city,” leonard said. “There are people just like your people who live there and have the same problems that people in your city are having and they need the lord.”

leonard said his congregation often feels alien-ated from typical church environments because of the sometimes negative connotation associated with racing and gambling. he said the change he sees in them inspires him to continue ministering.

“They haven’t felt comfortable in traditional worship settings,” he said. “By bringing the wor-ship into their arena, they seem to accept it and realize that God is everywhere and that Jesus loves everybody and they aren’t an exception.”

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

sCott aND teD wells iN the paDDoCk at remiNgtoN park iN oklahoma CitY iN april 2008.

Page 88: Thoroughbred Style

88ThoroughbredStyle

Friends Celebrate as Jockey Jean Cruguet Turns 70

By Cynthia grisolia

The CastlePost sits on a steep hill in Versailles, Ky. a medieval anachronism punctuated by stone walls and authentic turrets. The palace—once devastated by fire—is now a hotel and event venue fit for a king. Aptly, on March 7th, Triple Crown-winning jockey Jean Cruguet took over the joint for a 70th birthday bash, inviting about 200 of his closest friends along for the royal ride,

including former Governor Julian Carroll, Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, Senator ernie Harris, and Derby-winning trainer Don Combs. Originally planned for May, the fete came together hurriedly when CastlePost reported a cancellation. “It was a miracle,” says Luanne Burton, a breeder and dear friend of Cruguet’s who organized the soiree. Nevertheless, the fine details didn’t suffer. as an ice sculpture centerpiece dripped, guests dined on lobster, smoked meats, and raw oysters. Singer Tanita Gaines crooned with a jazzy combo, and a barbershop quartet entertained with four-part harmonies. Memorabilia from Cruguet’s career reminded friends of champions Hoist the Flag, Bold Reason, and Seattle Slew. In lieu of gifts, Cruguet asked supporters to donate to his charitable organizations. Still, some friends couldn’t resist, and presented him with a 42-inch flat screen TV. “The better to watch TVG,” joked a guest. “Maybe your handicapping will improve.” In the end, Cruguet reminded all that age is relative. “Thank you all,” he murmured. “70?” he laughed, “I thought I was still 50!”

J e a n C r u g u e T T u r n s 7 0

pHO

TOG

RapH

S By

eQ

uISp

ORT

pHO

TOS

affairCrowning a

Photo aBove left: a glistening hoRse-head ice sculPtuRe, cRafted By Michael stoddaRt of season’s cateRing in lexington, adoRned the Buffet of suMPtuous hoRs d’oeuvRes cReated By castlePost’s chef caMeRon iRvin and sullivan univeRsity chef John fosteR.

aRtist wendy tuckeR PResented the foRMeR Jockey with a coMMeMoRative Painting of tRiPle cRown winneR seattle slew.

Thoroughbred Living

Page 89: Thoroughbred Style

89 ThoroughbredStyle

cRuguet (centeR) gReeted ex-goveRnoR caRRoll (left) and castle owneR toM Post.

cRuguet and MccaRRon (faR Right) celeBRated with secRetaRiat.coM’s leonaRd lusky (left) and fRiend linda fouchee.

Michael Blowen, of the thoRoughBRed RetiRe-Ment facility old fRiends (one of the evening’s chaRities), his wife diane white, and deBBie and Bill van den dool, owneRs of the Black tuliP, a PoPulaR local BistRo. Blowen PResented cRuguet with a PRoclaMation fRoM Midway, ky MayoR toM BozaRth officially naMing MaRch 9 “Jean cRuguet day.”

atoP the gRand staiRway. PaRty

guests weRe invited to touR

the elegant RooMs of the

newly Renovated castlePost.

Page 90: Thoroughbred Style

90ThoroughbredStyle

Thoroughbred Lifer u F F I a n s F o r r a C I n g

about the RuFFians:‘Ruffians for Racing’ was formed by three ladies

who are passionate about horses and horse racing: Nansee Junis, Jan Hawthorne and Dawn Spilman.

It is the mission of the group to attract more and more women to share the experience of horse racing and add them to their “Ruffians for Racing” entou-rage going forward. Future events will include race days, equine fundraisers, Breeders Cup parties, fash-ion shows and other fun social affairs to revive the golden era and glamorous days of attending the race tracks. Ruffians will add equine causes to each event particularly for charities to benefit retired racehorses.

Hooked on Santa Anita from five years old, Nansee is now living the dream as a leader in equine creative marketing, Dark Horse Communications, with Santa Anita as a client, and has recently brought her own beloved race horse to Santa Anita. Jan is the owner of Double J H Stables and board member of CARMA, an organization that supports retired race horses.

An avid horse racing fan and equestrian, Dawn is the creative director of advertising at Spilman Studio and owner of boutique, Leap, in Calabasas.

Our first event at Santa Anita Park was a huge suc-cess and attended by trainers Gary Mandella and Ron Ellis, a professional handicapper to instruct the la-dies and a welcome visit from President, Ron Charles.

ladies who would like to come on board as a Ruffian, can email us at [email protected] and our site is in progress at: www.ruffiansforracing.com

ThoroughbredStyle 38

Today, the indisputable proof of greatness and bragging rights lies within the response from the public and its critics. No distillery has won as many awards or received as much ac-colades (check out bourbonenthusiast.com) as Buffalo Trace: ‘Distiller of the Year’ three times with Whisky Magazine (2005-2007), three times with Malt Advocate (2000 & 2005-2006) and once with Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006. George T. Stagg has won ‘World Whiskey of the Year’ thrice with Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Sazerac Rye 18 year collected Malt Advocate’s ‘American Whiskey of the Year’ awards in 2001 and 2005. Blanton’s Single Barrel and Eagle Rare Single Barrel have both won gold medals, and Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old received an extraordinary 99 rating from Wine Enthusiast and World’s Spirit Championship. Guess you’re just going to have to try them all for yourself – it’s what Congress and former President Abraham Lincoln would want. Bottoms up and see you at the races!

TOuR A DISTILLERYHeaven Hill (www.heaven-hill.com)502-348-3921, 1074 Loretto Rd., Bardstown, KY 40004Free admissionHours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 12 – 4 (March to October), closed major holidays

Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)859-879-1812, 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383$5 admission (guests under 18 are free), includes post-tour

sampling at Visitor’s Center for those aged 21 and over 3 tours offered: a) guided educational session through the distillery explaining everything from the history of bour-bon to the maturation and bottling process, b) cultural and educational evolution of the distillery, c) mechanical, chemi-cal, technical and sensory aspects of producing bourbonHours: Tuesday to Saturday 9 – 5, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 (April to October) closed major holidays

Jim beam (www.jimbeam.com)502-543-9877, 149 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY Free admissionFilm presentation and self-guided tourHours: Monday to Saturday 9 – 4:30, Sunday 1 – 4, closed major holidays

buffalo Trace (www.buffalotrace.com)502-696-5926 or 1-800-654-8471, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Franklin County, KY 40601Free admission, reservations for groups of 25 or moreGuided tourHours: Monday to Friday 9 – 3, Saturday 10 – 2, closed major holidays

Alan Zielonko is a freelance lifestyle writer

What two industries is Kentuckyknown for throughout the world?That’s easy; thoroughbred horsesand smooth Kentucky Bourbon.Nestled amid the state’s famous

Bluegrass region, the Woodford Reserve Distillerycertainly plays its part, giving the world perhapsthe finest bourbon ever made - Woodford Reserve.Call it liquid gold if you want, or you can waxpoetic about its complexity of flavors like the‘experts’ do. Me, I just call it “the good stuff.”But if you’ve been to the historic distillery youknow something more; it simply couldn’t be anycloser to the state’s most beautiful and importanthorse farms.

Hence the connection. In 2001 Woodford Reservepartnered with Churchill Downs in Louisville,Kentucky to become the Official Bourbon of theKentucky Derby, and it commemorates that partnershipwith a limited-edition bottle every April. The classicWoodford Reserve Mint Julep has become a must-havefor race fans, and indulging in a bourbon-inspiredbrunch at the distillery is a necessary stop before visitinganother local landmark, nearby Keeneland Race Course.So it should come as no surprise that this small-batchbourbon took its passion for horses to the ultimate level– purchasing its own horse and forming the WoodfordReserve Stables!

The Stables may be virtual (don’t bother askingwhere the barn is) but the horses are very real. The first was a well-bred filly named Distill MyHeart, a name chosen by members of the WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society during an on-linevote. Now retired and in breeding – her first foal,Myheartsreserved, was born in March – she wasjoined by stablemate Angels’ Share last year. Angels’Share calls Churchill Downs home but is followedby thousands of horse fanatics across the country viathe Stables website (www.woodfordreservestables.com)and at membership gatherings where she races.What gets Woodford fans to cheer her on timeand again? “The thrill of ownership and a feelinglike you’ve got a stake in the game,” saysWoodford Reserve Brand Manager Nick Nelson.

According to Nelson, when someone registers onthe Stables site they not only become a WoodfordReserve Thoroughbred Society member, theyinstantly become a virtual owner of the horses.And, as owners would, they’re given access toinformation on the fillies’ health, racing status,

workouts, the trainer’s log – everything theywould want and deserve to know. When Angels’Share trains or races well members can feel theexcitement build, and when she loses or is injured(hey, it’s a tough sport) they get the true andunfiltered story.

While it is still unknown if Angels’ Share will be thenext Secretariat, Nelson believes the excitement ofthe Stables program lies within the program itselfregardless of the racing. “As other owners tell us, thethrill isn’t just in the winning and losing; only onehorse can win any race. What keeps them in thesport is the experience, the camaraderie, the love ofthe horse. And that’s what is at the heart of theWoodford Reserve Thoroughbred Society. What’sexciting for our members is learning about andengaging in the thoroughbred ownership experience.”

And unlike conventional ownership, “owning”the horses has no financial burden or membershipcharge. All their expenses - stable fees, food, trainingcosts, vet bills - are covered by Woodford Reserve.Any winnings the stablemates earn, over and aboveannual expenses, go to charity. All in all a pretty gooddeal for those who want the fun without the risk.

“Bourbon and horses have a long and storiedconnection here in Kentucky,” says Nelson.“While our passion remains the crafting ofaward-winning bourbon, we’re really enjoying thepartnership that has evolved and the ability toshare it, via our website, with Woodford Reservefans everywhere.”

To become a Woodford Reserve ThoroughbredSociety member or to learn more aboutWoodford Reserve bourbon visit www.woodfordreservestables.com.

THREE-TIME DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL,San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GOLD MEDAL/TOP HONORS,International Wine & Spirits Challenge

"EXCEPTIONAL" RATING, Beverage Tasting Institute

NAMED "BEST BOURBON,” by Kentucky Monthly Magazine

OFFICIAL BOURBON OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY®

Distill My Heartthe first horse in the Woodford Reserve Stables

: The Thoroughbred of Bourbon

New Virtual Stables Program AllowsThoroughbred Ownership (Without the Risk!)

Please enjoy Woodford Reserveresponsibly.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select KentuckyStraight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY

1 4

5

6

7

8

12

2

3

1: alleN gUttermaN, vp of marketiNg, saNta aNita park

2: bella gUaNChe aND fUrrY frieND oN a Carriage riDe

3: aimee NoUrse (left) aND laUra greeNe, happY wiNNers

4: rUffiaNs Co-foUNDer DawN spilmaN(left) with gUest, Dr aNNa gUaNChe

5: horses breakiNg from the gate!6: traiNer roN ellis givNg Dr. aNNa gUaNChe haNDiCappiNg lessoN

7: eriN fliNN (left) aND eliisa stowell

8: rUffiaNs Co-foUNDer JaN hawthorNe with traiNer garY maNDella

(Note: JaN owNs DoUble Jh stables)9: Co-foUNDer NaNsee JUNis, DireCtor of Corporate relatioNs, saNta aNita

Page 91: Thoroughbred Style

91 ThoroughbredStyle

9

11

10

13

14

16

17

15

18

10: DawN spilmaN aND Dr. aNNa gUaNChe

11: rUffiaNs JeNNa romaN aND leslie CoNreY

12: DawN spilmaN, Dr. aNNa gUaNChe, DaUghter bella oN a Carriage riDe

13: DoNNa laNe aND ChrissY kitkat haNDiCap their Next wiN

14: JaY CoheN welComes the laDies with a soNg

15: wiNNers CirCle photo seNt from saNta aNita. photograph CoUrtesY of beNoit photo16: saNta aNita serveD a lovelY meal with extra horseY sUrprises

17: aNgela CoChraN (left), aND miChelle lombarDo. 18: raCe CarD for rUffiaNs raCe.

Page 92: Thoroughbred Style

Racing The WorldAdvanced Deposit Wagering

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Watch our website, www.racingtheworld.com,for periodic announcements regarding launch updates

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