A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Derby winner Authentic moves into No. 1 spot of NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll

At every point of call in the 146th edition of the Kentucky Derby, Authentic found himself in front of his sophomore rivals. When the votes were tallied in the latest National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Three-Year-Old Poll, the son of Into Mischief was again the one who could not be caught as he takes over sole position of the No. 1 spot from longtime leader Tiz the Law. Authentic,...

Morning-line favorite Tiz the Law and 17 others will finally have chance at Run for the Roses

By Liane Crossley Special to KyForward Last year’s Kentucky Derby — in which Maximum Security crossed the finish line first but was disqualified in a controversial ruling that made Country House the winner — is widely regarded as the most unusual and most talked about renewal, but this year’s edition brings a new level of uniqueness. The oddities of the 2020 running began in mid-March...

Minor injury knocks Art Collector out of upcoming Kentucky Derby; Tiz the Law enters as big favorite

Bruce Lunsford’s homebred colt Art Collector, winner of the Blue Grass Stakes (GII) on July 11, was declared out of the 146th Kentucky Derby on Tuesday morning because of a minor injury to his left front. The son of Bernardini nicked the bulb of his left front heel with a hind hoof while galloping Monday at Churchill Downs. Because of horse racing strict medication rules, the horse could not be treated...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: 2020-21 Kentucky Deer Season set to open on rescheduled Derby Day

In what must be characterized as the most unlikely juxtaposition of sport, Kentucky’s spring horseracing classic, the Kentucky Derby, will be run on the opening day of white-tailed deer season. The 146th running of America’s most famous horse race, rescheduled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, will be Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs. By regulation, the first Saturday in September is opening day of Kentucky’s...

Churchill Downs reverses earlier decision — will run the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby without fans in the stands

Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) reversed its earlier decision and announced it will run the 146th Kentucky Derby on September 5 without fans. CDI issued the following statement:   The Kentucky Derby is a time-honored American tradition which has always been about bringing people together. However, the health and safety of our team, fans and participants is our highest concern. Churchill...

Bill Carstanjen: Kentucky Derby tradition will move forward safely, responsibly with limited fans on site

On September 5th, in a little less than a month, we will hold the 146th consecutive running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Racetrack. While this will be the first time since the waning days of World War II in 1945 that we have not run the race on the first Saturday in May, it was not a hard decision to postpone the event. The global pandemic arrived with a fury and caused all of us to make...

WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni to add John Asher, Dr. Jack Britt, Travis Hudson this fall

The longtime face and voice of the Kentucky Derby, a leader in agriculture and education, and the coach of Lady Topper volleyball will join the 29th class of Western Kentucky University’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni this fall. John Asher, Dr. Jack Britt and Travis Hudson will be inducted during WKU’s 2020 Homecoming Celebration. The Hall of Distinguished Alumni is presented by Franklin Bank &...

Bruce Lunsford’s Art Collector delivers masterclass in Ellis Park Derby and is headed for Churchill Downs

JR Communications On Saturday evening, following a devastating performance at one of racing’s most historic tracks, the consensus within the Thoroughbred racing community was that the question of which horse would bear the burden of favoritism in the pandemic-delayed Kentucky Derby had been answered.  Barely 24 hours after Tiz the Law threw down the gauntlet with his sublime victory in the Grade...

Kentucky Derby contender Max Player to have hundreds of owners for Saturday’s Travers Stakes

SportBLX Thoroughbreds expects its Kentucky Derby contender, Max Player, could have more than 1,000 owners cheering the horse to win this Saturday’s Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course. The Linda Rice-trained son of Honor Code drew favorably in post 4 at the official post position draw and will be ridden by jockey Joel Rosario. Before Max Player’s impressive third in the G1 Belmont...

Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep celebrates 50th anniversary of Kentucky Derby’s first female jockey

It’s been 50 years since jockey Diane Crump became the first female to ride in the Kentucky Derby — and this year’s Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup program celebrates that milestone. Crump rode Fathom in the 1970 Derby and, although the thoroughbred finished 15th, the jockey rode into history. Crump lives in Virginia and remains involved in the horse industry. “The $1,000 Mint Julep...

Beshear reports 778 new COVID cases, 4 deaths; ‘mask up’; and a round-up of coronavirus news

Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday reported 778 new COVID cases and 4 deaths, bringing state totals to 30,151 cases and 778 deaths. Twenty-three of the new cases were from children age 5 and under. There were 19 new cases in Boone County, 17 in Kenton County and 12 in Campbell County. “The health and the lives of people around you, our economy and how fast we can build it back, and our ability to get our...

After Toyota Blue Grass Stakes victory, Hernandez focuses on Kentucky Derby aboard Art Collector

Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. has won America’s richest horse race. Now the Ellis Park regular has his sights on America’s most revered race, the Kentucky Derby. That long-held dream took an important step forward when Hernandez guided Bruce Lunsford’s Art Collector to a 3 1/2-length victory over the talented filly Swiss Skydiver in Keeneland’s $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on July 11. The...

Swiss Skydiver takes on the boys in field of 13 in Saturday’s $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver will try to put herself on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail Saturday when she takes on males in a field of 13 horses entered for the 96th running of the $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on Keeneland’s main track. A major steppingstone for the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve to be run Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs,...

Celebrating announcement that fans can attend the race, TwinSpires offers free Kentucky Derby bet

In celebration of the announcement that fans will be able to attend this year’s 146th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented By Woodford Reserve, TwinSpires is offering new players a free $10 Kentucky Derby bet. To qualify, new players can sign up via the TwinSpires app or website with the code GET25, and after playing $25 on the races between now and Sunday, the player will earn $25 worth of free...

Audubon Oaks becomes Kentucky Oaks points race, joins Ellis Park Derby on road to Churchill classics

Ellis Park not only has the $200,000 Ellis Park Derby as a qualifying race for the rescheduled Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby, but the track’s $100,000 Audubon Oaks is now a stop on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. Both stakes races are Aug. 9. Ellis Park’s 98th annual meet will run from July 2 through Aug. 30. This year’s Ellis Park Derby winner will receive 50 points, virtually ensuring a spot in the...

UK season opener against Eastern Michigan moved to a Thursday to avoid conflict with Kentucky Derby

University of Kentucky football will return a bit earlier than expected this fall, breaking out of the starting gate first on a holiday weekend that also includes the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby. UK’s season opener against Eastern Michigan, originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 5, has now been moved to Thursday, Sept. 3, at Kroger Field, athletics director Mitch Barnhart announced...

Billy Reed: Good and bad news for sports, but the coronavirus rules — and the rules are changing

A few weeks ago, the National Football League conducted its first virtual draft, and the Cincinnati Bengals, surprising absolutely nobody, used its No. 1 pick to take Joe Burrow, who won the Heisman Trophy while leading LSU to the national collegiate championship. Ordinarily, that would have been a huge story in these parts, with arguments raging on the sports radio talk shows about whether Burrow...

What the Turtleneck edges out Galapa-GO! to take 2020 Kentucky Turtle Derby title

What The Turtleneck won the 2020 Kentucky Turtle Derby Saturday, beating out Galapa-GO! in a wire-to-wire finish. Rocket To Nowhere finished third, rounding out the top three. In what should have been the actual Kentucky Derby on this First Saturday in May, Old Forester, the Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby held the Kentucky Turtle Derby tonight instead. There’s history behind the Kentucky Derby...

Bob and John’s very excellent adventure at the 1994 Kentucky Derby; Bob read about the race later

(Since Derby memories are all we will have on this particular First Saturday in May, we wanted to share with you one of our favorites. You get the idea — and a few laughs too along the way. Also today, Churchill Downs and Woodford Reserve will be offering unique content on social media, which will be followed by NBC’s 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. re-airing of the legendary 2015 Kentucky Derby that began...

Billy Reed: Hard to take, but coronavirus is victor on first Saturday in May; there’s an at-home party

The Kentucky Derby has been a big part of life ever since I covered my first one on May 7, 1966. The winner on that warm, breezy afternoon was Kauai King, who went wire-to-wire for owner Mike Ford and trainer Henry Forrest. In the jockeys’ room after the race, I heard winning rider Don Brumfield of Nicholasville, Ky., proclaim himself to be the “happiest hillbilly hardboot in the world.” I was...