Played Hard Carries the Rigney Motto to Ogden Phipps

One short elevator ride from the top of the Churchill Downs grandstand down to the ground floor was all the time it took for Phil Bauer to officially become a Grade I-winning trainer. On Kentucky Oaks Friday, Bauer was watching from upstairs as his trainee Played Hard (Into Mischief) took the lead going into the stretch of the GI La Troienne S. and, with Johnny Velazquez aboard, fought off last year's Oaks victress Secret Oath (Arrogate) to win by a neck. When Bauer and an elated crew of Rigney Racing...

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The Week in Review: It's Official, Derby Generates $400M Economic Impact

Thomas Lambert, an applied economist at the University of Louisville's College of Business, wasn't quite sure if he could trust the dollar amounts that were routinely cited regarding the impact of the GI Kentucky Derby on the region's economy. So he took on the task of finding out for himself, and has just published the results in a study titled, "Horse Sense or Horse Hype? Estimating the True Economic Impact of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby on the Louisville Metro Area." Lambert started by noting that the results of...

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Second Stride Derby Week Fundraiser Returns May 1

Edited Press Release A horse ownership stake with Skychai Racing, an outdoor cigar lounge and multiple ready-for-Instagram backgrounds are just a few of the new features added this year to Second Stride's 12th annual Derby week Champions Night at Molly Malone's in the Highlands section of Louisville Monday, May 1 from 6-9 pm. Of all fundraisers taking place Derby week, it is the only event raising money for the horses, enabling the Louisville-based organization to continue to provide professional rehabilitation, retraining and placement of retired thoroughbred racehorses.  Placing over 100...

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Pearce, Platten Set to Perform Derby Weekend

Grammy® Award-winning country music singer, songwriter and Kentucky native Carly Pearce will sing the National Anthem at this year's GI Kentucky Derby, which will be contested for the 149th time on May 6, Churchill Downs announced Tuesday. Also, singer and songwriter Rachel Platten will kick off Derby weekend by performing the National Anthem and her hit "Fight Song" during the Kentucky Oaks Survivor's Parade at the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks May 5. "Carly Pearce has been taking the country music world by storm with an impressive year of musical performances,"...

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Backside Learning Center's Derby Social Draws a Crowd

It was a packed house at the Louisville Thoroughbred Society on Tuesday, April 18 for the Backside Learning Center's Derby Handicapping Social. The sold-out event drew a crowd of racing owners and enthusiasts looking forward to spending an evening  narrowing down their picks for this year's GI Kentucky Derby while also learning more about the latest initiatives going on at the Backside Learning Center (BLC). The BLC is a nonprofit organization based in Louisville that provides support and resources for racetrack workers and their families. The organization serves over 1,000...

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Plan For The Worst: Severe Weather In Central Kentucky

It can be one of a farm manager's biggest headaches: the weather. As Spring brings severe weather across central Kentucky, farms across the state are forced to deal with multiple threats along with the changing seasons--snow or ice storms, heavy rain and flooding, high winds, lightning, and even tornadoes. With herds of horses scattered across hundreds of acres, those fast-moving Spring systems require a farm to be ready at a moment's notice to keep both human and equine safe. A strong area of low pressure swept across the region Friday,...

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Churchill Downs Releases Official Art For Derby 2023

Churchill Downs Racetrack on Tuesday released the 2023 "Official Art of the Kentucky Derby" created this year by renowned international artist Romero Britto. Britto's work for the 149th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve highlights his iconic approach of mixing bright colors with unique patterns. With sparkling, textured accents and elements of pop graphics, the art features subtle details that bring the racetrack scene to life, highlighting the energy and excitement of the Derby in a modern way. "The Kentucky Derby has such a rich history, and we are thrilled...

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Heat Causes Post Time Change at Churchill

Faced with expected high temperatures, Churchill Downs has moved up its first post time Wednesday. Originally scheduled for 12:45 p.m., the day's first race will now go off at 10:30 a.m. The final race of the day will go off at 2:20 p.m. Admission gates will open at 9:30 a.m. Additionally, morning training hours Wednesday at Churchill have been changed to 5-8 a.m. with one renovation break at 6:30 a.m. The National Weather Service's early forecast for Louisville Wednesday calls for a high near 98 degrees and a 20% chance...

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Churchill's Twilight Thursday Racing Cancelled by Excessive Heat

Thursday's eight-race program at Churchill Downs has been cancelled because of excessive heat in the Louisville area. Racing at Churchill Downs is scheduled to resume Friday at 12:45 p.m. ET, although track officials will continue to monitor the forecast. Any decision about cancellations in extreme weather conditions is made through consultation with CDI's Equine Medical Director, track management and regulatory officials. Many factors, including temperature, humidity and wind speeds, are evaluated to ensure the safety and well-being of human and equine athletes. Churchill Downs will be open for simulcast wagering...

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Kentucky Derby Trainers' Dinner Set for May 3

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association's annual Kentucky Derby Trainers' Dinner, always a popular event in the lead-up to the GI Kentucky Derby, has been set for Tuesday, May 3 at The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Ky. Cocktails will start at 6 p.m. with dinner service beginning at 6:45 p.m. Attendees will enjoy an evening of cocktails and dinner, as well as reviews of important Kentucky prep races and will include interviews with the trainers of this year's Kentucky Derby contenders. Net proceeds of the event go to support backside charities...

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Backside Learning Center Hosts Derby Handicapping Social

The Backside Learning Center will host Thoroughbred Owner's Derby Handicapping Social at the Louisville Thoroughbred Society Thursday from 5-7 p.m. The event, sponsored by Rocket Ship Racing, LLC, will feature a 2022 Kentucky Derby handicapping seminar with a panel of the industry's top experts: Caton Bredar, Joe Kristufek and Brandon Stauble, with NBC's Donna Barton Brothers moderating. Special guest Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale will be on hand to talk about his personal experiences dedicating much of his life to philanthropy. The evening also serves as a launch for BLC's "Purses...

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Louisville's Backside Learning Center to Hold 'Derby Handicapping Social'

The Backside Learning Center (BLC) will host the "Thoroughbred Owner's Derby Handicapping Social" at the Louisville Thoroughbred Society on Thursday, Apr. 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event, sponsored by Rocket Ship Racing, LLC, will serve as a launch for BLC's initiative Purses for a Purpose, in which owners can invest directly in the backstretch workers who are vital to the racing industry. Through Purses for a Purpose, owners can pledge to donate customizable portions of their horses' winnings, with the money going directly to programming at the...

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