BALTIMORE — The worst part wasn't so much that Shug McGaughey was disappointed for himself that Orb didn't win the Preakness. The worst part was the disappointment he felt for all those who wanted Orb to win the Preakness. "I felt the pressure because of that," said the trainer, standing on the Pimlico dirt track where just moments before his Kentucky Derby winner had finished a surprising fourth in the second leg of the Triple Crown. "I'm disappointed for them." Read more...
By Alicia Wincze Hughes and Lexington Herald Leader
BALTIMORE — Pretty much the last post position trainer Shug McGaughey would have wished for Orb heading into Saturday's Preakness Stakes was the inside rail in the nine-horse field. In what may be the bay colt's first downer in weeks, the No. 1 slot is exactly where the Kentucky Derby winner landed for the start of his quest to secure the second leg of the Triple Crown. True to his nature, McGaughey didn't flinch even as a smattering of groans cropped up around him. Read more...
By Zach Greenwell and The Bowling Green Daily News
Credit Nathan Morgan / The Daily News
The Bowling Green Hornets' Tony Key poses for a portrait, Friday, May 10, 2013 in Bowling Green, Ky.
On the basketball court, Tony Key is a self-proclaimed monster. He bumps and bruises in the post. He talks some trash. He sometimes bickers with opponents, referees, teammates and coaches. The 6-foot-11-inch Key has embraced that intimidating persona since he was dominating the area hoops scene nearly 15 years ago at Russellville High School. But time, travels and tragedy have changed the big man. He’s back in Russellville, playing with the newly formed semi-professional Bowling Green Hornets, who play their home games at Russellville High School and are coached by his older brother, Otis. While his professional basketball aspirations are still strong, Key has become more reflective at age 31. The NBA was once within his reach, but he says he listened to all the wrong people and didn’t play with enough desire.
Running on a slopping Churchill Downs track, Orb beat 18 other horses to win Kentucky Derby 139. Orb, ridden by Joel Rosario, started the race as the 5-1 favorite and caught up to the leaders as they approached the finish line.
Trainer Larry Jones was riding high for 24 hours. In 2008, Jones’ Proud Spell won the Kentucky Oaks. In the Kentucky Derby, his entry was Eight Belles—a horse that became a focus of attention. She’d performed well in workouts, but she was also vying to become just the fourth filly to win the sports' most famous race in 134 tries.
It’s hard to go wrong with practical and sentimental picks for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. Keeneland’s Bill Thomason made both today. In his first appearance before Lexington Rotarians as the track’s president, Thomason said his head goes with the morning-line favorite ‘Orb,’ but his heart favors ‘Charming Kitten.’
This year’s Kentucky Derby will mark the return of jockey Gary Stevens to the starting gate. After seven years of retirement from riding, Stevens will be back in the irons aboard Derby starter Oxbow. The 50 year old Stevens says he began to feel the urge to return to the saddle about a year and a half ago, and became more serious about a comeback after starting a new training regimen. He says stepping away and working as an NBC racing analyst have given him a fresh perspective.
Just as Churchill Downs gears up for Derby Week, Keeneland wrapped up its spring meet. Both attendance at the Lexington track and the amount of cash wagered increased. Despite traffic complicated by major road repairs on US 60, overall attendance at Keeneland was up over three percent this spring, with over 278-thousand people enjoying a day at the races.
The maximum number of horses race Saturday in Keeneland’s Bluegrass Stakes. Post positions in the prep race for the Kentucky Derby were selected today in Lexington.
Third from the inside, morning line favorite “Uncaptured” starts the betting at 7-2. But, Keeneland Handicapper Mike Battaglia gave only a slight edge to the brown colt from Canada. Battaglia also see contenders in two Kentucky-breds, Java’s War and Rydilluc.
After a season of some pretty bad basketball all around, this was 40 minutes of fun. After some ups and downs during the past 16 years, this was 40 minutes of Rick Pitino cementing his legend, becoming the first coach to win a national title at two different schools. After 12 months, it took just 40 minutes to bring the NCAA championship trophy right back to the commonwealth. Last year, Kentucky. This year, Louisville. Take that North Carolina. Take that Indiana. Take that all those other so-called basketball states. And Louisville had to earn the title, outlasting a young and talented Michigan team, superbly coached by John Beilein, that led the Cards by as many as 12 points in the first half before finally falling 82-76.