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.
Downtown Lexington is often a hectic spot, particularly when there’s a big game a Rupp Arena. Events like this week’s N-C-double-A tournament are money makers for the hospitality industry. But, it also offers ‘longer term’ economic opportunities. Among the fans coming to Lexington for the national sporting event are likely numerous corporate leaders. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says it gives him a chance to sell the city to potential employers.
A new strategy in Lexington should eliminate ‘brown outs.’ To save money on staff, the city occasionally takes fire trucks out of service. It now has plans to temporarily restore some overtime pay and hire new employees. As a result, Assistant Fire Chief Harold Hoskins says they should have enough personnel to fully staff those trucks. “By the time that second class graduates from recruit training in November, mid November, we’re hoping before Thanksgiving, then our staffing numbers should be up enough to where we’ll be able to staff all our companies without overtime. So, between now and Thanksgiving we’re looking at overtime to fill the gaps,” said Hoskins.
College tournament basketball is off and running this week. For the first time in 68 years, Eastern Kentucky University has won a post season tourney game. E-K-U got a hard fought 69-62 victory over Gardner Webb last night in Boiling Springs North Carolina. The Colonels are competing in the College Insider dot com tournament. Eastern will learn later today who will be their next opponent.
Men’s March Madness on the basketball court officially starts Tuesday, but Sunday night’s NC double A selections certainly set the stage for the next few weeks. Kentucky schools found out last night who they play in three different post season tournaments. The University of Louisville is the overall number one seed in the NC double A tournament. The Cardinals Thursday take on the winner of Liberty-North Carolina A and T play-in game.
Fans lined Main Street in Richmond on Sunday night to welcome home Madison Central High School's basketball team after it won the state championship earlier in the day in Rupp Arena.
Credit Lexington Herald-Leader
After a day that Madison County basketball fans will never forget, they came together to celebrate the boys who gave them something to remember. A huge crowd turned out to cheer the new state high school basketball champions at Madison Central High School on Sunday night. Fire trucks paraded the team and cheerleaders down Main Street, which was lined with fans, then brought the team to the packed school gym.
The regular season wraps up this week for the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels. And E-K-U will be looking to rebound after a 22 point loss in a bracketbuster contest at Valparaiso Saturday. Eastern travels to Tennessee Tech Thursday and then Tennessee State Saturday. The University of Kentucky looks to continue the momentum of a weekend overtime win over Missouri this week. UK hosts Mississippi State Wednesday. University of Louisville beat Seton Hall 79-61 Saturday.
When A'dia Mathies pulls up for a 15-foot jump shot, the sharpshooting guard on the University of Kentucky women's basketball team is living out Sue Feamster's legacy. Feamster was the first head coach of the UK women's team — and UK's first women's athletics director — after federal legislation referred to as Title IX revolutionized the opportunity for girls and women to take part in sports at all levels of education. At halftime of the Kentucky-Georgia women's basketball game Sunday, that first class of coaches received an award named, appropriately enough, the Susan B. Feamster Trailblazer Award. It was all part of a celebration of Alumni Day, National Girls and Women in Sports Day and an observance of the 40th anniversary of Title IX.
The best of the best cyclo-cross racers will now race Saturday after it was determined that Louisville's Eva Bandman cyclo-cross course could potentially flood Sunday from water levels in the Ohio River. "The projections are by Sunday that Beargrass Creek will come over its banks and flood the lower part of the course," said Karl Schmidtt, executive director of Louisville Sports Commission.
Competitors in a men's category race in the 2013 National Cyclo-cross Championships in Bradford, England, this month. The sport requires riders to traverse mud and sand on off-road courses peppered with obstacles.
Credit Credit Oli Scarff / Getty Images
While many Americans will be tuning into the Super Bowl on Sunday, there's another big sports competition this weekend: the Cyclo-Cross World Championships. This weekend's event, in Louisville, Ky., marks the first time in its 60-year history that the world championships will be held outside of Europe. Cyclo-cross, a grueling sport requiring riders to traverse mud, sand and other obstacles, is growing rapidly in the U.S. And the fans can be a bit crazy. At the 2012 Louisville Derby City Cup, hundreds of people — some in costumes — packed onto the course to cheer the riders on.
The aim for the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels will be to bounce back this week. E-K-U lost its first home game of the season Saturday to league leading Belmont 85 to 74. This Thursday Eastern travels to UT-Martin. The University of Kentucky Wildcats got a five point win over L-S-U Saturday. This Tuesday night UK takes on the SEC leader Mississippi in Oxford. University of Louisville dropped its third straight game, losing to Georgetown 53-51 over the weekend. U of L hosts Pittsburg tonight.
Eastern Kentucky University takes an unblemished league record into yet another tough sports atmosphere Thursday. EKU, coming off a seven point win Saturday over rival Morehead State, battles newcomer Belmont in Nashville this week. Belmont is also four and oh in the Ohio Valley Conference, winning the last three games by 30 points or more. For the first time in 34 years, Eastern is four and oh in the OVC.
For the first time since 2007, the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels have beaten Murray State in Murray. E-K-U went into the Ohio Valley Conference contest as a heavy underdog, but jumped out to an early lead. Eastern scored 24 straight points in the first half and held a 14 point lead at half. Murray mounted a furious comeback to trim the lead to five late in the game, but E-K-U pulled back out and won 77 to 65.
It’s back to more regular intensity games this week for a few Kentucky college basketball teams. Eastern Kentucky University comes home Thursday to open conference play against Eastern Illinois. The Colonels fought hard against Big 12 foe West Virginia before falling 74-67 Sunday in Morgantown. After being down by as much as 16 points in the second half, E-K-U took a brief lead at the five minute mark. The long awaited rivalry contest between the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville is over for another year. In the end, Louisville pulled out a three point victory of UK in the Yum Center.
The Louisville Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats square off tomorrow in their annual regular season basketball battle. U of L has lost four straight to the Wildcats, including their Final Four matchup back in March in New Orleans, but the Cardinals are back this season with an experienced team and bring a 11-1 record and number four ranking to the game.