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.
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.