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This year’s edition of the Kentucky Derby includes several local connections like trainer Dale Romans and Medal Count, trainer Dallas Stewart and Commanding Curve, owner Starlight Racing and Intense Holiday, owner Skychai Racing and Harry’s Holiday, and General A Rod, who’s owned by both Starlight and Skychai. There’s one horse that brings together a local team of owner, trainer and jockey—Ride On Curlin.

Owner Daniel J. Dougherty is a local furniture dealer. He bought Ride On Curlin at the Keeneland September yearling sale for $25,000. Although he’s received a $1 million offer for the horse, he’s turned it down and is living the dream of running a horse in the Kentucky Derby.

Hall of fame jockey Calvin Borel has won the Kentucky Derby three times—Street Sense (2007), Mine That Bird (2009) and Super Saver (2010). Borel and his wife Lisa reside in Louisville’s East End.

Although he wasn’t raised here, trainer Bill Gowan, who resides just outside the city limits in Shepherdsville, calls Louisville home.

“I grew up in Louisiana, but I’ve lived here the last twenty years,” said Gowan after walking his Derby starter around the shed row earlier this week. “I call it home—my kids go to school here and my wife works here. It’s pretty much home now.”

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About Jessie Oswald

I'm a lifetime Louisville resident with a passion for horse racing. When I'm not working as an immigration paralegal or taking care of my family, I follow Thoroughbred racing and love to share the excitement and beauty of the sport with anyone willing to learn!

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