Skeet Ulrich: an interview with the star of the Mind That Bird story, '50 to 1'

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JO: Since Mine That Bird won the Kentucky Derby in 2009, Chip Woolley has been a regular feature at Churchill Downs during Derby week. Do you think you’ll be joining him this year?

SU: I certainly hope so. I have some things on my schedule I need to iron out, but I would love to be here.

JO: Have you watched any of this year’s Kentucky Derby preps?

SU: I have not. We’ve been stuck on this bus, so we’ve missed it and I was filming something right before I got on the bus and something right before that. So, I’ve missed all the lead-up, but I’ve got plenty of time—we’re done with this on Saturday—to catch up.

JO: So, do you know any horses that are running in this year’s Kentucky Derby?

SU: Not a single one. Tell me who to pick.

At this point, I think we must have changed roles in the interview. I went on to tell Ulrich about Santa Anita Derby winner California Chrome and the colt’s interesting backstory. The short of it is that the co-owners, in their first attempt at horse breeding, came up with the colt from a less than stellar pedigree. While the mare was pregnant, co-owner Steve Coburn had a dream of what sex the horse would be and what he’d look like. Once the colt was born, he was just as Coburn had dreamt. He also dreamt the horse went on to win the Kentucky Derby and when he called trainer Art Sherman he told him he was sending him the Kentucky Derby winner.  

SU: Oh wow, that’s a deep story. Cool, that might be my scoop there. And what do you think his odds are?

JO: Right now, he’s going in as the favorite.

SU: Really?! That’s a great story.

Q: Have you been able to see any of the sights around Louisville?

SU: When we were here I did a little bit, like the Louisville Slugger Factory. When my brother and sister-in-law, niece and nephew came up, we toured around a little bit. I haven’t done any of the nightlife stuff or barhopping or any of that kind of thing, but I did get to see the Slugger Museum and a little bit more in that area.

JO: And one last question, just for fun. At the Derby Museum they have several different interactive hands-on exhibits. Tell me which of these you’re going to do first: 1) ride the electronic horse racing game; 2) step into the announcer’s booth and call a race; or 3) play with one of the oversized horse racing games in the new temporary exhibit?

SU: I think I’d have to ride the horse. Yeah, hands down. That sounds fun. 

Photo: J. Oswald

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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