You can take the Breeders’ Cup out of Kentucky where it’s been held the past two years, but you can’t take Kentucky out of the Breeders’ Cup, which was held this year at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Kentucky connections had a big day Breeders’ Cup Saturday . Kentucky-based connections won seven of the nine Breeders’ Cup races on the card that day.
No doubt that many racing fans in and around Kentucky were unable to make the trek to California to witness the Breeders’ Cup live. However, thanks to Churchill Downs and some of the Kentucky-based connections of these Breeders’ Cup winners, fans can see the stars on Sunday. The horses and their connections, including owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, and assistants, will be honored in a parade at Churchill Downs on Sunday.
Mort Fink’s Wise Dan (winner of the Mile), Janis Whitham’s Fort Larned (winner of the Classic), Fred and “Buff” Bradley, Carl Hurst and Brent Burns’ Groupie Doll (winner of the Filly & Mare Sprint), Priscilla Vaccarezza’s Little Mike (winner of the Turf) and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Tapizar (winner of the Dirt Mile) will be paraded at Churchill Downs from the backside to the paddock along with the runners for Sunday’s eighth race. The Champions will remain in the paddock during the running of the race. Post time for the eighth race is scheduled for 4:06 p.m. ET.
“Sunday will be a unique opportunity for our loyal fans to salute their hometown heroes,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “We couldn’t be more proud of our Kentucky champions, and their achievements authenticate the quality of racing at Churchill Downs and the Commonwealth’s signature horse racing and breeding industry. We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to their owners and trainers for their cooperation in making this one-of-a-kind event come together. Our ‘Parade of Breeders’ Cup Champions’ is sure to be a marvelous event and will make lasting memories for their legion of fans.”
Industry talk indicates that some of Sunday’s participants could be crowned Eclipse Champion in the year-end honors. Wise Dan was made the top choice in the final NTRA National Thoroughbred Poll of 2012 and could likely be named Horse of the Year when the Eclipse Awards are handed out in January. Groupie Doll is being discussed for Champion Female Sprinter, and the trainer of Little Mike, Dale Romans, has had his name tossed around as possible Trainer of the Year. Whether this talk pans out or not, Sunday offers a good chance for area fans to see some of the country’s top Thoroughbreds in person.
Churchill Downs will honor veterans on Sunday, Veterans Day, with free track admission for all active and retired U.S. military with military I.D. Churchill Downs will hold a ten-race card with the first post scheduled for 12:40 p.m. Also, every Sunday at Churchill Downs is Kroger Family Fun Day with special activities for kids from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the Paddock balcony. A fall festival is planned for this Sunday with face painting, pumpkin painting, pumpkin bowling, and cornhole games.
Photo: Breeders' Cup