The sights and sounds of a big event at Churchill Downs are certainly back this week, still backside to frontside, it all feels a little quiet, a little empty realizing the historic track’s one-man welcome party John Asher, won’t be coming around the corner during the Breeders' Cup.
The Breeders' Cup always draws high rollers from around the world, people with fat bankrolls and an itch for action. I am not sure what these folks do after the races, but it’s safe to say they do not retire to their hotel rooms to watch a movie on HBO.
Asher's death has stunned the Louisville community, as well as the thoroughbred industry. Once the news hit, many took to Twitter to share their condolences for the family of the 62-year-old vice president.
The premature retirement of Justify is only the latest example of thoroughbred racing's unique dilemma. It is a business more than a sport. And that can break the hearts of those who appreciate the majesty of the animals and the opportunity to bet on them.
In the royal family of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, the Preakness is the disheveled uncle who stumbles into the party reeking of National Premium beer and wearing clothes that came from the Salvation Army.
Memo to the owners, trainers, and jockeys of the 19 thoroughbreds who finished behind Justify in the 144th Kentucky Derby, which also will be known henceforth as The Derby from Weather Hell: Take your excuses to somebody who cares.
Justify and Magnum Moon might prove the best 3-year-olds of their generation. That does not make either Saturday's Kentucky Derby winner. Favorites have won five straight years. That's the streak I think ends.
Whomever thought up putting wheels on a bed frame and racing around with it probably knew this craziness would happen. Take a look at some photos from Monday's KDF Bed Races at Broadbent Arena. All photos by Doug Druschke.
It seems as if the chances of none of the Kentucky Derby's main contenders were compromised by the draw for post position, but you never know what to expect when 20 thoroughbreds break from the starting gate and begin looking for position.