9 Weeks to Derby: Churchill Downs, Brown Forman celebrating Secretariat’s 50th anniversary

9 Weeks to Derby: Churchill Downs shares more Derby contenders
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 9:03 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky Derby is only 9 weeks away, and Churchill Downs is providing weekly updates ahead of the first Saturday in May.

Darren Rogers, Churchill Downs’ Senior Director of Communications, said this year is the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s historic triple crown sweep.

In honor of the 50th anniversary, Churchill Down’s partner, Brown Forman, is doing a giveaway during Derby week.

“Our partners at Brown Forman annually put together the commemorative bottles for each year’s Derby,” Rogers said. “Thrilled that they’re celebrating Secretariat’s 50th anniversary of the 1973 triple crown sweep. That bottle, when you go to Champion’s Day on Derby week, which is Wednesday of Derby week, the first 5,000 fans are going to be given away a free print of that beautiful bottle.”

Rogers said the artist of the print will be there to autograph the prints as part of the great Secretariat celebration.

As Derby day approaches, Rogers shared more about some horses worth keeping an eye out for. One of them being Champion Forte.

“We had the return of Champion Forte over the weekend in the Fountain of Youth stakes down in Florida,” Rogers said. “This was his first start since winning the Breeders Cup at Keeneland last fall.”

Rogers said Champion Forte did not disappoint over the weekend.

“You know, I’ve always said the Derby is about having a little speed, a little stamina, and then you have to have heart,” Rogers said. “And then a lot of luck along the way as well. But the way his ears were twitching down the stretch, it looked like he wanted more, and Forte has established himself definitely as the horse to beat on the first Saturday in May.”

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