8 Weeks to Derby: Churchill Downs announces Derby favorite, upcoming job fair

8 Weeks to Derby: Churchill Downs announces Derby favorite, upcoming job fair
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 6:06 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky Derby is only 8 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 Derby contender Forte is the favorite for this year’s 149th Kentucky Derby.

Forte is trained by Todd Fletcher. Fletcher is also the trainer for another favored Derby contender, Tapit Trice.

“Forte, he was the champion, but Tapit Trice entered the picture by winning the Tampa Bay Derby on Saturday,” Rogers said. “He rallied from last. He’s kind of a big, lumbering colt. It was a modest field in the Tampa Bay Derby, but this is something you want to see. We’re going to be able to see him next here in Kentucky in the Bluegrass Stakes in Keeneland.”

The Derby is only 54 days away, but so much can and has already changed. Rogers said one of the favored Derby contenders will no longer compete on the first Saturday in May.

“You know these horses are delicate animals, they’re athletes,” Rogers said. “A horse that I’ve been high on all along, along with Forte, is Arabian Night. “Something’s gone amiss in his training, they’re going to back off of him and ready him for a summer and fall campaign. So you know, Arabian Night was one of the big favorites, but he’s not going to be able to make it. That’s the thing about the Derby, you only have one chance to be the best three-year-old on the first Saturday in May, and everything has to go perfect.”

Rogers said as the Derby approaches, Churchill Downs will host a “Derby size” job fair on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. People can apply for a number of positions including security, crowd management, guest services and more.

“Come out to Churchill Downs, park in the white lot and enter through the executive gate,” Rogers said. “All of this will take place in our starting gates, Suites 5.”

Rogers said the jobs offered are not exclusively held for Derby and are offered throughout the Spring meet or early July.

“We’ve got a number of positions,” Rogers said. “When we host the Derby, between our employees and vendors on site, it’s about 11,000 people. So, there are plenty of opportunities.”

For more information or to purchase Derby week tickets, including Oaks and Derby, click or tap here.