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Entries in Kentucky Derby (25)


5 Things We Hate About The Kentucky Derby

Picture of Barbaro

One Great Season

There are so many things to love about the Kentucky Derby, which renews itself for the 137th time at Churchill Downs in Louisville on Saturday. But here are five things we hate about it:

The Weather — Ask anyone in Louisville about Derby weather and you'll either get a roll of the eyes or a laugh. It could be 70 and sunny all week long, but on the first Saturday in May, picturesque weather is a long shot. We've endured sleet, snow and even tornado warnings ... and that's just within the last 10 years! It's a shame that at an event so widely known for its stylish spectators, the clothing of choice often becomes a parka or poncho.

REVIEW: Looking Back at Kentucky Derby 136

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The Daily Q: Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Daily Q Tile

One Great Season

As you know, OGS enjoyed a four-year love affair with the great city of Louisville. Get us talking about the Kentucky Derby and, well, you might want to pour yourself a (tall) Maker's and Coke because you're going to hear some stories. And that brings us to today's Daily Q: Should OGS hit the Derby again this year?

Kentucky Derby 136: A Look Back

OGS On Locataion

One Great Season

Another Kentucky Derby has come and gone, and while many are sluggishly shaking off the hangover, others are looking toward May 15, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Derby-winning trainer Todd Pletcher says he'll enter Super Saver in the Preakness at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course.

But before we close the book on Louisville, let's take one last look at One Great Season's on-location coverage of Kentucky Derby 136.


+ Celebrities rocked the red carpet at the Barnstable Brown Gala.

+ Super Saver blazes through the slop to win the Derby.

+ The Hot Girls Of The Kentucky Derby

+ Images From The Backside

+ Images From Derbys Past


+ Borel + Super Saver = Pletcher's First Derby Win

+ What Is The Last Hour Like Before The Derby For Baffert, Zito, Lukas?

+ What Is Derby Week Like For A Louisville Sports Editor?

+ Derby Fever: Is There A Cure?

+ Talkin' Derby Without Sounding Like A Horse's Ass


+ Fleur de Lis Cafe

+ Ramsi's Cafe On The World

+ El Mundo


In Pictures: The Barnstable Brown Gala

Marissa Miller

One Great Season

Once again, celebrities rocked the red carpet in the charming Highlands neighborhood of Louisville on a lovely spring evening.

Every year, the Barnstable Brown Gala is one of the biggest draws on the Derby party circuit, and Friday night was no exception.

More Derby Coverage

Marissa Miller was her usual stunning self, Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell were once again all smiles and even local hoops hero John Wall made quite a splash.

The party went well into the night and after shooting some pictures for a couple hours, I had to get a taste for myself. Double-fisted with vodka-tonics and standing on a packed dance floor about five feet away from CBS News legend Bob Schieffer, country star John Michael Montgomery blasted through a cover of Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Caught In The Crossfire" on the stage about 25 feet in front of me. It was outstanding.

Here are some pictures of celebrities arriving.


In Pictures: Kentucky Derby 136

Calvin Borel

One Great Season

Rain, horses and 155,000 of your closest friends make the Kentucky Derby a photographer's dream.

More Derby Coverage

When the weather is awful like it was Saturday, those getting paid to shoot photos all day are required to brave the elements.

Those who have their own Web sites and are done with their freelancing commitments can afford to sleep in because of a late night the night before.

But I made it out to Churchill Downs in plenty of time for the Derby, and took some pictures of the big race. Enjoy.


Borel + Super Saver = Pletcher's First Derby Win

Kentucky Derby

One Great Season

It seemed like a no-brainer, really.

Whether you value a horse's bloodlines, his past finishes or recent works on the local track, something about a Super Saver win in Saturday's Kentucky Derby 136 was an easy call.

Remember how you used to bet $2 across the board whenever Pat Day raced? You spent $6 to get $10.80 back, just so you could say you cashed in a winning ticket. Never mind the absence of value; you merely wanted to boast.

Click Here For Complete Derby Coverage

But that's what's starting to happen with jockey Calvin Borel, except there are actually some flavorful odds with him still. The increasingly popular Cajun eventually found the rail and rode it to his third Derby win in the last four events, much to the delight of a damp assembly of race fans at historic Churchill Downs.

Calvin Borel

Borel steered Street Sense to victory on a wet track in 2007 and Mine That Bird over the slop just last year. He's the first Derby jockey to win three  of four.

As impressive as the feat is, the bigger story is trainer Todd Pletcher, whose first Derby win arrives after many disappointments.

Highly decorated, Pletcher had started 24 Derby horses before Saturday and entered four more in Derby 136. The 28th time was the charm for Pletcher, who for the first time in 10 Derbys in which he had at least one horse running, watched the race on a television in the horseman's lounge.

Todd Pletcher

One guy was long overdue. Another has the hot hand at Churchill. Put them together, throw in a capable horse like Super Saver and do like I did: return to the betting window to claim your winnings.

Here are some notes from Derby Day:

+ I was a little sluggish from shooting the Barnstable Brown Gala the night before (pictures coming soon), and, coupled with the weather early Saturday, I didn't exactly hustle out to Churchill. I got out there at about 3 p.m. and sat in the media lounge for at least an hour before heading out to do some work.

+ After parking in the media lot and boarding the media shuttle bus, two outgoing college kids -- obviously not media -- started to chat me up. Turns out one is the daughter of one of Louisville's most recognized anchors who I know pretty well. This fact comes back into play later.

+ I went up the rail after about 5:30 p.m. and claimed my familiar spot on the turn. Typically I like to shoot that wide shot as the horses approach, getting those picturesque twin spires into the shot. But now that Churchill has lights all over the place, that shot will never be the same, so my plan was to zoom in tight on the horses as they hit the turn.

+ Usually still shooters are an arrogant and unfriendly bunch, but a very cool NBC photographer helped me out with some camera advice. For some reason my Canon 50D, though set on AI Servo continuous, wasn't firing as rapidly as it was supposed to. He assured me I wasn't doing anything wrong, so I just flipped the switch to the auto speed setting. Karma came back around for that guy, who told me after Super Saver's win that he'd just won a grand.

+ The racing gods were clearly at work on Saturday. The post parade began and as usual, the crowd sang "My Old Kentucky Home (video coming soon)," but the gray skies above started to loosen just slightly enough to let some rays of sunshine slip through. The additional light was a welcome relief to a photographer stuck on auto mode.

+ I was still a little sluggish after the Derby, when I found myself in the paddock as the horses for the next race were being walked. The No. 4 horse -- Super Saver was No. 4 in the Derby -- was acting a little ornery. A guy next to me warned anyone around us who wasn't paying attention to keep an eye out for No. 4, who was bringing his dramatics toward us. I replied, "Sheesh, you win one Derby and suddenly you think you own the paddock," in reference to No. 4, for some dumb reason thinking it was Super Saver. I'm an idiot.

+ Got back to the media shuttle bus and there again were the two college kids, this time very heavily lubricated. The daughter and her male friend once again climbed their way onto the bus and stuck out like two sore thumbs. The kid tried to open the window next to the seat in front of him, and a female journalist told him to stop. TV anchorwoman's daughter then yelled, "Don't get salty, bitch," fueling a 10-minute shouting match that was very entertaining. The journalist's friend was a gay man, and it took only about a minute or two before the college kid started in with "gerbil" and "hamster" jokes. I finally grabbed anchorwoman's daughter by the arm and told her to sit down because "the more you talk, the worse this gets." She sat back down and fell asleep within a minute or two. She was wasted.

+ But her male drinking buddy took the obnoxiousness in a new direction. I applaud him for expressing his curiosity about Korean culture, as the three men sitting around him were journalists from Seoul. But I couldn't help but overhear him trying, a few minutes after the shouting match ended as traffic continued to crawl, to explain to the foreign journalists that Americans enjoy the Dirty Sanchez, the Rusty Trombone and an occasional Hot Carl just as much as anybody.


The Hot Girls Of The Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

One Great Season

Remember the Hot Girls Of College Football gallery you enjoyed so much last fall?

Well, One Great Season is pleased to announced a new slideshow that's very similar.

It's called the Hot Girls Of The Kentucky Derby. Let me know if you have any questions.

I shot these pictures at Churchill Downs on Friday,  good planning by me considering the terrible weather in Saturday's forecast -- not exactly conducive to shooting pictures. But I'll certainly try when I head out there today.


Kentucky Derby 136: Faves, Sleepers & Dogs

Kentucky Derby

Will Baffert Be
Lookin At Roses?

One Great Season

Picking the Kentucky Derby is like picking the NCAA Tournament in that your co-worker who knows the least about sports has just as much of a chance to win the office pool as you do.

Many factors contribute to a favorite missing the board entirely or a longshot winning the whole thing.

If Giacomo was such a good horse in the weeks leading up to the 2005 race, he wouldn't have gone off at 50-1. Same with Mine That Bird, who won at the same price just last year. Had I had the courage to place such a ridiculous wager either time, I'd have written this story from a beach, not freelancing it from Louisville for you fine people.

There are people who spend their lives -– and livelihoods –- picking horses and they enjoy a decent success rate. I am not one of them.

That's why, instead of telling you which horse will win, I'll give you four safe bets, four value bets and four horses to stay away from (read: bet them too if you want the heaviest of payouts.)

(Click here to read the rest of this story on


What Does Nick Zito Do In The Hour Before The Derby?

Nick Zito

Trainer Compares Race
To Roman Coliseum

One Great Season

Two minutes. Once a year. Only in Louisville.

The duration, frequency and location of the Kentucky Derby, horse racing's most cherished event, never change. But what differs is how you'll pass the late-afternoon hours Saturday at a Derby-viewing party -- yes, you will watch this year -- in comparison to how those at Churchill Downs will spend their time leading up to the 6:24 p.m. start.

(Click here to read the rest of this story on


Derby Insider: What's Deadline Like For A Louisville Sports Editor?

Kentucky Derby

Writers Get The Glory; Layout Crew Gets The Cookies

One Great Season

The Kentucky Derby has always defined the city of Louisville. It's known as the fastest 2 minutes in sports. It's also an event where the rich and famous come to be seen in their dapper best, and the city's natives enjoy a local holiday of sorts, taking time off from work to soak in the pomp and circumstance known as the Derby Festival and enjoying seeing the city at its brightest and boldest.

Click Here For Complete Derby Coverage

As a Louisville native, I buy into the Derby. I love the whole thing -- the parades, the air show and fireworks, the fixed steamboat race, the parties, the hats. Bring it on. Heck, I knew how to bet a horse before I knew how to shave.

But there's another side to Derby. Six years ago when I decided  to take a job as a layout editor on the sports desk of the Courier-Journal, Louisville's daily newspaper, I put aside the joy and fun of Derby and subbed in a heaping helping of chaos, agony, exhaustion and often times simply sick hilarity of covering and producing the newspaper through its premiere event.


Backside At The Derby 2010 | Images From Derbys Past

Sure, I could easily tell you how the C-J reporters and columnists spend long hours at the track watching horses prep, talking to the horsemen, jockeys, owners and handicappers. That group enjoys the glory part of the event. They get to wax about the traditions, the legacies and the history. Every horse seems to have some kind of entertaining background or interesting path to the Derby. And the writers get to execute their craft at Churchill Downs, among the greatest sports venues in the world. Good for them.  

But today, I'm going to tell you another Derby story. It's what happens back at what we simply call "the office." It's the newsroom at 525 West Broadway, and it's specifically the sports copy and layout desk within the newsroom. We work in a space about as big as a McDonald's dining area. It's cluttered with piles of newspapers, old printouts, memos, photo proofs, reference guides, dictionaries (I think we still have those) and a whole lot of general crap, to be honest. This is where the sports section goes from blank slates in the computer system to the stories, headlines, photos and packages of information you see the next day.

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Oh, and we have the best schedules and hours of anyone on the planet ‑‑ nights and weekends. And that's not just on rotation. It's all the time. We essentially live life on the fringes of society.

Derby planning starts months in advance at the Courier-Journal. And most of it is simply shoring up solid and successful ideas, long ago created, which are implemented each year. But I'm here today to share with you the behind-the-scenes view of the sports department as it produces Derby coverage from the Thursday before into about midnight Saturday night, when the wrap-up Derby section is finally put to bed and another miracle is achieved for another year.


Since today is Thursday, I’ll start with what is happening or what will happen to us in here today:

+ 3 p.m. -- Today is the annual Derby Festival Parade. Thousands of people flock into downtown to watch the parade and amp up the Derby fever. For the C-J sports desk member, this is about the single worst day to drive into work. The parade runs right past our building, and starts at 5 p.m., which is conveniently about the time we are arriving at work. Our parking lots are jammed with parade patrons' cars. It's suddenly $10-$15 to park. Streets around our building are closed. We'll start getting ready for the work shift about this time, looking forward to all this chaos.

+ 4:30 p.m. -- We're racing down Broadway or the side streets trying to beat the deadline of when the streets are closed and everything goes into lockdown. We're cussing all the nuclear families, gaggles of kids and clowns, police and anyone else slowing our arrival or in the way. Their only purpose downtown is this parade. Geez. Well, people, I need to get to work, did you ever think of that?

+ 5 p.m. -- We're hopefully parked, seemingly into the next county, and now carrying our lunch, work bag, provisions and whatever else while weaving through a maze of people whose lives are better than ours. Two years ago, as I was trying to cross Broadway, I got delayed walking behind a guy pushing a gigantic cart of balloon novelties, stuffed animals and those glow-bright necklaces. Meanwhile, I was carrying highly important rough proofs of our Derby preview section center spread and the ad layout structure of the 24-page section. It's really a moment when things get put into perspective.

+ 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. -- During this time, we’re working with our sports editor and deputy sports editor to go over that day's stories and photos. By this time in the week, our sports section has almost doubled in size since the beginning of the week. This means we usually have two and half pages dedicated to Derby and Oaks coverage. Each day of Derby week, our photographers are snapping hundreds of photos and sending them into us for review and current and future use. Managing photography is a big-time commitment of our week. We're also still covering high school sports, college basketball and football news and using and editing wire services for all other sports. All this is figured in and a section plan is devised during the "budget" meeting, which usually wraps up between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

+ 6:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. -- During these six hours, a group of about seven editors and layout people will produce the section, writing headlines on stories, captions for photos, organizing stories on pages, formatting and editing charts and entries from Churchill Downs and all this trying to meet three staggered deadlines, the first at 9:45 p.m., the second at 11 p.m. and the third at midnight. It's a furious pace. With the thrust of Derby coverage most copy editors are editing and processing 7-8 stories in three hours. Two layout people are dividing 5-6 pages up between them, while also editing photos and trying to figure out what fits where. I like to call this process usually the fastest three hours in sports, because it's usually three hours from the end of the budget meeting to the end of the first deadline.

But tonight, the fun won't end at 12:30ish, when proofing and tweaking generally end on the daily section. Tonight, myself and a couple of other editors will start producing and putting the opening touches on our 24-page Derby preview section which will be published Saturday morning. This will keep us here until the wee hours, getting set up and trying to get as much of a running start as we can. Friday is Oaks Day, and Derby Eve, and it's a long and stressful day in here.



+ 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. -- While most of the city is out partying and having a grand time at Churchill for Oaks Day, we're rolling into the office and getting started on our biggest sports section of the year. This is a piece of trivia you may not realize: Oaks Day for the sports department is actually the busiest and most intimidating because between our Derby preview section and regular sports section, we're producing about 30 pages. That's about 40 percent larger than any other single day of work we have throughout the year.

(Trivia: Derby Day itself is not the single busiest day for the sports department because the Derby wrap-up coverage is produced by a combined sports, news and art department team. So for the sports staff, it's not nearly the titanic task that Friday is because everything is shared more. So while most people are working on their third and fourth Bourbon or 10th beer, we're trying to figure out when and how the hell we're going to find time to eat this frozen meal we packed.)

+ 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. -- By this point, we’re a couple of hours into working through the 30 or so sports pages.

The Derby preview in general  is especially in a critical time. This is when most of the stories and charts are coming in and we're doing the heaviest load of editing and design in this section. We're scrambling for photos, scrambling to gather up media predictions, double-checking facts and figures, making sure we're not missing news on the track and generally scrambling for our lives. At some point, we look up and realize the Oaks is about to run, so we take a five-minute break and watch the race. We watch it, mind you, on one of our 20-inch TVs. This is the no frills league, folks.

The language on this day rivals that from the set of Scarface. Tempers are the shortest and stress is the highest during this time. You can always count on a few reporters to hit snags or delays and their stories are either in total peril or simply running late. Each year, it never fails; I always feel like for a couple of hours that this simply isn't going to get done. At certain points, I'm juggling 12 or 13 pages and most of them are only half-done. I've got multiple people hovering over me, monitoring my progress and asking how everything stands. I smile and say "just fine." In my mind, I'm saying this is a cluster@$#@!%. Remember the classic scene in "Airplane" when Ted Striker is trying to land the plane and the buckets of sweat are pouring off of him? That's us for about four hours Friday night.

+ 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. -- Usually, like clockwork, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel by about 8:30 p.m. Somehow, in the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. range, the remaining crises seem to get resolved and things fall into place, and I usually turn my last page and stories over to the copy editors at about 9 p.m. This is a time to take a little bit of a breather and know you're going to make it for another year and not get fired. The rest of the hour between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. I spend tweaking my layouts and tying up loose ends before typsetting the pages to the pressroom. At some point, I have to remember to eat!

+ 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. -- It's a big relief to have the Derby section complete, but the night is not over. Next up is working ahead to Sunday's sports section. Each year, we produce a special Derby wrap-up section, which includes wall-to-wall coverage of the race and the spectacle of the day. It's usually 14 to 16 pages.

Then there's a regular sports section, which is usually 8 pages. In the regular sports section, our recruiting writer Jody Demling produces a "Super 5" package where the C-J picks the top five high school basketball players in the nation and we do a full page package with player bios, photos and stats. We also choose an honorable mention team. Since basketball is a year-round sport here in Louisville, much like horse racing, we still make sure we give our readers another reason to pick up the Sunday Derby paper. So late Friday night is spent putting this package together, in addition to our outdoors page, college basketball notebook and setting up the organization of the regular section. Derby Eve is usually a 12-hour day. It's exhausting, but you're happy and full of pride when it's over.



In all honesty, this has the potential to be the easiest day of the week for the sports department editors and layout folks. The C-J puts together a mammoth team of reporters, editors and photographers to get this blanketed from every angle. It truly is impressive. The workload is departmentalized to such a degree that the sports department itself is not nearly as taxed as Friday.

+ 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. -- After a day of watching the festivities at the track on TV or popping in to an early party where you're drinking soft drinks or bottled water and having people look bug-eyed at you when you tell them you have to work that night, you arrive to join the massive staff that starts arriving. The Derby wrap-up is organized and set up in advance and everyone is given a big instruction manual to the secton. The manual includes a guide to which stories are on which page, whom is designing the page, phone numbers for key people on the Derby desk, page deadlines, the reporter assigned to each story, the photo editors and photographers, a description of any charts that go with the stories and tons of other useful info.

+ 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. -- During this time, a few layout and copy editors are working on the early pages of the section. These are mostly the celebrity stories and photos and coverage of the infield and millionaire's row. These are the most  photo-driven pages, and as a result are among the most popular pages. You know how people love magazines like People and US Weekly for all the candid and natural shots of celebrities in society? Well, this is the same concept. The C-J is given access to all parts of the track to record through photos the famous and not-so-famous people enjoying the Derby.

+ 5 to 6 p.m. -- This is perhaps the most important part of the day. It's when the catered food is delivered and set out. This is huge. I don't even know where it comes from, but it's delicious and impressive. Forget what the lead headline is going to say, the food selections and timing can make or break people on this type of day. Let's put it this way: sometimes food spreads at this place conjure up more legends and memories than the Derby winners themselves.

It starts with the deli sandwiches -- turkey, ham and all the fixins; there's usually huge amounts of veggie and fruit trays; dips and chips; cheese, crackers and breads. Then there are the desserts. I love cookies. But I may never love cookies more than when they're big and soft and chocolately and sitting on the counter on Derby Day. There are also brownies and nut things and an endless supply of everything it seems. Despite all the cutbacks, reduction in resources and general demise of many of the newspaper's abilities, the Derby food spread is truly a tradition that must stay intact!

+ 6:20 p.m. -- The whole operation comes to a halt while everyone stops and finds a TV to watch the Derby. I must admit, even after now seeing about 30 Derbies either in person or on TV, I still get goose bumps at the start and then when the horses are coming around the turn to head for home. But after those two minutes are over, it's back to reality, and time to start putting together the pieces of another Derby section.

+ 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. -- Another furious four hours or so of work, only this time you have a fleet of people forming an assembly line to process stories and photos. There's a group just writing captions for the photos, another group just writing stories, still another simply collecting and editing photos, and of course another group desinging and layout out the pages. I've never counted, but there easily could be in the newsroom 25-30 people involved in putting out just the Derby section, with another 10 or so people are putting out the regular news sections, and about a half dozen are putting out the regular sports section.

+ 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. -- This is mostly the mop-up faze of the operation. Some Derby pages are brought back to be tweaked and upgraded for our Indiana and metro editions. If there are any typos, they are caught and fixed during this time and new pages sent to the pressroom. Every detail and decision is given thought and careful scrutiny.

And that doesn't count all the high-level managers hovering over shoulders and contributing their views and opinions on what the main headline should say and what the front should look like and in general leading from the front. Eventually, everyone is satisfied and you head home or out to decompress.

While most of the city is by now feeling the effects of all the alcohol, sun and partying, and feeling like they were run over by a truck, editors are feeling like we were run over by journalism. Maybe that isn't such a bad thing, for once these days.

People are really on their best this day. It's really true. You hear the analogy about athletes who play their best during pressure time and big games, and it's the same concept here. We don't always look our best day to day, but on Derby, we produce an impressive and beautiful piece of work. Hell, we've had 136 years of practice.

Mike Mudd is an assistant editor in the sports department at the Louisville Courier-Journal. One of the biggest thrills in his life was in 2004 when for the first and only time in his life he got to experience a Kentucky Derby with a press pass. Nowadays, he gets his Derby thrills in different ways, like succeeding in finding a mugshot of every Derby starter each year to run on the preview section’s center spread. Follow him on Twitter @mudd4goals.


Derby Fever: Is There A Cure?

Kentucky Derby

Another Year,
Another Full Field

One Great Season

To race a horse in the Kentucky Derby, an owner has to write two separate checks. It says right there in the Churchill Downs program that a Derby horse's connections must pay $25,000 to enter the race on the Wednesday prior and then another $25,000 to enter the gate on the first Saturday in May. The reason for the split payments is simple: the toughest part of the Derby Trail is the final few days.

Click Here For Complete Derby Coverage

Hundreds of horses are nominated for the Triple Crown not long after they take their first steps. From there, the list of potentials is whittled down on tracks around the world. Only a select few rise from the ranks of maiden special-weight races to run in so-called Derby preps like the Blue Grass, the Santa Anita Derby and the Wood Memorial, among others.

Then the survivors travel to Churchill Downs for their turn in the spotlight ... and that's where it always gets tricky. Just this week, overwhelming Derby favorite Eskendereya was injured and scratched from the race before Louisville residents could even practice butchering the horse's name. There was another scratch on Monday, and Wednesday, the trainers of two more eligible horses passed on entering, including one whose horse was injured during a morning workout.

Add this to everything that can go wrong in the race itself, and you have maybe the most precarious and fragile sporting event in the world. And yet year after year, the Derby has a full field of 20. It makes you wonder if there will ever be a cure for Derby Fever.

Stull is a sports-addicted former television producer who lives in Louisville.


Post Positions For Kentucky Derby 136

Bob Baffert

One Great Season

Bob Baffert's Lookin At Lucky is the 3-1 favorite in Saturday's Kentucky Derby 136, but Irish eyes appeared to have been smiling instead on Paddy O'Prado and Dublin in Wednesday's post-position draw.

To claim that elusive fourth Derby win, Baffert will have to send his horse from gate No. 1. No horse has won from the rail since Ferdinand found a pot of Derby gold in 1986, and none has finished in the money since 1988.

Not that everyone's talking about Paddy O'Prado or Dublin, but jockeys Kent Desormeaux and Terry Thompson could enjoy better trips from gates 10 and 17, respectively. Desormeaux nearly rode Big Brown to a Triple Crown just two years ago, and Dublin, trained by four-time Derby winner D. Wayne Lukas, wouldn't be a huge surprise to win the roses.

Herewith, the post positions for Kentucky Derby 136:

Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Lookin At Lucky Garrett Gomez Bob Baffert 3-1
2 Ice Box Jose Lezcano Nick Zito 10-1
3 Noble's Promise Willie Martinez Ken McPeek 12-1
4 Super Saver Calvin Borel Todd Pletcher 15-1
5 Line Of David Rafael Bejarano John Sadler 30-1
6 Stately Victor Alan Garcia Mike Maker 30-1
7 American Lion David Flores Eoin Harty 30-1
8 Dean's Kitten Robby Albarado Mike Maker 50-1
9 Make Music For Me Joel Rosario Alexis Barba 50-1
10 Paddy O'Prado Kent Desormeaux Dale Romans 20-1
11 Devil May Care John Velazquez Table Cell 10-1
12 Conveyance Martin Garcia Todd Pletcher 12-1
13 Jackson Bend Mike Smith Nick Zito 15-1
14 Mission Impazible Rajiv Maragh Todd Pletcher 20-1
15 Discreetly Mine Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 30-1
16 Awesome Act Julien Leparoux Jeremy Noseda 10-1
17 Dublin Terry Thompson D. Wayne Lukas 12-1
18 Backtalk Miguel Mena Tom Amoss 50-1
19 Homeboykris Ramon Dominguez Richard Dutrow 50-1
20 Sidney's Candy Joe Talamo John Sadler 5-1

Review-isville: Fleur de Lis Cafe

Kentucky Derby

One Great Season

It hasn't been a great visit on the food front here in Louisville.

At least, that was the case until I hit up Fleur de Lis Cafe on Bardstown Road in the Highlands for breakfast Wednesday morning.

I like to think I'm adventurous when it comes to trying new restaurants. But once I'm in the door, I'm far less flexible. Consider the case of the New Orleans French Toast.


+ IN PICTURES: Backside At The 2010 Kentucky Derby
+ MORE PICTURES: Images From Derbys Past
+ ANALYSIS: Talkin' Derby Without Sounding Like A Horse's Ass
+ MEMORY LANE: Editor Longs For Louisville On Derby Day
+ INTRODUCTION: Welcome To Kentucky Derby Season 2010

Until recently, Fleur de Lis was called Sweet & Savory under the previous ownership. I'd enjoyed the french toast, stuffed with apple slivers and cream cheese and served with maple syrup, more fruit and powdered sugar. By the time you're halfway through the portion, it's just a big ole mess of food on your plate and there's no place else you'd rather be. It is some serious comfort food and has been the only thing I've ordered in my six or so visits there.

New owners Kyle and Jill Riggle, who bought the place in December and just changed the name this month, have a great vision for the future of the space. They'll be using fresh ingredients grown only by local farmers. They're even expanding the breakfast- and lunch-only hours to serve dinner, whereas Sweet & Savory kicked you out at 3 p.m.

Kyle said he likes to drill down as locally as possible, not just with the food, but also with the artists whose work will soon adorn the Riggles' walls. "The Highlands first, Louisville second and then Kentucky," he said.

That's a good way to do business, and coupled with the New Orleans French Toast -- as long as they keep making it -- is a great way to guarantee they'll see me eating there again.


In Pictures: Backside At The 2010 Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

One Great Season

Remember how I used to work for FOX? Well, my old boss there is expecting a couple of Kentucky Derby stories from me as I hang out in rainy Louisville this week.

So I went out to Churchill Downs this morning to get a few interviews and while I wait for my cameras to dry out, I figured I'd load some pictures for you to peruse.

Derby Week on the backside is a pretty neat experience. Local and national media converge on Louisville's south end as trainers put their magnificent horses through their early morning workouts.

More Derby Pictures From Years Past

Check back here for links to my stories that will appear on the MyFox network this week, but until then, I'll post some pictures whenever I head out to the track. Enjoy.


OGS Notebook: Derby, Big Ben & Gretzky's House

One Great Season

A few topics made headlines in the sports world today. Here are some nuggets for you:

+ The Kentucky Derby should never be run at night. I understand the sport could use some new money, and an evening telecast certainly would address that issue, but the Derby is one of those events that should just stay where it is. Modernists love to rip the traditionalists who appreciate the pageantry of sport, but the tradionalists never get their way with anything. Just look at the NFL Draft, which was moved from Saturday at noon to Thursday and Friday evenings. I read today that it rated well and I'm sure the NFL pockets are deeper, but does it always have to be about the money? Is maximum profitability the only way to do it, or can just being profitable ever be enough?

+ Ben Roethlisberger said Monday he won't appeal the six-game suspension the NFL handed down last week. Smart move. The only way to climb out of the hole he's dug for himself is to do it slowly, and I think he will. He clearly had advisers write that statement for him today. No reason to think they'll abandon him going forward.

+ A buddy of mine called today to say he was in a restaurant recently and overheard a National League pitcher say, "Yeah, I met her at Gretzky's house. She was playing tennis and she was hot as hell." No link. Just funny.

+ I love how people are asking whether Kobe Bryant and the Lakers are losing their edge. Remember when the Cavs began the regular season 0-2 and ESPN was freaking out in November? Remember how the Cavs lost to the Bulls on Thursday and suddenly LeBron and company were being pushed to the limit? Remember how LBJ carried his Cavs to a Game 4 win in Chicago Sunday, putting his team one game away from advancing? Prior to both the Cavs-Bulls and Lakers-Thunder series, most folks said they wouldn't be surprised of the top seeds lost a game in the early round. I wish people would calm down, stick to their guns and quit changing their philosophies or abandoning rational thought just because of the outcome of one game. I realize the Lakers are tied 2-2, but the defending champions are still a very dangerous team in the Western Conference.

+ I'm embarrassed that I haven't watched much of the NHL Playoffs, especially considering I wrote this about the Stanley Cup back in December.