Kentucky Derby Weekend Top Ten List

By Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the NTRA

Kentucky Derby weekend was special this year for lots of reasons. With apologies to David Letterman, here is my list-in no particular order, I must admit-of 10 reasons why the Kentucky Derby is one of the most exceptional events in all of sports.                 


10. The Susan G. Komen Foundation and the many breast cancer survivors participating in the "Survivor Parade" who, for the second year in a row, helped make Kentucky Oaks day a memorable event. 

9. The hard-working Churchill Downs staff and their marvelous facility, which accommodated two six-figure crowds beautifully.

8. NBC for excellent coverage on Saturday and its great cross promotional efforts leading up to the big day.

7. Mother Nature for parting the clouds at just the right moment for the singing of My Old Kentucky Home.

6. Track Superintendent Butch Lehr and other Churchill Downs racing officials who showed why Churchill is fully deserving of its NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance accreditation by giving us two days of safe, fair racing despite challenging weather conditions.  

5. Todd Pletcher, who finally got his first Derby win. I don't think it will be long until his second such victory. 

4. Calvin Borel, whose patented rail skimming ride proved to be the difference-yet again.

3. Super Saver, for peaking when it mattered most and running the race of his life against a full, competitive field of 3-year-olds.

2. Super Saver's owners/breeders Kenny Troutt and Bill Casner and their excellent WinStar Farm team including Doug Cauthen and Elliott Walden for putting their heart and soul into a business that doesn't always reward or appreciate good guys like them.

1. The City of Louisville and its community leaders, media and public safety personnel, and citizens whose largely unsung support and hospitality over many years are a prime reason why the Kentucky Derby is the phenomenal event that it is.


That's my list.  Who or what would you add to it?

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