Sunday, May 02, 1999

Derby was fun, by a long shot


Upset pays big for lucky few in 2nd-largest crowd

BY JANE PRENDERGAST
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[derby]
Charismatic, left, makes his move atthe top of the stretch.
(Gary Landers photo)
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        LOUISVILLE — Saturday's 125th Kentucky Derby ended with a win by a neck and the largest payoff in almost six decades.

        The winner was Charismatic, who went off at 31-1 odds — the third-longest for any winner. Not many bet him, but those who did won big. Charismatic paid $64.60 on a $2 “win” bet, the most in 59 years.

        The win by a relative long shot continued the 20-year Derby tradition of handing losses to the favorite. It also continued the streak of losing fillies and ended trainer Bob Baffert's chance of becoming the first to win three Derbys in a row.

        The second-largest crowd ever — 151,051 — filled Churchill Downs for the race. Only the 100th Derby drew more people.

[antley]
Chris Antley
(Gary Landers photo)
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        Winning jockey Chris Antley had been overweight and out of racing as recently as this winter and had considered quitting. The win, he said after watching his horse blanketed with the red roses, was a dream.

        Unsuccessful bets notwithstanding, Derby watchers had fun thanks to mint juleps, celebrity-watching and some of the best Derby weather in recent years.

        Louisville attorney Jim Ellis would second that. He bet $2 on the winner, thinking that it would take charisma to survive the pack of 19 horses. “We're going home happy,” he said.

        “If you even care a little bit about horse racing,” said Fort Thomas businessman Wayne Carlisle, “this is where you want to be today.”

       



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