Saturday, May 04, 2002
Derby day arrives
No Louisville sluggards
By Neil Schmidt, email@example.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer
LOUISVILLE Take Churchill Downs' 147 acres and tightly pack them with 150,000-plus people. Tight security. Race-day nerves.
All that's left vacant is the race track and the wide-open Kentucky Derby to be run there.
Featuring a notably balanced cast of 19 thoroughbreds, the 128th running of the race will be marked today by a new era in security and a closing chapter in Churchill history.
With a $127 million renovation to begin Sunday, Churchill will increase its police presence and restrict previously allowable items like coolers, bottled water and sunscreen in the first Derby since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Harlan's Holiday is the lukewarm favorite for the 1 1/4-mile race; his 9-2 morning-line odds are the longest for a favorite in Derby history. Born in Medina, he attempts to become the first Ohio-bred horse to win the race since 1909.
Race fans seemed to adapt quickly to the new security guidelines Friday on Kentucky Oaks Day, which drew a crowd of 101,923. There were no significant issues security-wise, Churchill president Alex Waldrop said. People came fully prepared.
Jerry and Feye Bach of Indian Hill, who own Take Charge Lady, had disappointment when their favored filly finished second in the Oaks to long shot Farda Amiga.
A long shot could just as easily win today. For revelers at this rite of spring, on an expected 70-degree, sunny day, knowing who'll win isn't necessarily what matters.
It's about the event, said two-time Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert. It's like going to an Eagles concert: It's the same every time, but it's great.
Derby wagers will be accepted at River Downs and Turfway Park.
Giants 6, Reds 1
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Cameron's big night marked by class
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Notes from Friday's games
Rackers faces winds of change
Bengals notes: Annual quarterback battle begins
49ers' Owens scores seven points in USBL debut
Ohio prep roundup
Kentucky prep roundup
Tristate high school results
Baseball tournament schedule
Softball tournament schedule