Breeders’ Cup Round-Up

November 8, 2010

The Breeders’ Cup wrapped up this weekend in Louisville, Ky., ancestral home of thoroughbred horse racing and notably obstreperous bastion of seersucker and pastel, and Churchill Downs was in fine form to host the “richest day in sports.” (The aggregate Breeders’ purse, most years, hovers around $20 million.)

In addition to competitive jockeying (jockeys Calvin Borel, of Derby fame, and  Javier Castellano swung at each other post-race and were each subsequently fined thousands of dollars; Borel thought Castellano had purposefully collided his horse with Borel’s in an illegal maneuver), there was also some horse racing:

  • Dakota Phone, a critically-slighted gelding, surpassed expectations to win the $1 million Dirt Mile on Saturday. The gelding is partly-owned by John Hollendorfer, who thinks the horse is poised to make a run at the $10 million Dubai Classic purse this spring.
  • Brit trainer Brian Meehan notched his second turf win, and his second at Churchill Downs, with Dangerous Minds (and jockey Frankie Dettori, who had nine previous Breeders’ Cup wins to his name).
  • Big Drama enjoyed the most lucrative run, earning his owners $2 million in one day with a first-place finish in the Sentient Jet Sprint.

Big Drama wins the Breeders' Cup Sprint with Eibar Coa up. By Michael Clevenger, The Courier-Journal

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Bulls & Bears & Horses

May 1, 2010

Institutions, to maintain longevity and relevance, must sometimes realign their interests and approaches. Given its duration, our recession may be well down the road to recognition as an American institution. Still, Louisville, Kentucky seems intent on forcing a realignment of its approach.

As Derby season draws near down there, big names prepare to party like it’s 2007. The horsey set and their attendant social scene are quickly easing into full gala gallop, with parties planned around guests like Olympian Johnny Weir and Ashley Simpson, who are both expected at an event co-sponsored by aptly-named socialite twins Patricia and Priscilla Barnstable. Unidentified members of the Jackson Five are expected to perform.

Elsewhere, milliners are busy with another American institution, ladies’ Derby hats, orders for which have been pouring in all year. Reported trends this year included wide brims and metallic hues. In some shops, business this year is twice what it was last year. If this year’s Derby is any barometer, hopefully current economic climes will be long-gone before they begin to rival the race for institutional longevity.

The sisters Barnstable.