Here & There: Derby Day

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The 140th Kentucky Derby is in the books and it certainly was one to remember.

California Chrome became the fourth Cal-bred to win America’s most famous race and first since Decidedly in 1962, Victor Espinoza won his second, co-owners and breeders Steve Coburn and Perry Martin won for the little guys and Art Sherman eclipsed Charlie Whittingham and became the oldest trainer to win the Derby. For the record, Sherman is 77 and Whittingham was 76 when he won with Sunday Silence in 1989.

We’ve got plenty on tap after a memorable weekend in Louisville and in the Bluegrass State so consider this an appetizer.

Worth Repeating

“When he separated away I said, ‘now let me take over the last 70 yards.” – Winning trainer and former jockey Art Sherman

“A couple of nights after the Santa Anita Derby I couldn’t sleep. … I started dating my girlfriend. She told me, ‘you need to win one more.’ I’m ready to retire now.” – Winning jockey Victor Espinoza

“You got two more races to go.” – Trainer Art Sherman to Espinoza, referring to the Preakness and Belmont

“This colt is going to fly first class. My wife and I will probably fly coach.” – Winning co-owner Steve Coburn

“What about me? Private jet?” – Espinoza

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be 100 yards from the wire and think you’ve got a shot to win the Kentucky Derby.” – West Point Thoroughbreds’ Terry Finley after Commanding Curve finished second

“Who doesn’t respect me?” – Dallas Stewart, trainer of Commanding Curve, when reporter suggested he doesn’t get any respect in the Derby after sending out second straight runner-up

“Dry, that’s a good omen.” Owner Ken Ramsey, holding up his sweat-free palm during the Derby walkover when asked how he was doing

“Don’t worry, you’ll be back with another one.” – Derby-wining owner and breeder Arthur Hancock III to dejected Ramsey after his We Miss Artie finished 10th and Vicar’s In Trouble finished last

“I’m glad that’s over.” – Charlie LoPresti after Wise Dan won Woodford Reserve

“I thought I had you.” – Jockey’s agent Ron Anderson to LoPresti from his box near the finish line. Anderson’s Joel Rosario rode Seek Again to close second to Wise Dan

“Wise Dan’s the rock star, not me.” – LoPresti, after fans chanted his name as he walked back after the Woodford Reserve

“I’m just the same old Art Sherman, except I won the Kentucky Derby.” – Sherman

“You know when you gave a good horse … I knew he’d be the horse to beat once we got him here.” – Sherman

“Nice weather you ordered up for today.” – Fan on rail near winner’s circle to Churchill Vice President John Asher

“I’m also looking at the time. I don’t really care what the track record is. All I know is my horse won the Kentucky Derby today. Excuse me, our horse, me and Perry Martin. I apologize, Perry, if you’re listening. DAP Racing won the Kentucky Derby today.” – Coburn

“I saw more women’s underwear today than I’ve seen in my whole life without even trying.” – First-time Derby attendee Steve Collins, father-in-law of TIHR’s Tom Law

“Go blue dress.” – Fan yelling to member of media walking through tunnel after the Derby

“I know him, I know him, I know him. Don’t know him.” – Fan near the tunnel pointing out television media he recognized and unnamed member of the print press crew that he didn’t

“This is where I need to be next year.” – Elizabeth Collins, wife of TIHR’s Tom Law, after spending some time in the laid-back atmosphere on the backstretch Derby day

“I don’t know. Lot of jibberish.” – Elizabeth Collins, reading Tom’s story on the Espinoza brothers on the plane from Atlanta to Albany


By the Numbers

12: Years between Derby wins for Victor Espinoza

17: Number of trainers to win the Derby with their first starter in the race, including Art Sherman

2,500: Stud fee of Lucky Pulpit when California Chrome was conceived in 2010

8,000: Amount spent by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin to purchase the Not For Love mare Love the Chase, dam of California Chrome

164,906: Reported attendance on Derby day at Churchill Downs, second largest in history

11.9 million: Derby Day on-track handle in, an increase of 4% from last year