By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 13th, 2019 @ 4:30pm
If you’ve spent any time in the Corbin area, you know about the Root Beer Stand. The simple drive-in restaurant has been serving footlong hot dogs and root beer floats to patrons since 1956, and earlier this week, they received a visit from the most famous man in the state. After his team hosted a satellite camp at the Corbin Arena, John Calipari stopped by the Root Beer Stand for some grub, and today, the manager, Robert Champlin, otherwise known as “Root Beer Stand Robert” to KSR listeners, called in to tell us about it.
“One of our waitresses came in and said, ‘That’s John Calipari.’ I said, ‘There’s no way that John Calipari is at our restaurant.’ And I walked outside and sure enough, it was him.”
Robert went over to say hello, but made sure to give Cal his space.
“I told him, ‘We’re honored to have you, but we’re just gonna leave you alone and let you eat your meal’ and I thought that was going to be it.”
It wasn’t. After Cal finished his meal, he came up to the window to order a root beer float.
“You always imagine what it’s going to be like meeting someone like John Calipari but he was absolutely as nice as anyone could possibly be to me, the staff, everyone. He finished his meal and I thought he was just going to go on his way and he got out of his car and came up to the window and said, ‘Hey, I want to try a root beer float, and do you want to do some photos?’ I said, ‘Well, you know if you start taking photos, what’s going to happen.’ He said, ‘I’m prepared for it. Let’s do it.’ And sure enough, he took photos with me and my father, our staff, and immediately everyone started getting out of their cars, wanting to take photos and he stood there and took a photo with every single person. He was just incredibly nice to everyone.”
Stopped at the Root Beer Stand in Corbin. Unbelievable hamburger and hot dog, and you know I had to try the root beer float. It’s so good it’s worth driving to Corbin to try. Thanks to owners Robert and William Champlin and the staff for letting us come by. Great place! pic.twitter.com/1iKHLDLK9k
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 11, 2019
As for that photo, Robert wants to clear one thing up: the socks he was wearing are compression socks, which help the circulation in his legs since he’s on his feet all day every day.
“If I hadn’t been in the process of completely fanboying out about him being here, I probably would have taken the time to take them off before taking a photo that three million people are going to see. That slipped my mind at the time. That wasn’t a priority.”
You can hear Robert’s call halfway through Hour 1:
By Drew Franklin on ©June 05th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
It’s almost time for us to hit the road to travel the state for the KSR Blue Lights Across the Bluegrass Summer Tour!
This year’s tour will begin the second week of July with an entire week of stops on the far western side of the state, followed by four more weeks around various parts of Kentucky.
A list of the dates/locations can be found below with a few stops left to finalize. Some new ones have been added since we first posted.
Week 1 – presented by Gencanna
7/8 – Munfordville @ Hart County High School
7/9 – Russellville @ Roy’s BBQ
7/10 – Central City @ Stellian’s
7/11 – Kevil @ West Kentucky Technology Park
7/12 – Murray @ Tap 216
7/15 – Barbourville @ Appalachian Children’s Home
7/16 – Middlesboro @ JR Hoe
7/17 – Pikeville @ Buffalo Wild Wings
7/18 – Ashland @ Blazer’s Restaurant and Bakery
7/19 – Lexington @ Douglass HS for The Tournament
7/22 – Somerset Golf Outing @ Woodson Bend Resort
7/23 – Somerset @ Associates in Eye Care
7/24 – Monticello @ Conley Bottom Resort
7/25 – Campbellsville @ Mr. Gatti’s Pizza
7/26 – Lexington @ Lexington Legends
8/5 – Bowling Green @ Overtime Sports Bar and Grill
8/6 – Hopkinsville @ Hopkinsville Sportsplex
8/7 – Benton @ CFSB Bank
8/8 – Paducah @ Royal Oaks Chevrolet
8/9 – Louisville Golf Outing @ Glen Oaks Country Club
8/12 – Elizabethtown @ Kentucky Jeep and Truck
8/13 – Danville @ The Discount House 2.0
8/14 – Fort Wright @ Dickmann’s
8/15 – Lexington @ TBA
8/16 – Louisville @ TBA
We hope to you see along the way!
Our favorite seven-footer, Lukasz Obrzut, went on a hunt for Bigfoot at Wildman Days in Anderson County this past weekend. The “Hey Kentucky” cameras were there to follow him around while he was Gone Sasquatchin’ so we can hear all of the local stories of Bigfoot sightings.
Woo is the best.
Tune in below:
The state of Kentucky will be the epicenter of college basketball next season as Kentucky, Louisville, and yes, Western Kentucky University are all set for great seasons thanks to some talented players taking their names out of the NBA Draft. What follows is a breakdown for why each team will be successful, and the biggest roadblocks in their way for the 2019-2020 season.
As long as John Calipari is the head coach at Kentucky, the Wildcats will enter each season with a great deal of hype thanks to a great recruiting class. The 2019-2020 season will be no different. Even with losing its top four scorers from a year ago, Kentucky will enter next season as a consensus top-5 team.
This is in most part thanks to the fact that the Wildcats will return Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery. Both considered entering the NBA Draft, but they pulled their names out of the process earlier this week right before the deadline.
The biggest reason why Kentucky will be great once again is that the Wildcats will be two players deep at every position. Hagans and Quickly also return at the point guard spot, and they will be joined by five very talented freshman who help make up the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation. Add in experienced transfer Nate Sestina from Bucknell and you have one of the deepest teams in the nation. A more precise breakdown looks like this:
PG: Ashton Hagans/Immanuel Quickley
SG: Tyrese Maxey/Johnny Juzang
SF: Kahlil Whitney/Dontaie Allen
PF: EJ Montgomery/Keion Brooks
C: Nick Richards/Nate Sestina
Of course, Kentucky’s 2019-2020 roster is not set in stone just yet. Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. is still rumored to be considering a possible transfer to UK where he will be eligible to play immediately. If that happens, be prepared to see the Wildcats as a possible preseason No. 1 in some polls.
Also, Dontaie Allen is still a possibility to redshirt his freshman season. If Blackshear comes and Allen redshirts, I would expect Brooks to slide down as the backup small forward (yes, he is versatile enough to play there) and Blackshear to possibly start at either center or power forward.
As far as roadblocks, I see three possible ones for the Wildcats. First, they really need Blackshear to transfer. There is a lack of high-end talent in the frontcourt right now and he would fix that need. Secondly, can the trio of Maxey/Whitney/Juzang provide UK with at least two players who will be stars in March? Finally (and more importantly), can Hagans take that next step as the lead point guard? As we all know, he didn’t exactly end the season great back in March. If Hagans improves and the other potential problems are fixed, then this might be the team cutting down the nets in 2020.
Tyrese Maxey pull-game is certified pic.twitter.com/bhbbp3OYb5
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) September 26, 2018
Somebody pinch me. Its starting to feel like a whole lot like 2013 all over again as the Louisville Cardinals are set to have one of college basketball’s best teams this upcoming season. Yes, this is admittedly a team that just lost 14 games and fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to *checks notes* Minnesota.
However, never underestimate a team that returns the vast majority of its production from the previous season. The Cardinals are returning three starters, 76% of their scoring, and 80% of their rebounding. Add in the fact that they will also be adding Saint Joe’s transfer Fresh Kimble (15.6 ppg) and a top 10 recruiting class and you got a preseason top-10 (possibly top-5) squad.
Chris Mack has done a truly amazing job getting the Cardinals back on track so quickly after just one year at Louisville. I think he is a legitimate top-15 coach on the college level, and this program is back in business as long as he is there.
But what does all this mean for next season? Quite frankly, I still don’t think this roster is as talented as Kentucky’s, but that’s a pretty high bar to meet. On most nights this Louisville team will straight up have the more talented team than anyone else they play. After Virginia, the Cardinals are probably going to finish second in the ACC if they can overcome another talented Duke team.
However, I still have questions about how talented their frontcourt is. While Steven Enoch returning was huge, no other big man stood out last season. Plus, how good will Kimble be? Their depth at point guard seems a bit questionable so it will largely be on his shoulders to lead Louisville far into the postseason. Also, who will step up ad be that true No. 2 option after Jordan Nwora? Will it be Kimble or freshman Samuel Williamson? Who knows.
Louisville commit Samuel Williamson has shown flashes these last two days at 6-7 with polished footwork and soft touch. Strong skill foundation. pic.twitter.com/wJ3xmLR681
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) March 26, 2019
While a Championship or Final Four run still seems unlikely to me, I think this is absolutely a roster that can (and should) make the Elite Eight in 2020.
Surprised by this? You shouldn’t be. Believe it or not, the Hilltoppers will have a genuinely good roster next season that has borderline top-25 talent.
Like Louisville, WKU will be returning just about everything from last season. Not only do the Hilltoppers return four starters who all averaged figures in scoring, but overall WKU will be returning six of its top eight players.
Most importantly, rising sophomore big man Charles Bassey took his name out of the Draft just minutes before the deadline. Make no mistake about this: Bassey is a first round talent. The only reason he fell in the eyes of many scouts is because of his durability. Injuries throughout last season slowed down Bassey and made him look slower and less athletic then he really is. If he can stay healthy and improve upon averaging a double-double and 2.4 blocks per game, then he will be a lock for a top-20 pick.
Charles Bassey flexin’ pic.twitter.com/uUWWqeRQCo
— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) November 17, 2018
The hype does not end there for the Hilltoppers. They will also be adding two transfers who both averaged double figures in scoring for their former Division I teams. First is Cameron Justice who last played for IUPUI where he averaged 18.6 ppg. He is considered the favorite to start at point guard. Carson Williams is also now eligible after sitting out last season. Williams last played for Northern Kentucky where he averaged 12 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. In case you didn’t notice, the addition of both of these players means that the Hilltoppers now have three former Kentucky Mr. Basketball winners on one team: Justice, Williams, and Taveion Hollingsworth.
Point Guard Kenny Cooper from Lipscomb also transferred to WKU in the spring. Cooper started the last two years for Lipscomb as he managed to average 9.8 points 4.5 assists, and 2 steals a game last season. As of now, Copper is still applying for a waiver to play this season as he currently has to sit out this season due to transfer rules.
Also, 4-star and top-100 recruit Jordan Rawls is still considering reclassifying to WKU’s 2019 class. The possibility of either Cooper or Rawls (or both) being able to play in the 2019-2020 season would be the cherry on top for the Hilltoppers.
Considering that WKU will have all of this talent in the relatively weak C-USA, this should be a team that wins around 25 games in the regular season. Can coach Rick Stansbury get this team to finally win the C-USA Tournament and win a game in the NCAA Tournament? Well, if its not this team then I don’t think any squad Stansbury puts together will do it. The pressure is on in Bowling Green to finally deliver.
Overall, the biggest reason why this article exists is to showcase the very real chance that all three of these teams could be ranked in the top-25 at some point during the regular season. Yes, this depends on WKU finally meeting expectations under Stansbury. But I think there is a very real chance that by mid-February the Hilltoppers will join both the Wildcats and Cardinals in the top-25.
227 years ago in 1792, the Commonwealth of Kentucky became the 15th state in the union.
One might argue it is the greatest state in the union, but arguing is no way to celebrate a birthday. Instead, I’ve compiled a list of 27 destinations to see across the Bluegrass that will help you appreciate everything our wonderful state has to offer.
1. Churchill Downs — The iconic Twin Spires look over the home of the Kentucky Derby. Whether it’s Derby week, Downs after Dark or Thursday dollar beers, you can’t go wrong.
2. Keeneland — Where Churchill is the track in the middle of the city, Keeneland lies in the heart of Bluegrass horse country. The only racecourse where you can walk through the horse barns, if you take the scenic route down Old Frankfort Pike, you will see sights made for postcards.
3. Gray’s Arch — The 3.4-mile loop through Red River Gorge provides one of the most rewarding views of the area. A little more hidden than the Natural Bridge, it’s worth going off the beaten path to see this beauty.
4. Miguel’s Pizza — After your hike through the gorge, you need to refuel. Miguel is here to help.
5. Chain Rock — Ecology at its best, this rock that sits atop Pine Mountain is attached to enormous chain links. The chain was forged to prevent the rock from falling onto the town of Pineville (but was the rock really going to fall?).
6. Mammoth Cave — The state’s only National Park is the longest cave system known in the world.
7. The Corvette Museum — Kentuckians make the coolest American cars on the planet, no big deal.
8. The Louisville Slugger Museum — And we create the best baseball bats too.
9. Maker’s Mark Distillery — I could live without baseball bats and sports cars, but not bourbon. You can’t go wrong at any of the many distilleries throughout the state, but few are as beautiful as Maker’s Mark. Snuggled in between the Loretto, Kentucky hills, the smell of the sour mash and the sound of birds chirping makes this place feel like home.
10. Lake Cumberland — Unlike many of the manmade lakes around the state, Lake Cumberland has a rocky bottom that makes the green water clear. You can skip rocks on the shore, jump off a cliff or float in paradise.
11. Cumberland Falls — Before the river turns into a reservoir, there’s a 68-foot waterfall not far from Corbin, Kentucky. It’s the only waterfall in the Western Hemisphere where a Moonbow is regularly visible. The only other one in the world is Africa’s Victoria Falls. You can see the lunar rainbow coming off the falls during a full moon. Here’s when you can see it again this year.
12. Kentucky Fried Chicken — Before you check out the Moonbow, you can grab a bucket of the Colonel’s Original Recipe from the original location in Corbin.
13. Cumberland Gap — While I’m mentioning the Cumberlands, might as well throw this one in there. Even if you aren’t a kid, it’s kind of cool to stand in three states at once.
14. Newport on the Levee — With views of the Cincinnati skyline, the northern Kentucky Levee has excellent food and drink options near one of the best aquariums in the region.
15. The Big Four Bridge — Developed into a walking bridge in 2014, the recreational area is settled in-between Louisville Slugger Field and the new Louisville City FC Stadium. Of all the nice areas in Louisville’s Waterfront Park, this one is the best.
16. Muhammad Ali Center — Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, this center dedicated to the World’s Greatest is something you have to see.
17. Dinosaur World — Jurrasic Park ain’t got nothing on this Western Kentucky landmark.
18. Wigwam Village — Can you think of a better place to stay the night in Western Kentucky? I think not. (If you don’t enjoy your stay, blame this recommendation all on Coach Keith Madison.)
19. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill — Turn back in time by visiting the country’s largest collection of 19th century buildings.
20. Boon Tavern — The Berea, Kentucky landmark is the only place you can enjoy world famous Spoon Bread.
21. Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn — Some will argue which Owensboro locale has the best mutton BBQ, but Moonlite has earned the “world famous” distinction. The flavor of Owensboro BBQ is unrivaled. You can’t find it anywhere else. And now my mouth is watering.
22. KSBar — While I’m shouting out restaurants, go to ours. Trust me, the wings are excellent.
23. Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace — Illinois likes to take credit for molding Lincoln into the man who led the Union through the Civil War, but it all got started in Hodgenville.
24. Iroquois Park Amphitheater — In the heart of Louisville’s largest Olmsted Park (the same Olmsted that designed New York City’s Central Park), the 2,300-seat amphitheater is one of region’s best outdoor music venues. Even if you don’t attend a concert, they host free movie nights, the Jack O’Lantern Spectacular and much more.
25. The Louisville Palace — The classic architecture is stunning. It is difficult to describe the interior, so I’ll just say this: the Palace is the kind of place you see in a movie in a big city. We are lucky to have such an incredible environment for performances in the Commonwealth.
26. Land Between the Lakes — The largest inland peninsula in the United States, the National Recreational Area in Western Kentucky is surrounded by Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. If you love the outdoors, you can do pretty much anything, even see elk and bison, at Land Between the Lakes.
27. My Old Kentucky Home — Birthdays are best celebrated at home.
In the Book of Genesis, Noah’s Ark survived 40 days and 40 nights of rain. The replica in Northern Kentucky could not withstand a similar downpour.
The owners of the Ark Encounter amusement park in Northern Kentucky have sued its insurers for refusing to cover rain damage.
Unfortunately, the irony ends there. The alleged rain damage did not reveal itself in the form of a leaky hull. Ark Encounter says heavy rains in 2017 and 2018 caused a landslide that covered the access road to the amusement park. The suit alleges its five insurers failed to cover the nearly $1 million in costs.
If heavy rains come to Williamstown, the massive boat should keep you safe…if you can get to it.
By Nick Roush on ©May 23rd, 2019 @ 5:15pm
Construction is underway in Butchertown to complete a soccer-specific stadium for Louisville City FC. After starting the franchise at Louisville Slugger Field, the two-time defending USL Champions will move just a mile or two down the road into a home of their own next spring.
“I don’t see a scenario where we won’t be ready,” said one of the Messer construction officials. During the brief tour of the construction site, steel work was being installed on the roof of the facility.
The roof of the $65 million, 11,600-seat facility is set to be finished by July 4. Once that is complete, grass will be installed on the field as crews construct the surrounding infrastructure. The stadium overlooks the Louisville skyline, will feature suites just over the field level and host restaurants as tenants in the surrounding area.
With prison on the line, Ryan Lemond did not bring his A-game.
Kentucky’s favorite sidekick had five high-stakes five-foot putts at the University Club. For each make, he earned a cool $1,000. For each miss, he earned two days in KSJail. Watch the unprecedented drama unfold on live television.
By Nick Roush on ©May 13th, 2019 @ 9:30pm
Before the Big Bang Theory takes its final bow, one of the sitcom’s biggest stars spent time in Lexington.
This afternoon Kaley Cuoco, the actress who portrays Big Bang’s Penny and stars in Priceline commercials alongside Kentucky resident William Schattner, visited the Kentucky Children’s Hospital with her husband Karl Cook. The duo brought plenty of laughs to patients and their families during their trip.
We do not know why Cuoco was in Lexington. One can only assume she was inspired by “Tuesdays with C.J.”
After 12 seasons, Big Bang Theory will air its final episode Thursday at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS.
WATCH: The video that could convince you Maximum Security should NOT have been disqualified from the Kentucky Derby
By Nick Roush on ©May 11th, 2019 @ 10:15pm
Since the conclusion of the Kentucky Derby, many have debated the outcome.
The overwhelming majority believes Maximum Security took the last turn too wide, causing contact with War of Will that nearly created the greatest disaster in the history of horse racing. When you watch this footage from the race, it’s hard to disagree.
This is the video they should have been showing last night. Maximum Security clearly veers out 5 paths and totally impedes War of Will and Long Range Toddy. Watch it multiple times. Every time your conviction that the right call was made will increase. pic.twitter.com/0kYakwvjin
— Scott Carson (@CarsoniPH) May 5, 2019
In spite of that video evidence, many believe Maximum Security was unjustly disqualified, and it’s not just the horse’s owners. While the Wests contemplate legal action, jockey Luis Saez has lawyered up to prevent disciplinary action from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Rick Depass Jr., an assistant trainer, put together the following video to outline why War of Will and jockey Tyler Gaffalione are actually responsible for the collision.
The video has been seen by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stewards. Connections to Maximum Security argue it provides “indisputable evidence” that Maximum Security was wrongly disqualified.
I believe the video eloquently paints a broader picture of the race and accurately portrays the gray area encompassing the decision, however, Maximum Security still got spooked on the turn and took it too wide. What do you think?
The Kentucky Derby ended five days ago, yet the owners are still fighting to finish first.
Maximum Security crossed the finish line first at the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby. Unlike any other Derby, the horse was disqualified for cutting off and making contact with multiple horses. The video evidence is pretty obvious; not to Gary and Mary West.
The owners filed a formal appeal with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Monday. As expected, it was was quickly denied.
Even though the owners are running out of options, they’re willing to take Maximum Security’s fight to court.
The owners aren’t the only ones lawyering up. Jockey Luis Saez has retained Louisville attorney Ann Oldfather to defend him if he is disciplined by the horse racing commission. Saez and other jockeys are reportedly meeting with racing stewards Friday to review tape from the race.
This fight is far from over, but isn’t it about time to quit beating a (not-so) dead horse?
By Drew Franklin on ©May 09th, 2019 @ 10:30am
Anderson County is serious about its middle school kickball.
In 2017, Chrystal Graham, then a seventh-grade teacher, threatened a student after a kickball game on the last day of school. Graham told the student she would “cut off his penis and shove it down his throat.” She was also accused of flipping off another student (with a double-bird!) and telling some of her students, “On three, kick Durbin’s ass,” referring to another teacher at the school.
Graham pleaded not guilty to charges of threatening a male student. She is back in court today.
Hot take: I completely get it. We used to have some kickball wars at West Broadway Elementary in Madisonville. I wish my teachers had this kind of spirit when Mr. Harris’ class was mercy-ruling us every time a pizza party was on the line. Should a teacher be saying that to a student in the classroom? Absolutely not. But when you’re inside the chalk and the kickballs are flying, I think anything goes. I read this as intense coaching and standing up for your team. I’d play for Graham any day.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 07th, 2019 @ 8:45pm
With interest in horse racing as high as it has been in a long time (thanks, controversy!), the sport’s next big race is very un-interesting.
Horse racing’s two biggest stars at the moment — Maximum Security and Country House — will both skip the second leg of the Triple Crown, each for different reasons. Maximum Security sees no reason to rush into another race without a Triple Crown on the line, while Country House’s owner announced Tuesday that Country House has a cough and will sit out the Preakness Stakes.
Now I know very little about owning, training, riding or being a horse, so I will be careful with my criticism here…. but a cough? Country House is skipping the Preakness over a cough? How can the Derby winner bail on the Preakness over something a little NyQuil and a good nap during a Netflix marathon will easily cure? Forgive me for calling a thoroughbred horse soft but the Derby winner has to run in the Preakness. It’s like a rule I think. He owes it to the game. Champion horses run. They don’t take a sick day.
But no, Country House bowed out of its Triple Crown chase with a cold. With everyone eager to see how Country House will run in a follow-up to its controversial Derby win, Preakness fans instead get (insert the name of the other horses because I don’t know any other horses). Country House isn’t taking a chance. No flu game for the Derby winner. Not even going to attempt a ’97 Michael Jordan Game 5 performance.
And now nobody cares about the Preakness. If either Maximum Security or Country House were running, the casual observer would tune in to see how they respond. With neither making the trip to Pimlico, I can think of a billion other things to do on Saturday, May 18 at 6:48 p.m.
Good for Country House on the victory though. I’m still a fan, I completely agreed with the objection, and I can’t hate on the lifetime of horse sex he has ahead of him. So much horse sex in his future. It’s just too bad he won’t even attempt the Triple Crown. Horse racing had a huge opportunity and a horse cough will destroy its ratings and public interest in two Saturdays.
Maybe we’ll get Maximum Security’s redemption run at the Belmont? What about a 1-on-1 at Churchill Downs on pay-per-view?
(Editor’s note: I’m kind of kidding about the cough because I don’t know what I am talking about but I am all the way serious about the Preakness sucking now and about all of the Country House sex.)
By Drew Franklin on ©May 07th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
We have a frontrunner for Yearbook Quote of the Year in Kentucky.
Vincent Lynch out of Butler High School in Louisville left his fellow students with a shot at Rick Pitino. Lynch’s yearbook quote read, “If there is one thing I learned in high school it’s that Pitino knew. #CatsBy90”.
With hair like that and a Rick Pitino dig as his parting message, Lynch should be named Butler High’s Most Likely To Succeed.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 06th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
The appeal submitted by the owners of Maximum Security didn’t even last one full business day before it was denied by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
This morning, Maximum Security’s ownership team filed a complaint arguing that the stewards made an “arbitrary and capricious” decision at the conclusion of the Kentucky Derby when they disqualified the original winner for impeding on the space of other horses in the far turn of the race.
Just hours later, the Horse Racing Commission ruled that the race was “final” and that the decision is not subject to appeal.
After the decision made on Saturday, Kentucky chief steward Barbara Borden said that Maximum Security’s late-race antics interfered with the progress of War of Will, Long Range Toddy, and Bodexpress, and thus, a disqualification was necessary.
This is the video they should have been showing last night. Maximum Security clearly veers out 5 paths and totally impedes War of Will and Long Range Toddy. Watch it multiple times. Every time your conviction that the right call was made will increase. pic.twitter.com/0kYakwvjin
— Scott Carson (@CarsoniPH) May 5, 2019
The jockeys of both Long Range Toddy and Country House each filed objections after the race, claiming that Maximum Security interfered with them in the home stretch.
Kentucky Horse Racing Commission executive director Marc Guilfoil said that he stands by the decision “100%” and feels that while it may be unpopular, it was absolutely correct.
“While the decision may have been unpopular, I can tell you that it was the absolute right call. It was the absolute correct call,” Guilfoil said, via The Pressbox. “And, I stand behind the Steward’s decision, 100 percent. Our Stewards have extensive experience, both on horseback and in the Steward’s stand. They made the absolute right decision.”
Maximum Security’s owner, Gary West, announced via the Today Show that his horse will be skipping the Preakness in two weeks.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 06th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
It has been almost two whole days since Maximum Security won then lost the Kentucky Derby and the controversial finish is still a hot topic across the sports world. Maximum Security’s owner, Gary West, announced via the Today Show that he will be appealing the decision and confirmed Maximum Security will skip the Preakness in two weeks.
Then there is this saucy quote from Bob Baffert to Sports Illustrated:
“No one ever calls an objection in the Derby,” Baffert told me Sunday afternoon, by text. “It’s always a roughly run race. Twenty-horse field. I have been wiped out numerous times, but that is the Derby. I can see by the book why they did it. But sometimes you’ve got to take your ass-kickings with dignity.” [SI.com]
Bob With The Good Hair had three contenders in this year’s Derby and even he thinks Maximum Security should’ve worn the winning garland Saturday evening because the Derby is a different beast in horse racing. He also said Maximum Security is “the real deal” and “the best three-year-old in the country.”
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 04th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
For the first time in Kentucky Derby history, the first person to cross the finish line did not come out victorious.
Maximum Security held the lead the entire race, but after review, he was disqualified for impeding War of Will. After the decision, long shot Country House was declared the winner of Kentucky Derby 145.
Here was the moment the decision was announced:
For the first time in the history of the #KYDerby, the horse that crossed the line first has been disqualified.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 4, 2019
This was the incident that initiated the objection, and ultimately the disqualification:
OH MY GOD!!! ?
Maximum Security has been disqualified for impeding multiple other horses’ paths.
— Sports Plug (@_SportsPlug) May 4, 2019
When interviewed afterward by NBC, Maximum Security jockey Luis Saez said that his horse got scared on the muddy surface, and he tried as hard as he could to help the horse “stay straight.”
Maximum Security’s trainer, Jason Servis, said that his horse “straightened up right away” and that he didn’t think it affected the final result.
“Pray to the racing gods,” Servis said as he waited for the ruling.
Country House came in with final odds of 62-1, making it the second-biggest long shot to win the Derby behind Donerail (91-1) in 1913.
The final official results were Country House for the win ($132.40), Code of Honor with the place, and Tacitus for the show.
For those keeping track at home, a $2 exacta bet won $3,009.60, while a $1 trifecta bet won $11,475.30, and a $1 superfecta bet won $51,400.10.
History has been made.
Rise and shine, BBN! If you’re not already drowning in Mint Juleps at Churchill Downs, or getting prepared for your big Derby party, what are you waiting for?
This afternoon, we will see the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby, where 20 horses will compete in “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.”
Omaha Beach, the original favorite, and Haikal have scratched, so here is a look at the updated betting odds on all of the other participants (courtesy of NJ.com and KentuckyDerby.com):
Program # | Horse (Trainer/Jockey) | Morning-line | Latest odds
1. War of Will (Casse/Gaffalione) | 15/1 | 17-1
2. Tax (Gargen/Alvarado) | 20/1 | 36-1
3. By My Standards (Calhoun/Saez) | 15/1 | 14-1
4. Gray Magician (Miller/VanDyke) | 50/1 | 28-1
5. Improbable (Baffert/Ortiz Jr.) | 5/1 | 5-1
6. Vekoma (Weaver/JCastellano) | 15/1 | 22-1
7. Maximum Security (Servis/Saez) | 8/1 | 5-1
8. Tacitus (Mott/Ortiz) | 8/1 | 5-1
9. Plus Que Parfait (Walsh/Santana Jr.) | 30/1 | 49-1
10. Cutting Humor (Pletcher/Smith) 30/1 | 22-1
13. Code of Honor (McGaughey III/Velasquez) 12/1 | 13-1
14. Win Win Win (Trombetta/Pimentel) 15/1 | 15-1
15. Master Fencer (Tsunoda/Leparoux) 50/1 | 49-1
16. Game Winner (Baffert/Rosario) 9/2 | 6-1
17. Roadster (Baffert/Geroux) 5/1 | 9-1
18. Long Range Toddy (Asmussen/Court) 30/1 | 44-1
19. Spinoff (Pletcher/Franco) 30/1 | 49-1
20. Country House (Mott/Prat) 30/1 | 67-1
21. Bodexpress (Delgado/Landeros) 30/1 | 99-1
Here are all of the races, times, and where you can bet on them if you’re at the track:
|1||10:30AM||WPS EX DD P3 P5|
|2||11:01AM||WPS EX DD P3 P4|
|3||11:31AM||WPS EX DD P3|
|4||12:03PM||WPS EX DD P3 P5|
|5||12:35PM||WPS EX DD P3 P4|
|6||1:13PM||WPS EX DD P3|
|7||1:55PM||WPS EX DD P3 S6|
|8||2:45PM||WPS EX DD P3 P5|
|9||3:37PM||WPS EX DD P3 P4|
|10||4:28PM||WPS EX DD P3 P5|
|11||5:25PM||WPS EX DD P3 P4 (Old Forester Turf Classic)|
|12||6:50PM||WPS EX DD P3 SH5 (Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve)|
|13||7:50PM||WPS EX DD|
If you missed Chad Lashbrook’s Derby Day Handicapping Guide, featuring a breakdown of all of today’s races, you can take a look at that below:
Now to catch you up on everything else going on around the Bluegrass…
In the 145th running of the Kentucky Oaks yesterday evening, Serengeti Empress took home the Lillies for the Fillies.
In front of 105,719 attendees, the 3-year-old filly pulled off the victory at 18-1 odds in a final time of 1:50.17. Out of 14 participants, Serengeti Empress was one of nine fillies with odds at or above 15-1.
The 3-year-old filly ran the one and one-eight mile race in front of a crowd of 105,719 attendees, according to Churchill Downs. Serengeti Empress was bred right here in the Bluegrass.
Behind Serengeti Empress, Liora ran second, Lady Apple was third and Champagne Anyone finished fourth.
Here is the footage of the impressive victory:
Kentucky Oaks (G1)
1800m , 1.250.000 $ , for 3yo mares#KYOAKS#churchilldowns ??
Serengeti Empress (USA)
(Alternation – Havisham by Bernardini)
J: Jose Ortiz
O: Joel Politi pic.twitter.com/RF1CAzspsk
— ?? (@WorldRacing_) May 3, 2019
Yesterday marked the beginning of a long weekend of commencement ceremonies at the University of Kentucky, where 71 total student-athletes are set to graduate.
For starters, Kentucky head coach John Calipari couldn’t contain his excitement in watching his son, Brad, walk across the stage and shake President Eli Capilouto’s hand.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) May 3, 2019
Former Kentucky football star and current New York Jets linebacker Avery Williamson was also proud of himself for finally earning his degree in integrated strategic communication:
After completing his fifth year in the @nfl, LB @AWilliamson54 returned to UK in the off-season to finish his degree in integrated strategic communication. Today, it was all worth it. Congrats, Avery! #WeAreUK
? ? ? pic.twitter.com/xyLootwrGz
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) May 3, 2019
The UK Athletics department put together a rundown of just a few of the graduating student-athletes on Friday:
— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) May 3, 2019
I also (somehow) managed to get that fancy piece of paper yesterday morning, as well:
Time for the real world.
Kahlil Whitney is officially a Wildcat
After nine long months of waiting, five-star forward Kahlil Whitney can now finally say that he is officially a Kentucky Wildcat.
At a ceremony at his former school, the 6-foot-7 prospect signed his National Letter of Intent, making him an official member of Kentucky’s 2019 recruiting class.
“I chose Kentucky because it was my dream school,” Whitney said in a statement. “I feel that Coach Cal can coach, motivate and get the maximum potential on and off the court out of me.”
— THE DRAGON? (@KahlilWhitney) May 3, 2019
Kentucky head coach John Calipari is also excited about Whitney’s addition.
“As far as Kahlil is on the basketball court, he’s long and athletic,” Calipari said. “He’s in the same mold of some of the best players we’ve had here in that he has the athleticism to impact the game offensively, yet I believe he can be a difference maker defensively. He’s an elite finisher at the rim with the ability to put the ball on the floor and drive it. Khalil, who is originally from Chicago, has watched this program since Anthony Davis won a title with us and has wanted to be a part of this program for a while. I believe he’s only scratched the surface of how good he can be and I can’t wait to get to work with him.”
Whitney joins Tyrese Maxey, Keion Brooks Jr., Dontaie Allen, and Nate Sestina as signed 2019 prospects for Kentucky.
Former Wildcats shine in the NBA Playoffs
Last night, BBNBA members Jamal Murray and Enes Kanter put on a show for their respective teams in the NBA Playoffs.
Murray led the Denver Nuggets with 34 points on 14-32 shooting to go with nine rebounds, five assists, and a steal in their quadruple-overtime loss against Kanter’s Trailblazers.
In the victory, Kanter managed 18 points, 15 rebounds, three steals, and a block in the victory.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) May 4, 2019
Eric Bledsoe’s Milwaukee Bucks also pulled off a victory last night, defeating the Boston Celtics by a final score of 123-116. The former Wildcat finished with nine points (4-15 shooting), one rebound, and four assists.
Star Wars Day
Before we go all-in on Derby for the rest of the day, UK Athletics also wanted you to know that May 4th is officially Star Wars Day.
1933: The Fighting Finish
You know the picture, but do you know the story? The 1933 Kentucky Derby ended in a brawl between Don Meade, aboard Brokers Tip, and Herb Fisher who rode Head Play. Brokers Tip made a late dash to the front of the pack down the stretch. As Meade approached Fisher, the two began using their whips on each other.
The race ended as a photo finish with the two jockeys still swinging on each other. The problem is there was no photo finish in 1933. Race stewards declared Brokers Tip the winner by a nose.
It was the only race Brokers Tip ever won. The jockeys were suspended for rough riding, and Fisher received an additional five days for starting a fistfight with Meade in the jockeys’ room, insistent that his horse won the race.
1957: Shoemaker’s Folly
Legendary jockey Bill Shoemaker won four Kentucky Derby’s during his lengthy, illustrious career. If not for a late mistake in 1957, he’d have five. Aboard Gallant Man, Shoemaker misjudged the finish line. He pulled up just shy of the finish line, threw off his horse’s rhythm and was caught by Iron Leige, losing by a nose.
Enjoy the Happy Chandler cameo.
1996: Grindstone Denies Baffert
Searching for his first Kentucky Derby victory, Baffert’s Cavonnier took the lead with a quarter-mile to go. D. Wayne Lukas’ Grindstone made a late charge on the outside from 15th place to make a photo finish with Unbridled’s Song and Cavonnier. After several minutes, Grindstone was declared the winner by a nose.
1997: Silver Charm by a Neck
To win his first Kentucky Derby, Bob Baffert’s horse had to hang on down the long final stretch at Churchill Downs. With Gary Stevens aboard Silver Charm, he made a nice subtle move to the outside hold off Captain Bodgit. “HERE COMES THE CAPTAIN” is one of the great lines in Derby history.
The horse that made me love the sport, Silver Charm won the Preakness but was caught in the Belmont and beaten by a half-length. The following year Baffert’s Real Quiet won the first two legs, until Victory Gallop caught him with a photo finish in the Belmont. The 1998 Triple Crown loss is still painfully exhilarating.
2009: “An Impossible Result”
Mine that Bird went form last to first in one of the most incredible upsets in the 144-year history of the Kentucky Derby. The race filled with speed fell apart on the final turn and Calvin Borel earned his nickname “Bo-rail” by guiding his 50-to-1 long shot to a seven-length victory.
2015: American Pharoah “Finally The One!”
“Finally The One!” was actually Larry Columbus’ call from AP’s win at the Belmont. That is now the name of one of Phroah’s colts. People forget he narrowly won the Derby, taking down Dortmund and Firing line in essentially a three-horse race.
2018: “All Rise for Justify!”
The eventual Triple Crown winner broke The Apollo Curse and won in the middle of a downpour, the first in the history of the Kentucky Derby.
By Nick Roush on ©May 01st, 2019 @ 6:30pm
The favorite for the 145th run for the roses has been scratched.
Trainer Richard Mandella announced Omaha Beach will not race in the 2019 Kentucky Derby. While suffering from a mild cough, a scope revealed Omaha Breach had an entrapped epiglottis, forcing the horse to be sidelined for Saturday’s race.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith is now without a mount. He previously rode Roadster in the Santa Anita Derby.
In Omaha Beach’s absence, Bob Baffert’s Game Winner will likely become the Derby favorite. With rain in the forecast, Omaha Beach was one of the few horses with a prep race win on an offtrack. The betting money will now shift to By My Standards, the long shot owned by Drew Franklin’s family friend, who won the Louisiana Derby in tumultuous conditions.
Omaha Beach will likely be replaced by Bodexpress, the also eligible who finished second in the Florida Derby. Updated odds for Kentucky Derby 145 have three Baffert horses leading the way.