By Kindsey Bernhard on ©June 15th, 2018 @ 10:00pm
It is no secret that bourbon dominates this state, but the craft beer industry is growing in Kentucky. I want to shed light on this amazing industry and what it means for Kentucky.
Hardin County voted to allow the sale of alcohol with the ability to take it home in 2011.
This changed everything. It opened up a lot of opportunities for local businesses and the ability for a craft beer community to develop in Elizabethtown. It did.
In 2015, Elizabethtown hosted its first craft beer festival, the Kentucky Craft Beer Festival.
“We were just interested in kind of bringing opportunities to the marketplace that introduced locals to the great craft breweries that are out there around the state and beyond,” said Kenny Rambo, co-founder of the Kentucky Craft Beer Festival. “So we launched the festival kind of in that regard.”
The closest brewery during the first year of the festival was in Louisville, about 45 miles away. That quickly changed. Elizabethtown opened its own brewery, FlyWheel Brewing, in November of 2017. Although FlyWheel was part of the festival last year, this will be the first time the Kentucky Beer Festival will feature beer from its own city.
Having their own brewery means a lot to the people of Elizabethtown.
“It’s just really cool to be able to say,”Yeah we have this now in Elizabethtown,” Rambo said. “It just kind of creates a source of pride in the community and an opportunity for people to come here. Either from here or visiting and take part in something that they can’t experience anywhere else in the world because there is only one FlyWheel Brewing.”
FlyWheel has is more than just a brewery to the people of Elizabethtown. It’s part of their personality.
“The taproom is kind of a gathering place,” Rambo said. “It just becomes one of those destinations where people want to be able to spend time catching up with friends and family, visiting one another.”
This feeling will be evident tomorrow at the Kentucky Craft Beer Festival, where over 23 breweries from across the state pouring beer at the Brown-Pusey House Garden in Elizabethtown.
The Kentucky Craft Beer Festival is doing things a little different than most festivals. People will be drinking beer, but they will be drinking beer for a great cause.
“We have a non-profit organization called Give 270 that is based here in Elizabethtown,” Rambo said. “And our goal is to basically to meet the unmet philanthropic needs in three-county area; Hardin, LaRue and Meade County which kind of make up our local metropolitan municipal area. So basically our presenting and our featured breweries have made a contribution to that non-profit or a sponsorship to the non-profit to be part of the festival.”
The goal of Give 270 is to engage 270 people in giving $270 and distribute the funds to projects identified in partnership with United Way of Central Kentucky. The Kentucky Craft Beer Festival serves as an additional fundraiser to benefit Give 270.
But the fundraising doesn’t stop there.
“We have a 3-year relationship with one of our presenting sponsors, which is Liquor Barn,” Rambo said. “The way they support our event is they have allocated us a bottle of Van Winkle 12-Year Special Reserve. And one of our partner non-profits will actually be selling raffle tickets for $10 a piece and those funds will benefit an area non-profit called CASA of the Heartland.“
Rarely do you see a festival, of any kind, give back in the way the Kentucky Craft Beer Festival. That is just one of the many reasons why the Kentucky craft beer community is so popular and successful.
And are there two better things than drinking beer and giving back? The answer is no. So if you live in Elizabethtown or closy by, you better be there on Saturday.
The only way to enter the raffle is by attending the festival, so buy your tickets HERE!
Go drink good beer and support two good causes!
It is no secret that bourbon dominates this state, but the craft beer industry is growing in Kentucky. I want to shed light on this amazing industry and what it means for Kentucky.
Craft beer is booming in Kentucky.
There were only five breweries in Kentucky in 2009. Eleven breweries opened in 2016. Thirteen opened in 2017. And today there are 50 active licenses (some breweries have two) with anywhere from 12-16 breweries opening by the end of 2018.
“It’s really a good time to be in the beer business in Kentucky,” said Derek Selznick, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Guild of Brewers.
Not only is it a good time to be in the business in the state, but it’s a great time to be a craft beer lover in the state. Not only are breweries popping up all over the state, but next Saturday is the biggest craft beer festival of the year in the state, the Kentucky Craft Bash.
The Kentucky Guild of Brewers is hosting the 2nd annual Kentucky Craft Bash on Saturday, June 23rd at the Louisville Waterfront Park. Over 30 breweries from across the Commonwealth will be present, turning Louisville into Kentucky’s taproom.
So what’s different from going to the breweries or buying beer at Kroger than going to the Kentucky Craft Bash?
“We kind of sat down and we said, as brewers, what do we want out of this event?” Selznick said. “So we sat down and what we came up with was one of the things we hate as you go to a beer festival and, you know, 75 percent of the beers that are offered to people are stuff that you can find in our fabulous retail partners.”
The Kentucky Guild of Brewers wanted to “blow people sock’s off” with this year’s event. So this year they came up with the idea to have each brewery bring a beer that you can’t get anywhere other than the Kentucky Craft Bash.
“Well, this year we kind of upped our game even more,” Selznick said. “We said not only do we want to do something that everyone brings a flagship and taproom-only beer, but what we’re gonna do is we are going to partner with the wonderful people at Willett Distillery. So we have 28 of our breweries that all are barrel aging something in an 80th anniversary reserve that’s just for our festival.“
“We really want to give people a unique view at Kentucky beers. Give them something that they’re never going to be able to replicate any place else other than this festival.”
One thing that will be similar will be the intimate experience that you have when going to a brewery.
When you got a taproom, it’s a different experience than going to a bar. This year the Kentucky Guild of Brewers condensed the space of the festival to make the festival more intimate.
“Really what we wanted to make sure the absolute star of the show is our beer,” Selznick said. “We really want to give to that experience of being able to sample over a 100 unique styles and talk to the people that are making them and know what is the intention and what’s the passion that goes behind each of those beers.”
But where did this craft beer phenomenon come from?
“Well you know one of the wonderful things that craft beer does it adds to the experience of a place,” Selznick said.
The Kentucky Guild of Brewers has worked to enhance the craft beer experience by partnering with the department of tourism, Go To Louisville and Visit Lex, among others. Their goal is to promote how breweries help the state and local businesses.
People in the beer industry in Kentucky aren’t afraid of getting bigger. They want current breweries to grow and new ones to open.
The great thing about the breweries in this state is they don’t care if new breweries open right across the street. It’s all about growing the industry as a whole.
“We will fight to the death about whose liquid is the best in the state of Kentucky,” Selznick said. “However, you know, you opening up next door to me is not a competition I fear. I fear bad beer. I don’t fear more breweries because all it’s going to do is enhance that experience going to something, going to something local and really drive to traffic to an area.”
That’s something you don’t see in other states and other industries.
“I think that’s really one of the keys to our success is that we look at all of each other and we say how can we make each other succeed,” Selznick said. “I think that’s really a unique place to be in.”
The craft beer community in Kentucky is like nothing else. You can see for yourself on June 23rd in Louisville. Go buy your tickets right now!
To purchase your ticket, click HERE.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: The first person to message me on Twitter (@kindseybernhard) will win 2 free GA tickets.
Thank you Kentucky Guild of Brewers and your love for KSR readers! You all rock!
By Nick Roush on ©June 12th, 2018 @ 7:01pm
One of America’s most popular cooking shows made a pitstop at Rupp Arena.
This afternoon Top Chef posted up in the paint to film with Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari. According to his daughters, Coach Cal does not have the most diverse pallet. He almost exclusively eats meat, but that did not stop Bravo from making him a judge in the competitive culinary contest.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 12, 2018
Top Chef Kentucky, the 16th season of the hit Bravo show, is shooting in Lexington through the end of the week. The episode from Rupp Arena will air in January of 2019.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 11th, 2018 @ 8:00pm
Those sending their children to the University of Kentucky will have to open up their checkbook just a tad bit wider this year.
The school is set to announce a 2.5 percent tuition increase for the 2018-19 school year, the smallest jump in the last ten years. The price for undergraduate students will reach just above $12,000 a year, though the total cost of attendance (tuition, housing, books, and food) for in-state undergraduates is expected to be $30,100.
Out-of-state tuition will see a 3.8 percent jump, bringing the cost to roughly $29,000.
It will be officially confirmed by the UK Board of Trustees at a meeting on June 22.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, tuition has jumped 105 percent since 2005 to compensate for $70 million in state funding cuts in the past decade.
On the bright side, UK has announced an end to the $14-per-year mandatory athletic fee with the help of an $800,000 spike UK Athletics has seen in generated ticket revenue.
Now, mandatory student fees for next fall will be only $681.50.
For more on the tuition prices, take a look here.
We are just over a month away from the first regular PGA Tour event in Kentucky since 1959. Before the golfers tee up at Keene Trace, the Barbasol Championship needs your help.
To put on a successful PGA Tour event, it requires a lot of labor. The Barbasol Championship is looking for 1,500 volunteers to provide a variety of tasks around the golf course, from the parking to the VIP areas. If you have time to spare between July 16-22 and love being around the golf course, this is a perfect way to attend the tournament and ensure the event is an overwhelming success.
For more information and to register as a volunteer, visit the Barbasol Championship’s website. If you can’t pitch in to help, you can still be there to watch the best golfers in the world compete. Visit Ticketmaster to purchase daily grounds passes, week-long grounds passes, and upgraded Man O’ War Paddock tickets.
By Nick Roush on ©June 09th, 2018 @ 11:00am
A year after his tragic death, the city of Owensboro honored the Kentucky Kid.
Hundreds gathered outside of the Owensboro Convention Center yesterday to be the first to see a statue of the late motorcycle racing legend, Nicky Hayden. The 2006 MotoGP World Champion died last May at the age of 35 after a bicycle accident in Italy.
The statue recreates an iconic image of Hayden after he won the Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. It took a team of 100 people more than 2,000 hours of labor to construct the statue.
One of the world’s most celebrated motorcycle racers, Hayden was a fan-favorite. Yesterday’s crowd was filled with fans from all across the Ohio Valley, many of whom traveled hundreds of miles for the occasion.
By Chad Lashbrook on ©June 09th, 2018 @ 10:00am
Prior to Justify’s run for history at 6:46 EST tonight, Belmont Park will play host to nine other stakes races, five of which are Grade 1’s. NYRA has turned Belmont day into one of the highest quality cards on the entire racing calendar, one with a multitude of attractive wagering opportunities for even the most casual racing fan.
The Secretariat statue at Belmont Park. Photo courtesy of Queens Tribune.
Race 3 – The Grade 1 Ogden Phipps
Bob Baffert’s day will begin and end with heavy favorites. The only trainer to win a Triple Crown in the last 40 years will kick things off with last year’s Kentucky Oaks winner and champion 3yo filly, Abel Tasman. The daughter of Quality Road may well be the most likely winner here, but she has lost 3 in a row for the first time in her career. Her 4th place effort in the La Troienne on Oaks day was her worst performance and lowest speed figure in over a year. Additionally, 4 of her 6 career losses have come at this mile and a sixteenth distance where she is only 1 for 5 lifetime. While she is certainly the class of the field, her closing style may not play well in this virtually pace-less race. It would be no surprise if Abel Tasman reverses her current losing streak and finds her way to the winner’s circle, but she does not offer much value at her 8/5 morning line. Unbridled Mo has been a winning machine for Todd Pletcher, taking 7 of 10 lifetime with each victory coming at today’s distance. Her versatility will suit her well with any pace scenario, and she handled the step up to Grade 1 competition with aplomb in the Apple Blossom last time out. Pacific Wind is perfect in 2 starts for Chad Brown. She’ll need to take another step forward to handle this group, but her most recent work indicates she is sharp and ready for the challenge. Unchained Melody seems to be just a cut below these, but she will be aided by the scratch of American Gal, and her 2 prior wins at Belmont Park include a field best 100 Beyer in last year’s Mother Goose. She could be very dangerous if left alone on the front end.
Race 4 – The Grade 1 Acorn
Brad Cox’s Kentucky Oaks winner Monomoy Girl makes her first start since that scintillating stretch run at Churchill Downs. She is a very deserving favorite, and the one turn mile looks to hit her right between the eyes. She will face a fair amount of pace pressure from the combination of Starcloud and Talk Veuve to Me, who ran a very strong 2nd in the Eight Belles on Oaks Day. A hot pace will benefit the late running Caledonia Road, the defending Breeders’ Cup and juvenile filly champion who gets reunited with Mike Smith, the pilot for her breakthrough victory at Del Mar last November.
Race 8 – The Grade 1 Just A Game
This classy group of 8 older fillies and mares going a one turn mile on the Widener turf course is very difficult to separate. Dream Dancing, a grade 1 winner, is the longest choice at 20/1 on the morning line. Lull will likely set the pace under Jose Ortiz. The question for her is can she stay through to the wire against this level of competition. La Coronel is the top candidate to press Lull at the head of affairs, and she rates a very good chance to pick up the victory here as the one turn mile may prove to be an ideal trip for her. A Raving Beauty was impressive in her American debut for Chad Brown in the Beaugay at Belmont last month. Proctor’s Ledge enters this off a smart victory in the Distaff Turf Mile on Derby Day. On Leave is 4 for 5 at Belmont and 4 for 8 at the mile distance. She is almost always in the photo for the win, with 14 podium appearances in 16 lifetime starts. The rail draw does her no favors in here though. Off Limits has also shown a prior affinity for Belmont Park, and she may find just enough pace up front to suit her late running style.
Race 9 – The Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap
Bee Jersey could find himself all alone in front of this Met Mile field, a position with which he is quite familiar. While this is a big step up in class for the Steve Asmussen trainee, he appears capable of handling the move given his apparent pace advantage. Mind Your Biscuits successfully defended his title in the Dubai Golden Shaheen in March and has been breathing fire in the mornings for this return to the races. His 2 prior victories at Belmont Park are the only such wins for any member of this field. Awesome Slew and Ransom the Moon seem most capable of toppling the top two.
Race 10 – The Grade 1 Manhattan
13 older males go a mile and a quarter over the inner turf course in another incredibly difficult puzzle to solve. Beach Patrol loves to run 2nd. He’s done so 7 times in 18 starts (versus only 5 wins). That said, he is the most likely winner of this race. The distance suits him well as he owns 2 Grade 1 wins over 10 panels, and he should get a very nice trip sitting just behind the controlling pace of One Go All Go. That son of Fairbanks will appreciate the cut back in distance and rates a solid chance to get brave and take them all the way around at 12/1 on the morning line. Hi Happy and Robert Bruce both have enjoyed previous success at Belmont, and it would be no surprise if either found the wire first. Manitoulin has 3 prior wins over the lawn in Elmont and picks up Mike Smith who rode him to victory in the Hollywood Turf Cup. He could certainly offer some value at 20/1 on the morning line. Spring Quality is another that should be close to a soft pace and appears capable of capitalizing on that favorable setup.
Race 11 – The Grade 1 Belmont Stakes
Many pundits saw Justify’s diminishing half length victory at Pimlico three weeks ago as a chink in his armor, a sign that he would not be capable of seeing out the mile and a half distance in this Test of a Champion. I see it differently. Good Magic, the 2yo champ and Derby runner-up, threw down the gauntlet against Justify in the Preakness. He hounded him from the outset and never let up. Justify ran the four furlongs from the half mile mark to the 3/16 pole in 49 seconds flat – much faster than that same internal fraction in the Derby. The track was laboring by the time the gates opened for the Preakness, and both Justify and Good Magic began to tire in the waning strides as a result of their intense head to head battle all the way around the track. However, Justify survived and still managed to reach the wire in time to hold off Bravazo and Tenfold. He has trained superbly since that stamina building effort which he very likely needed in order to negotiate the longest distance he will ever race today. Bob Baffert has been down this road before. Three times his horses failed to make history, but he finally pulled off the accomplishment that had eluded him and every other horseman in this country for 37 years in his most recent attempt 3 years ago. Anything can happen when they spring the latch for the 150th Belmont Stakes, and history has taught us that Triple Crown disappointments are served up with regularity while the successes are very few and often very far between. At the end of the day, the Belmont is a horse race and like any other horse race, and perhaps more importantly than any other horse race, pace makes this race. Justify will control the pace from his rail draw, and it is unlikely that he will face anything like the kind of challenge that the champion Good Magic threw at him 3 weeks ago. Justify is the only horse in the field to ever post a triple digit Beyer speed figure, and he has done so 4 times. There are lots of smart people picking Hofburg to play the role of spoiler as Empire Maker did for the same owner 15 years ago against Funny Cide. His sire has produced 3 winners of this race in the last 4 years, and trainer Bill Mott is more than capable of producing the biggest wins on the biggest of days. Bravazo appears to be getting stronger. Tenfold can gallop all day long. Vino Rosso also runs like the distance will not be an issue. Blended Citizen won the Peter Pan over Big Sandy four weeks ago. Any of these horses could provide an all too familiar ending to what 90,000 people will show up to see. I said before the Derby that if Justify could get through the first leg unscathed, he would win the Triple Crown. I’m not backing down now. In Bob we trust. Get ready for another coronation.
By Chad Lashbrook on ©June 07th, 2018 @ 10:00am
Justify will be heavily favored to become American thoroughbred racing’s 13th Triple Crown winner at Belmont Park on Saturday. While he will certainly be deserving of that favoritism, a brief history lesson reminds us that Derby and Preakness winners are anything but a sure thing at Big Sandy. There was a 25 year drought between Triple Crown winners from Citation’s sweep in 1948 and Secretariat’s coronation in 1973. After the 70’s graced us with 3 very deserving champions, another 37 years passed before the “horse of a lifetime”, American Pharoah, sealed the deal with his emphatic trilogy just 3 years ago. During that 37 year gap, 12 colts, roughly one every 3 years, won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes but failed to find the winner’s circle in Elmont, NY. Seven others won some other combination of two of the three American classics during that time span. The point is that the most accomplished animal is far from guaranteed to win the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown. History suggests playing the favorite in the mile and a half trip around the big oval on Saturday is not a wise wager. The good news is that absent a handful of occasions, deciphering who is likely to play the role of spoiler is not an insurmountable task.
There’s no better place to start this history lesson than 1989, the year that featured an epic trilogy between Derby and Preakness winner Sunday Silence and Belmont winner Easy Goer. NBC Sports recently documented the rivalry in a film entitled Dark Horses. It has aired on the network off and on over the past few weeks and is an excellent recollection of the entire story surrounding the Hancock family. It is well worth the one hour watch and available On Demand through most television platforms. As far as spoilers go, Easy Goer was definitely the simplest one to choose. He was the runner-up in both of the first two legs of the series, and Belmont Park was his home track where he had already compiled a record of 3 wins from 4 starts. Additionally, he was bred with the 12 furlong distance in mind. All of those factors made him a completely logical choice to upend Sunday Silence’s Triple Crown bid.
Touch Gold made perfect sense as the second choice (as part of a Frank Stronach entry) in 1997. His 3yo season got started a tad late with a mid-March allowance victory at Santa Anita. He followed up with a win in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland and a fourth place effort at Pimlico prior to his 3/4 length success against Silver Charm in the Belmont, the first of 3 unsuccessful Triple Crown attempts for Bob Baffert.
Victory Gallop won the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby in 1998 prior to 2nd place finishes in each of the first two Triple Crown races as he emerged as a plausible upset choice to Real Quiet in Baffert’s second attempt at the sweep. A far too early move from Kent Desormeaux played right into Victory Gallop’s closing prowess.
An injury, likely sustained in the stretch run, proved the ultimate demise of Charismatic in 1999. Lemon Drop Kid took home the white carnations at odds of 30/1, but he had shown a prior affinity for Belmont Park and his pedigree did suggest that the 12 furlong distance was well within his scope, so he was not entirely improbable despite the long odds.
I, for one, was never sold on War Emblem’s ability to see out the 12 panel distance but would’ve certainly needed the all button to find Sarava in 2002. A bad stumble at the break cost Baffert any shot in his third quest for the crown.
Empire Maker was always the best horse of the 2003 crop, and were it not for a foot issue in the Derby, he may well have been vying for history himself on the day he ended Funny Cide’s quest for Triple Crown glory.
Birdstone was 36/1 when he broke the hearts of the Chapmans and Smarty Jones in 2004, but there were several reasons to believe he had a shot. For one, Smarty Jones was a vulnerable favorite. His pedigree suggested obvious distance limitations and jockey Stewart Elliott was inexperienced at Belmont Park. The inexperience proved key when he was duped into an early speed duel that set the race up for an off-the-pace type like Birdstone. Birdstone won the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont as a 2yo and had legitimate excuses in his two starts prior to the Belmont. He had a horrible trip and was checked twice in a 5th place effort in the Lane’s End at Turfway, and he didn’t care for the sloppy track at Churchill Downs on Derby day. Draw a line through those two performances, and he seemed just as capable as anyone else of pulling the upset.
Without a doubt, the most improbable Triple Crown failure came in 2008. Big Brown was miles the best of an absolutely dreadful crop of 3yos. He won the Derby from post 20 as the only horse to do so in the history of the race. The Preakness was a mere jog in the park, with the son of Boundary finding the wire to the good of the field by 5 widening lengths, under wraps. He went to post in the Belmont as an undefeated 2/5 favorite, and who the hell knows what happened after that. It was a miserably steamy day and Big Brown lost his mind a bit in the paddock. He was rank from the early stages in the race and was eventually pulled up, somewhat inexplicably, by Kent Desormeaux approaching the quarter pole. Had Desormeaux simply let the horse run as opposed to trying to fight him and then pulling him up, who knows what would have happened. The rider’s decision not to finish, or ever really run, left 38/1 shot Da Tara, a mere maiden winner, in front all the way around the track.
California Chrome was extremely impressive winning the first two legs in 2014, but he was another whose pedigree included distance limitations. The late blooming Tonalist won the Peter Pan over the Belmont track in his prep and had a bloodline laced with stamina influences. At 9/1 he certainly seemed a candidate worthy of consideration to play the role of spoiler.
The 12 near misses between Affirmed and American Pharoah almost conditioned hardy gamblers to expect an upset in the Belmont. Anything can and often does happen. Any one of Justify’s nine opponents could play the role of Birdstone or Da Tara or Victory Gallop on Saturday (at least Justify is not being ridden by Kent Desormeaux). In fact, history says that it is far more likely that a horse not named Justify will emerge victorious in the Test of Champions. But, three years ago, a big brown grandson of Belmont winner Empire Maker, a colt whose morning breezes gave new meaning to “poetry in motion”, reminded us that winning the Triple Crown was indeed still possible. It just takes a superior animal, a true champion, a horse that breathes different air. Can this immense, shimmering, imposing son of Scat Daddy stand up to history and assume the throne? Or will Hofburg, Bravazo, or Vino Rosso provide a respite to Bob Baffert’s Triple Crown dominance?
I’ll do my best to answer those questions with an analysis of the stakes laden card at Belmont Park on Saturday in this same spot. You can also follow me on Twitter @chadlashbrook for more racing coverage.
By Drew Franklin on ©June 06th, 2018 @ 11:15am
Comedian Josh Pray made a trip to Kentucky over the weekend to host the KDL Outlaw Farm Fest in Somerset. The event — which describes itself as live music, mud racing, hog roast, fireworks, bonfires, ATV trails, camping and monster truck rides — was an eye-opening experience for Pray, so he went on his YouTube and Facebook pages to tell his followers five things he learned about the Bluegrass.
One of those things is “that bathroom liquor they call moonshine.” Watch the video to see what else he observed while in Kentucky for a weekend:
Zion Harmon is on the move again.
Kentucky’s only five-star prospect, considered by some to be the best overall talent in the Class of 2021, will suit up for the Marshall County Marshals next year. It will be Harmon’s sophomore season at the high school level, but it will be his third Kentucky high school team in as many years.
As an eighth-grader, Harmon helped carry Bowling Green to the 2017 state title. He transferred to Adair County for his freshman year, where he averaged over 30 points per game, but will leave Columbia, Ky., for Benton, Ky., this fall.
The transfer to Marshall County is newsworthy for two reasons: (1) it raise suspicion as to whether or not he was recruited around the state, and if it’s fair that he is hand-picking his school; and (2) he is moving to an area with a very low percentage of African-Americans in the school and in the community. Marshall County has long been considered behind the times in that regard.
Harmon’s father, Mike Harmon, told Larry Vaught he hopes his son will help make a cultural change.
He also said the plan is to reclassify to the Class of 2020 and they would like to receive an offer from the University of Kentucky.
Read a lot more about Harmon and his move to western Kentucky in Vaught’s story here.
Plans are in place for Town Branch Park to become the Central Park of Lexington. The 10-acre park will provide green space to downtown Lexington between Main and High, adjacent to Rupp Arena, where many of you park for UK basketball games and concerts. That parking lot is going away this summer and the area will one day be a beautiful and vibrant park spanning all the way out to the Oliver Lewis Bridge.
The project is currently in its fundraising phase, but a video was recently released to show what it will look like once it is completed. To me it looks like a great place to walk a dog, fly a kite, toss a football, or trip over a homeless person.
See it for yourself and then get excited for a Central Park in downtown Lexington (if it ever actually happens):
The PGA TOUR will soon take over Champions At Keene Trace Golf Club just outside of Lexington for the 2018 Barbasol Championship. The week-long event will begin Monday, July 16 with the players’ first practice and it will conclude on Sunday, July 22 with the trophy presentation to whoever played the best four days of golf.
Here are 10 things you should know as we approach the one-month mark on our Barbasol Championship countdown clock.
1. The Barbasol is Kentucky’s first regular PGA event since the late 1950s.
Not since the Kentucky Derby Classic at Seneca Golf Course has the Bluegrass been the host to one of the PGA TOUR’s regular golf tournaments. Louisville’s Valhalla Golf Club has seen its share of prestigious competition with signature events like the PGA Championship (1996, 2000, 2014), the Ryder Cup (2008) and the Senior PGA Championship (2004, 2011), but Kentucky hasn’t held an annual tournament since 1959.
2. It moved to Kentucky from Alabama.
The Barbasol Championship spent its first three years on the Grand National course of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Opelika, Alabama, but the PGA ultimately decided to leave for a new host site in 2018.
This will be the tournament’s fourth year since its inception in 2015.
3. It will be played opposite of The Open.
The Barbasol Championship is considered an “alternate event” as it will be played the same weekend as The Open at Carnoustie. This means you will not get to see the superstars of the PGA TOUR, but you will still see exceptional golf with 300 FedEx Cup points and a $3.5 million purse on the line.
Last year’s tournament featured seven major winners: Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen, Lee Janzen, Angel Cabrera, Y.E. Yang and Shaun Micheel.
4. The golf course got a serious makeover.
To get the course ready for championship-level golf, the Keene Trace maintenance staff made some major changes, including flipping the two sides. In addition to switching up the nines, approximately 300 trees were removed to aid in grass growth; tee boxes were expanded; new tee boxes were added to four holes to add length; bunkers were repaired and re-sanded; and netting was added to the end of the driving range.
5. It will play at about 7,290 yards.
For those of you who have no idea if that is short or long, the PGA TOUR average is approximately 7,279 yards.
6. There is a woman in the field.
LPGA professional Brittany Lincicome accepted a sponsor exemption to play in the tournament, making her only the fifth female in history to compete in a PGA TOUR event. Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner and is currently ranked 16th on the money list this season.
7. Two UK golfers will begin their professional careers.
The University of Kentucky’s Cooper Musselman and Chip McDaniel accepted sponsor exemptions into the field and will be making their professional debuts. The two now-former Wildcats just finished their college careers with an appearance in the NCAA Championship, which was only the tenth in the program’s history.
McDaniel punched the Cats’ ticket to the championship by holing out from 118 yards on the 18th hole as he and his teammates overcame a 10-stroke deficit on the final day to earn a spot.
8. Spectators will have to park at Keeneland.
Spectator parking is at Keeneland for $10 per day with shuttles running to and from the course. There is no general parking at the course or in the surrounding areas.
9. You should volunteer.
For only a small $75 fee, you can become one of the many volunteers needed to assist the event. Volunteers will receive a Nike polo shirt, Nike hat, volunteer credential, parking pass, four grounds tickets, food and beverages, discounts on merchandise, and a complimentary round of golf at Keene Trace Golf Club. Each volunteer will be required to work three shifts (3-4 hours), but is it really work if you’re helping out at a PGA TOUR golf tournament? You can do your time and then watch golf the rest of the day. Get signed up here.
10. Tickets are available now.
Daily grounds passes, week-long grounds passes, and upgraded Man O’ War Paddock tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com. It’s going to be a fun time, so make sure you’re there to be a part of it.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 03rd, 2018 @ 2:08pm
Comedian Jim Gaffigan is famous for jokes about Hot Pockets and Elton John, but his comments today on CBS News Sunday Morning about the horse racing industry have caused quite a stir.
He simplified the sport as a “prom for gamblers” who “dress like characters from Gone With The Wind.” Gaffigan later added the horses always sound like they were named by rich men on their eighth wife such as “Viagra’s Revenge” and “Alimony Be Damned.”
He then teased Kentuckians (with an atrocious southern accent, mind you) about gambling addictions and Mint Juleps.
“You like my hat? I’m living in my sister’s garage because I have a debilitated gambling addiction. Enjoy your Mint Julep, y’all,” said Gaffigan.
Here is the comedian’s complete skit:
Knee-slappers, right there. Honestly, this kind of comedy makes me wonder how in the world TV Land could cancel his show after just two seasons on the air.
At least he has short segments on CBS morning shows to make headlines, now.
Needless to say, the horseracing community is not too happy about the comments.
American Pharoah’s owner Ahmed Zayat has been on a tear on Twitter, going after CBS, host Jane Pauley, and Gaffigan for the “outrageous” and “tainted opinion.”
For those of you who haven’t seen it. Raise up horse people this is outrageous. Have tremendous respect for Jane Pauley but how can she let this person give such a tainted opinion. @BreedersCup @TheNYRA @NTRA @ABRLive @HR_Nation @tvg @DRFPrivman @santaanitapark @nbcsn
— Ahmed Zayat (@jazz3162) June 3, 2018
Most outrageous piece aired on the triple crown @CBSSunday #janepauley this loser just gave the scathing opinion on horse racing on trainers owners and horses. Totally outrageous. Horse people raise up and complain @NTRA @BreedersCup @JustinZayat ???????? @TheNYRA
— Ahmed Zayat (@jazz3162) June 3, 2018
Those in the local media aren’t too pleased, either.
I know it was an opinion piece by a comedian but what Jim Gaffigan did on the Triple Crown on CBS Sunday Morning was terrible… as bad as it gets.
— Rob Bromley (@robbromleywkyt) June 3, 2018
Numerous horse racing types (notably Ahmed Zayat) indignant about this bit from comedian Jim Gaffigan that aired this morning on CBS. My objection: Just not funny.https://t.co/Lf1thIBAvy
— Tim Sullivan (@TimSullivan714) June 3, 2018
@JimGaffigan I invite you to come to a racetrack & learn about the racing industry, & I do mean industry, which as part of the agri-tourism industry in nearly every state provides 10s of billions of $ to the economy & employs hundreds of thousand of people. #NotJustGambling
— Ellis Starr (@Ubercapper) June 3, 2018
Good job, good effort, Jim.
Today is Kentucky’s 226th birthday, and to celebrate, I came up with a list of 22.6 things that are quintessentially Kentuckian. I’m talking about the stuff that, if you’re raised here, is in your blood, even if you move away. Stuff that people from outside the Commonwealth just don’t understand. Stuff that’s just…Kentucky.
Obviously. The pride of the Commonwealth, bourbon is as Kentucky as it gets, right down to the limestone that makes it so unique. As bourbon has boomed over the past ten years, so has Kentucky’s tourism. If you’ve got friends visiting from out of state, odds are you’ll take them to a distillery or along the bourbon trail. Even if you’re not a huge bourbon fan, basic knowledge of the spirit is instilled in you. We do this better than anyone. (Sorry, Brooklyn.)
2. The Kentucky Derby
The other obvious top choice. For two minutes each year, the world turns its eyes to Louisville, and between the horses, the hats, and the B-roll of horse country, our state never looks better. For us ex-pat Kentuckians, there’s no homesick like Derby homesick, especially when “My Old Kentucky Home” starts up.
The Derby and Churchill Downs are more well-known, but Keeneland has my heart. Despite the fact that you’re, you know, gambling, trips to Keeneland almost feel religious to me, from the unparalleled beauty of the grounds, the pilgrimage from your parking spot to the gate, and (almost) everyone decked out in their Sunday best. Give me a spot on the rail, a program, and a Keeneland Breeze and I’m at church.
4. Kentucky Basketball
There is no fanbase like the Big Blue Nation. Alabama football is a close second, but Kentucky basketball fans are an unique breed. What other program can boast that its fans camp out for free tickets to a practice? Or support websites like this? I have a job because Kentucky fans love their Cats so much, something I never take for granted.
Kentucky’s official soft drink has been around for over 90 years and only now are people outside of the state sitting up and taking notice. Ale-8-One has started popping up at hipster foodie spots across the South, but whenever I see one, I’ll always flash back to commercials like this:
Has anyone tried the new Cherry flavor?
6. Hot Browns
Because I’m from Kentucky, I feel like I have to like hot browns, but really, I don’t. Most people will say that’s because I haven’t had a good one, but an open faced turkey sandwich with Mornay sauce all over it? No thanks. Sandwiches are not meant to be eaten with forks and knives. Just give me the bacon, please.
Now, this is a Kentucky food I can wholeheartedly support. Spicier than a normal beef stew, it’s the perfect thing to warm you up on a cold, rainy day at Keeneland. Just don’t ever tell me all the different types of meat in it.
8. BBQ Mutton
Don’t worry, Western Kentucky, I didn’t forget you. Owensboro is the Mutton Capital of the World, which is why Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn is a must stop. North Carolina has pulled pork with vinegar sauce; Texas has brisket; Memphis has dry rub; Kansas City has burnt ends. Kentucky has mutton. It’s just our thing.
9. The Castle
If you’re from the Central Kentucky area, odds are you know some some version of the history of the castle on Versailles Road. It’s like the Bluegrass’ demented fairy tale. A man started building it for his wife and then they got divorced. Instead of finishing it, he put it on the market and for decades, it sat vacant. Finally, someone bought it in 2003 and a year later, it caught fire. After a series of owners and renovations, it’s now a successful bed and breakfast, restaurant, and concert venue.
10. Dinosaur World
Even though I’ve never actually been to Dinosaur World, I feel like I have because the 65-foot T-Rex statue marks the midway point between Nashville and Lexington. Like the Castle, it’s always a good photo-op while on the road.