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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Today on KSR: scenes from a crowdless Kentucky Derby

Photo: Dr. Mike Huang

Good morning, Kentucky! It’s the first Sunday in September, and in appropriate 2020 fashion, that means we’re here today to recap the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby from last night. This year’s race, which was won by the Bob Baffert-trained third-favorite Authentic, was certainly unusual. From the empty grandstands to the muffled sound of protesters congregating outside the Churchill Downs gates, the typically raucous environment was strangely offbeat; and in the rarest departure of all, the weather was perfect.

While the derby normally signifies the end of the fiscal sports calendar, this year, it’s quite the opposite. Sports are ramping up around Kentucky, and KSR dot com is on top of it all. Here’s everything you missed while you were fixing up your DIY mint juleps.

Photo: @mattstonephotog

Authentic runs away with the roses

It was a race we’ve seen before: a scramble from the start, then one plucky horse manages to pull ahead, only to face a late push from a determined challenger in the outside lane. Only this time, it was heavy odds-on favorite Tiz the Law (3-5) who made the late push, and it was the three-year-old Kentucky colt Authentic (8-1) who held him off at the end to secure the victory for Baffert and Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. 46-1 long-shot Mr. Big News came in third. Here’s the full finishing order:

  1. Authentic
  2. Tiz the Law
  3. Mr. Big news
  4. Honor A.P.
  5. Max Player
  6. Storm the Court
  7. Enforceable
  8. NY Traffic
  9. Necker Island
  10. Major Fed
  11. Sole Volante
  12. Winning Impression
  13. Money Moves
  14. Attachment Rate
  15. South Bend

After the race, Authentic made it clear he wanted no part in all that high-falutin’ winners-circle pageantry. With Velazquez still in the saddle, the horse took a quick spin around the turf course, knocking Baffert and another man to the ground in the process (no one was harmed).

As one UK student put it, it was really an impressive level of commitment to social distancing on the horse’s part:

For more on the sights and sounds of Derby Day, including coverage of the protests, check out Maggie’s post from last night.

Lynn Bowden is now a Dolphin

In one of the more surprising pieces of Kentucky-related sports news this year, it was announced yesterday that 2020 third-round pick Lynn Bowden was traded by the Raiders a week before the start of the season. The return from Miami was a single fourth-round pick.

The Raiders had been trying Bowden out at the running back position, and apparently, it wasn’t working out. In Miami, he’s likely to receive more snaps as a receiver and all-around “Swiss army knife” player. Whatever may have been going on behind the scenes in Las Vegas, Bowden will get his chance to prove the doubters wrong.

Oh, and mark your calendars, because the Dolphins play the Raiders in week 16. Won’t that be fun?


Murray, Nuggets even the series

After suffering a 23-point beat-down to Kawhi and the Clippers on Thursday, the embattled Denver Nuggets rode a hot-shooting first half to earn the victory last night in game two and pull even in their second-round playoff series. Jamal Murray rebounded from a rough night to lead the way with 27 points, 6 assists and two steals. He hit 9 of his first 14 shots early, helping the Nuggets build a 23-point first-half lead; and when the Clips made their run to cut it to single digits late, he politely dropped this dagger in their backs:

Nikola Jokic added 26 and 18 for Denver, and former Michigan State Spartan Gary Harris nailed some clutch shots down the stretch as well to stave off the comeback. Game 3 will be on Monday.

Meanwhile, ready your brooms because Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and the Heat are going for the sweep today against Eric Bledsoe and the Bucks at 3:30 on ABC. After that game, Anthony Davis and the Lakers will try to avoid an 0-2 hole vs. the Rockets (8:30 eastern, also on ABC).

Who’s allowed at Kroger Field?

Despite college football tipping off in earnest this weekend (see: Marshall’s demolition of EKU yesterday), fans are still waiting to hear UK’s official plan for fan attendance when SEC play kicks off in three weeks. As of this article’s posting, there has been no announcement of any kind from the university. However, a report came out yesterday from Cats Illustrated’s Justin Rowland that the plan may include 20% capacity for general seating and 50% in the stadium suites.

As irritating as it may be to imagine the suite owners getting looser restrictions, the 20% number would be more or less on par with those approved for Louisville, WKU and most of the SEC. Per the estimations of our own Maggie Davis, every team in the conference so far has chosen a figure in the 20-25% range.

UK’s plan was reportedly sent to Gov. Beshear’s office for approval on Saturday, so regardless, we should know soon.

Suarez goes back for thirds

I’ve got no MLB Roundup for you today, so I’ll say it here: EY-WHO-HAY-KNEE-OH! If you failed to catch the Reds game Saturday (understandable, we all need to take breaks sometimes), you missed a three-piece home run platter from Eugenio Suarez—the first of the Venezuelan slugger’s career. But fear not, Brandon has you covered.

The Redlegs sit just a game and a half out of the playoffs at 18-22. They play the Pirates again at 1:35 today (with Tejay Antone on the mound) before hitting the road for a big series in Chicago this week.

Have a great day, and enjoy that leftover derby pie!

Article written by Wynn McDonald

You fellas have nothing to worry about, I'm a professional. @twynstagram

4 Comments for Today on KSR: scenes from a crowdless Kentucky Derby

  1. runningunnin.454
    10:43 am September 6, 2020 Permalink

    Sorry, New York; don’t bring that weak stuff down here.

  2. 2andToodleLoo
    10:58 am September 6, 2020 Permalink

    Not to be incredibly picky – but people keep saying crowdless Derby. It clearly was not crowdless. Even in the background of the picture you post here there are a number of people in the stands. And it could be seen on TV with people in the stands also. Yes it was limited. But clearly not crowdless.

    • 4everUKBlue
      11:19 am September 6, 2020 Permalink

      Anyone who calls that a crowd is trying to make themselves feel better about it. That was a smattering of people, not a crowd.

    • runningunnin.454
      1:27 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

      Too daggum many people for Thousand Words and Authentic; they sent some people scrambling out of their way. Hope they weren’t hyped up on something, haha.