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.
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:
- Tiz the Law
- Mr. Big news
- Honor A.P.
- Max Player
- Storm the Court
- NY Traffic
- Necker Island
- Major Fed
- Sole Volante
- Winning Impression
- Money Moves
- Attachment Rate
- 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).
Kentucky Derby winner Authentic just took out Bob Baffert on the turf course, which is the de facto winner's circle for the Derby. Knocked Baffert to the ground.
— Ben Roberts (@BenRobertsHL) September 5, 2020
As one UK student put it, it was really an impressive level of commitment to social distancing on the horse’s part:
Authentic really said 6 feet apart peasants pic.twitter.com/GRv5hQ09At
— kassidy (@kass_stumbo) September 5, 2020
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.
Sources: The #Raiders are trading RB/returner Lynn Bowden Jr and a 6th rounder to the #Dolphins in exchange for a 4th round pick, the same pick Miami just got from Vegas. The versatile Bowden was a third-rounder this year.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 5, 2020
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:
JAMAL MURRAY GOT KAWHI ? pic.twitter.com/k3fm9PF8QB
— Overtime (@overtime) September 6, 2020
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.
Cats Illustrated has learned that the current Kentucky plan is to allow 20% general seating capacity and 50% in suites for the 2020 football season. Both @TravisGraf_ and I can confirm.
— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) September 5, 2020
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!