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Kentucky Derby: Behind the Scenes at Churchill Downs

Hey, it’s Kentucky Derby week. A little like Mardis Gras, but with horses. The days preceding the big dance are a mixture of anxiousness, unbridled optimism and general nervous laughter.

Here on the Churchill Downs backside, under the shadow of the twin spires, thousands of people assemble around a bunch of keyed up thoroughbreds in close proximity. It’s all good. It’s Derby week.

 

Derby contender Whitmore
Derby contender Whitmore
Royal Obession is set to tackle the Kentucky Oaks for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Royal Obession is set to tackle the Kentucky Oaks for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Freakishly fast filly Cathryn Sophia was on her toes Wednesday morning.
Freakishly fast filly Cathryn Sophia was on her toes Wednesday morning.
Kentucky Derby contender Exaggerator shows off his powerful stride.
Kentucky Derby contender Exaggerator shows off his powerful stride.

Every horse is doing great and all is going according to plan according to every trainer, and the wise guys swap steam while peering through binoculars.

With the waiting game on, we watch, for it’s only Wednesday…

Bob Baffert regaled reporters with tales of his recent visit with American Pharoah. Baffert will saddle Mor Spirit in Saturday's Derby.
Bob Baffert regaled reporters with tales of his recent visit with American Pharoah. Baffert will saddle Mor Spirit in Saturday’s Derby.
Trainer Doug O'Neill will have a shot to pull off the Oaks/Derby double with a pair of strong 3-year-olds.
Trainer Doug O’Neill will have a shot to pull off the Oaks/Derby double with a pair of strong 3-year-olds.
Arkansas Derby champ Creator (right) takes in the grand stage.
Arkansas Derby champ Creator (right) takes in the grand stage.
Trainer Keith Desormeaux is hoping to notch his first career Kentucky Derby when he saddles Exaggerator. Brother Kent has ridden 3 Derby winners.
Trainer Keith Desormeaux is hoping to notch his first career Kentucky Derby when he saddles Exaggerator. Brother Kent has ridden 3 Derby winners.

Stay tuned…

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