LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, May 1, 2013) – Fans who visit Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) and the Kentucky Derby Museum (“KDM”) on Thursday, May 2 will have a rare opportunity to admire a pair of winners of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) when 2003 winner Funny Cide and Mine That Bird, the long shot victor in 2009, make joint appearances at both venues.
Mine That Bird is in limited residence through the end of June at the Kentucky Derby Museum. Funny Cide will travel from his current home at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his triumph in the “Run for the Roses.”
The Derby winners will be joined at both venues by key members of their respective teams. Jack Knowlton, the managing partner of the Sackatoga Stable partnership that owns Funny Cide, and jockey Jose Santos will join the 2003 winner. Trainer Chip Woolley, who saddled Mine That Bird for his 50-1 upset victory in the 2009 Derby, will be at the side of the New Mexico-based star.
The two Kentucky Derby champions, who rank among the most popular winners of the great race during the past 25 years, will visit the Churchill Downs paddock during Thursday’s 5th race, which has a scheduled post time of 2:47 p.m. (all times Eastern). They are expected to arrive in the paddock at 2:20 p.m. and will depart after the conclusion of the race.
Both Derby winners will be available earlier in the day at the Kentucky Derby Museum for photo-ops from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the back garden. Fans will be invited to walk by the horses’ stalls for photos, and Knowlton and Santos will be in the museum’s barn area to greet fans and sign autographs during that time (a gift shop purchase is required for signatures).
“Mine That Bird is our first Derby winner housed on-property at the museum and we are thrilled to now showcase two winners at the same time for this peak day of Derby week,” said Lynn Ashton, executive director of the Kentucky Derby Museum. “It’s a rare opportunity in life to get close to one Kentucky Derby winner – much less two – and offering this lifetime experience for fans is a treat for the Museum.”
“The Kentucky Derby is all about pursuing – and achieving – a dream, and these two champions embody the dream of winning America’s greatest race as much as any Derby winners in memory,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “Each holds a special place in Derby lore and we appreciate the desire of their owners to share their beloved stars as we prepare to add another name to the elite roster of Kentucky Derby winners in Saturday’s 139th Derby.”
Funny Cide made Kentucky Derby history as the New York bred trained by Barclay Tagg knocked off favored Empire Maker to become the first gelding since 1929 to earn Derby roses. He went on to win the Preakness (GI), the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, by 9 3/4 lengths before he finished third in a rematch with the victorious Empire Maker in the Belmont Stakes, the Crown’s final jewel. The son of Distorted Humor was named the champion 3-year-old of 2003 and won 11 of 38 races and earned $3,529,412 during his six-year career on the track.
Mine That Bird, owned by Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine, stunned onlookers at Churchill Downs when the 50-1 long shot rallied from last in a field of 19 under jockey Calvin Borel to score a 6 3/4 length victory in the 2009 Derby. The triumph by the diminutive gelding was the second-largest upset in the 138-year history of the Derby and he followed that surprising win with a strong runner-up finish to Kentucky Oaks (GI) winner and eventual Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and a third-place run behind Summer Bird in the Belmont Stakes. Mine That Bird won five of 18 starts and amassed career earnings of $2,228,637 during his three years of racing.
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2013 and its 2013 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 27-June 30. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.ChurchillDowns.com.