Wise Dan (above), winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1), is one of five Breeders' Cup winners who will be paraded at Churchill Downs on Sunday. (photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire)
By Blood-Horse Staff
Five of the seven Breeders' Cup winners with ties to Churchill Downs will be paraded beneath the Twin Spires Nov. 11.
Morton Fink's Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Wise Dan, Janis Whitham's Classic (gr. I) victor Fort Larned, Groupie Doll, who won the Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) for Fred and "Buff" Bradley, Carl Hurst and Brent Burns, Priscilla Vaccarezza's Turf (gr. IT) victor Little Mike and Winchell Thoroughbreds' Tapizar, who won the Dirt Mile (gr. I), will be paraded at Churchill with horses running in Sunday's eighth race. Post time for the race is scheduled for 4:06 p.m. EST.
The Breeders' Cup champions will walk from the barn area, parade in front of the Churchill grandstand, and then head to the paddock where they will remain during the running of the race. The connections for each horse—the owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys and stable assistants—will be saluted, as well.
"Sunday will be a unique opportunity for our loyal fans to salute their hometown heroes," said Kevin Flanery, track president of Churchill Downs. "We couldn't be more proud of our Kentucky champions, and their achievements authenticate the quality of racing at Churchill Downs and the Commonwealth's signature horse racing and breeding industry. We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to their owners and trainers for their cooperation in making this one-of-a-kind event come together. Our 'Parade of Breeders' Cup Champions' is sure to be a marvelous event and will make lasting memories for their legion of fans."
Wise Dan, based in Lexington with trainer Charlie Lopresti, will van up from Keeneland for the ceremony. All others are stabled at Churchill.
Juvenile Sprint winner Hightail, owned by Brad Kelley's Bluegrass Hall, also is stabled at Churchill but is unable to partake in the ceremony. The 2-year-old is a naturally high-strung colt, according to trainer D. Wayne Lukas, and is being prepared for the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot a week later on Nov. 17.
Besilu Stables' Royal Delta is another horse with Churchill ties unable to join the parade because she is stabled with Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott's string in New York. The 4-year-old filly won the Ladies' Classic at Churchill last fall and returned to Louisville this spring for a 9 1/2-length romp in the Fleur de Lis (gr.II).
The first of Sunday's 10-race Veterans Day program is 12:40 p.m. EST. General admission is $3, but all United States veterans and active military will receive free general admission in honor of the holiday.