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Saddle Up For The 140th Kentucky Derby

May 2, 2014

The Kentucky Derby is the first jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown. A field of 19 horses will take to the track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday evening for the 140th edition of the Run for the Roses.

Joe Drape is there, as he is every year, for The New York Times. He discusses the field with Here & Now’s Sacha Pfeiffer. His picks are Wicked Strong, Intense Holiday and California Chrome.

Post Positions, Odds Set for Derby

May 1, 2014
Churchill Downs

California Chrome has been made the early 5-2 favorite for the 140th Kentucky Derby, with Hopportunity the second choice in the full field of 20 horses. Trained by 77 year old Art Sherman, California Chrome drew the #5 post. Eight horses have won from there, most recently Funny Cide in 2003.

Hopportunity drew the #11 post and is 6-1 for Saturday's race. He's trained by Bob Baffert.

Starting in the #1 post on the rail is Vicar's In Trouble with jockey Rosie Napravnik up. Wicked Strong, named for the victims of last year's Boston Marathon bombings, is the 8-1 third choice and will break from the 20th post on the far outside of the track.

WKU Athletics

The men’s tennis program at WKU has become a victim of university budget cuts.  Director of Athletics Todd Stewart announced late Tuesday the intercollegiate men’s tennis program is being eliminated for the 2014-2015 academic year. With the loss of men’s tennis, WKU is left with 18 sponsored sports as it begins its first year competing in Conference USA.

"This is certainly a disappointment," Stewart said. "Unfortunately, the cumulative effect of three consecutive years of cuts to the overall athletics budget forces us to make difficult decisions. We have actually increased both our ticket and sponsorship revenue in each of the last two years along with private donor support, but cuts to the athletics budget have lessened the impact of our growth.”

Student athletes in the men’s tennis program will have the chance to transfer to another school to keep playing tennis without having to sit out a year. Scholarship athletes who want to stay at WKU will have their scholarships honored through their senior year.

WKU Athletics

Fresh off an NCAA postseason appearance, the WKU women’s basketball team is looking forward to another tournament.  The school announced Thursday that Diddle Arena will serve as a host site for the opening round of the women’s preseason NIT tournament in November. 

“Not only being in the tournament, but having the chance to be one of the few schools to host is a sign of the national respect that our program has garnered in the women’s basketball world,” said WKU head coach Michelle Clark-Heard. “I am so excited for our team and our fan base to have the chance to have this event in E.A. Diddle Arena.”

The Lady Toppers have a 6-3 record all time in the preseason NIT tournament, which began in its current form in 1994.

The WNIT preseason tournament begins November 14th.

WKU Athletics

New WKU head football coach Jeff Brohm says he doesn’t think college football players should be paid. A recent court decision gave players at Northwestern University the right to explore the formation of a union. But Brohm says scholarships and a college education are quite valuable.

“Obviously, there are different opinions on that. But I think the scholarship is the best way to handle things.  You can debate back-and-forth on ‘do they need more?’ but I feel good about the situation as it is. I think they’re always continuing to try to improve ways to take care of athletes, but I feel like they’re taken care of pretty well, myself,” said Brohm.

Brohm spoke Wednesday at the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club. Spring practices for the ‘Toppers football team culminate this Saturday with the Red vs. White scrimmage, which is open to the public and begins at 1 p.m.  The regular season begins in late August and will be WKU's first in Conference USA

Emil Moffatt

A crowd of over 3,000 fans turned out for the Bowling Green Hot Rods season opener, a 5-2 win over the South Bend Silver Hawks Thursday night. The game marked the beginning of a new era for Bowling Green’s minor league baseball team and the area around its downtown ballpark.

It’s the team’s sixth year at Bowling Green Ballpark, which now has a new neighbor:  a multi-restaurant, parking garage and apartment building next door known as Hitcents Park Plaza.  One of the restaurants named "6-4-3", after the scoring notation for a double play, features a distinct baseball feel.

It was also the first game since the new ownership group, led by Stuart and Jerry Katzoff, took over in December.

The WKU Hilltoppers' 2014 football season opener has been rescheduled.  The athletic department announced Tuesday that the opener against Bowling Green State will now take place Friday, Aug. 29 instead of Thursday, Aug. 28.

The game will be played at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

The school says the change was at the request of Conference USA and the league's television partners.

It will be the Hilltoppers' first year in Conference USA.  The team is continuing spring football practice this week.

The two Congressmen who represent the districts that are home to the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville are betting on their basketball teams with another Kentucky tradition...bourbon.

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville and Republican Andy Barr of Lexington said they're wagering locally distilled Kentucky bourbon on Friday night's Sweet 16 game between the two schools, whose teams also happen to be the two most recent NCAA champions.

Derby Trophy Delivered to Churchill Downs

Mar 25, 2014
Churchill Downs

With Kentucky Derby 140 less than six weeks away, the solid gold trophy that the owner of the winning 3 year old will receive is being delivered to Churchill Downs in Louisville.

The trophy is 22 inches tall with a 14-karat gold horse and rider atop it and horseshoe-shaped wreath handles. It sits on a jade base and weighs about five pounds. It'll be unveiled at the track Tuesday.

Churchill Downs says the company that makes the trophy began work on it in November. The process takes about 2,000 hours.

UK Athletics

Update at 3:42 pm:

Covington Catholic is the winner of the 2014 Kentucky Boys' Sweet 16 title after beating Scott County 59-51 in overtime.

Original post:

Bowling Green High School's bid to play in the 2014 boys' high school basketball championship came up short Saturday, as the Purples fell to Covington Catholic in the semifinal round.

Covinton Catholic won the game 81-68 at Lexington's Rupp Arena.

Earlier Saturday night, Scott County beat Trinity 62-56 in the other semifinal.

Scott County and Covington Catholic face each other Sunday at 2 p.m. eastern for the state championship.

It's a big day for basketball in the Bluegrass State. At the same time the high school title is being decided, the UK Wildcats will be playing No. 1 seed Wichita State in the NCAA tournament. The winner of that game will play the Louisville Cardinals Friday in the Sweet 16.

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