Louisville Magazine

APR 2012

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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under jockey Bill Shoemaker, a close-up third through most of the race, and perfectly posi- tioned to charge on to victory down the lane. But he didn't fire. Stayed third all the way to the wire. Te band, indeed. What really happened was, when Shoe- maker said go, Damascus said no. Te Winkfield Method: Inside and Out While modern-day Derby-winning rider Calvin Borel is noted for sticking to the rail, jockey Jimmy Winkfield used all of the race- track in coaxing a Derby victory from Alan- a-Dale in 1902. Winkfield, the last black jockey to win No. 103: Chantal Sutherland. Too often she's described as a model first and a jockey second. But anybody who saw her impressive ride on Game On Dude in the Breeders' Cup Classic — in which Sutherland nursed the front-runner to within a stride of victory — witnessed an athlete in top form. So if Sutherland lands a ride in this year's Derby, don't dismiss her as just another pretty face. But, no, it doesn't hurt that she's easy on the eyes. PHOTO BY NICK KAREM the roses, rode in just four Derbys around the turn of the 20th century — winning two, with one second and a third. But the Kentucky-born rider saw the racial handwrit- ing on the wall and moved his tack to Russia to ride for the czar, whose horses competed all over Europe. In 1918, Winkfield escaped the chaos of the Russian Revolution by walking (or so the legend goes) the stable's best horses from Odessa, on the Black Sea, to Warsaw, Poland. After the war and his riding retire- ment, "Wink" then began a long career as a trainer in France. In Te Kentucky Derby: Te First Hundred Years, Derby historian Peter Chew sets the stage for the Alan-a-Dale story: "Te Churchill Downs track in those days was covered by deep sand. Before a meet- ing the ground crew would push the sand to the outside, providing good running room along the rail but doubling the hazards outside. Winkfield made good use of the sand that day." Winkfield picks up the tale from there: "Nash Turner led past the stands, but then I moved up on the turn and went into the lead by maybe three, four lengths. Nash Turner was watchin' Coburn, the boy on Abe Frank, and Coburn was watchin' Nash, and nobody was payin' much attention to me. "So I was coastin' in front there, goin' around the turn, and I felt (Alan-a-Dale) beginnin' to bobble, gettin' weak in the legs. I still had a length at the 3/8ths pole, but I was really holdin' him up now, tryin' to save him. . . . So when the favorite come up on my shoulder, I rode him out into that deep sand; it told (sic) on him, and he stopped. Te other two horses tried to come inside me, but I ducked back on the rail. When they tried to come around I took them outside, too, both at once. Just a little, you know, enough to get 'em in that sand. And that's all that saved me. Alan-a-Dale got across the finish line by a nose, and he pulled up lame. Never raced again that year." WWW.KYHUMANE.ORG [50] LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 4.12

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