LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The 140th Kentucky Derby not only brought some of the best weather we've seen in years, but it easily had the best story lines we've heard in a long time. Hopefully, it's just the beginning of the ride these horses and their connections will take us on.
Although Derby 140 is in the books, it's just the beginning for its champ California Chrome and for a few of his fellow contenders as the Preakness and Belmont loom.
It's the kind of Kentucky Derby Hollywood directors salivate over. The horse racing world of wheeling and dealing takes a backseat to the good guys. Hard working stiffs Steve Coburn and Perry Martin waited their whole lives for their moment and refused mega bucks.
Most people would not turn down $6 million to give up 51 percent of the horse, but that likely would have meant replacing 77-year-old trainer Art Sherman. That wasn't happening. And this, may be the best quote of any Derby, ever.
"The offer that we got for this horse was from somebody that has never even put on a pair a boots to go to work in the morning," Coburn said. "And to me that was kind of an insult because somebody that's got that much money to think they can just step in and buy something people have worked so hard to get to, to me that was a slap in the face and no was very easy, not only no, but hell no!"
The California Chrome dream rides on to the Preakness with millions of fans following close behind.
"We're just excited so, we're basking in the sun," said Trainer Dallas Stewart Monday afternoon post Derby. Why wouldn't the Louisville trainer be smiling? Stewart has come in second at the Derby two years running with two horses that barely got in, Commanding Curve on Saturday and previously Golden Soul in 2013.
Stewart said, "We got in the race and both horses just performed great." What Stewart has accomplished says a lot about his talent and what's happening inside his Barn 48 at Churchill Downs.
"We're developing these horses and taking our time with them; bringing a good healthy sound animal over and taking care of things when they need to be done," Stewart said.
Commanding Curve is likely Belmont bound.
Not skipping the Preakness is another great story - enthusiastic local owners like Ride on Curlin's Dan and Lori Dougherty of Louisville.
Dan Dougherty smiled as he said of going to the Preakness, "We'll we've already got our room reservations, we've already made our plane reservations so, it's a little indicator we plan on going."
Ride on Curlin and his trademark tongue are fresh after not really getting the trip the Dougherty's and Trainer Billy Gowan had hoped for. Assistant Trainer Bridget Lambert said of the horse Monday, "He's doing really well, he came out of his race like he never ran and he's wild!"
Lori Dougherty said, "We're very happy for California Chrome if anybody was going to win," she said, "and we look forward to meeting him again."
Jockey Joel Rosario, who won the 2013 Derby on Orb, will have the mount for Ride on Curlin in the Preakness.