• John McDaniel, Midway Correspondent

Midway News - Personals and Comments

The Kentucky Derby came and went last Saturday but it sure was exciting as it was coming. Even with the lousy weather, the rain didn't dampen the spirits of those who follow the Derby. A lot of people watched the event at the downtown restaurants this year. Those who passed by these eating establishments could hear those inside rooting for their favorite horse. There were even more Midway and Woodford County residents who decided to watch the race at the Keeneland Racetrack or the Keeneland bar and I am sure there were those from around here who watched the race up close and personal at Churchill. Of course, I was pulling for the Midway horse owned by John Oxley, Classic Empire. He had a rough way to go, as he managed a fourth-place win. It looks like he's going to shake off this soggy loss and try again in the Preakness, the second race that makes up the Triple Crown series. I hope the weather is better for the Preakness. I am glad to report that Oxley had a first- and second-place finish in the 33rd running of the $150,000 (Grade III) Edgewood the day before. The three-year-old filly La Coronel owned by Oxley ran by Dream Dancing, an Oxley bred and owned, inside the sixteenth pole to claim a half-length victory. Dream Dancing is schedule to run in the (Grade I) Belmont Oaks July 8. Most people who know me know that I always try to create a Midway connection to every Kentucky Derby winner. Sometimes it's really hard to come up with something and, believe it or not, there are times when it is nearly impossible. However, this year it was fairly easy. Always Dreaming, the winner of this year's Kentucky Derby, is a headstrong horse, meaning he is hard to handle when he gets out on the track for his morning exercise. Trainer Todd Pletcher needed a rider to bring the horse under control and keep Always Dreaming's mind on training. So whom does Pletcher call on to get the job done? One week before the big race, Pletcher change exercise riders and Nick Brush, Midwegian, Northside Elementary graduate, and 10-year employee of Pletcher, came in and "Got 'er done," to paraphrase Larry the Cable Guy. And that, my friend, is the Midway connection to this year's Kentucky Derby winner. While I'm on the horse subject, a stallion named Bodemeister was the sire of this year's Derby winner and is producing all kinds of winners. I might add that he stands stud at the Woodford County farm WinStar. WinStar is a farm that has Midwegian Elliott Walden as its president/CEO and racing manager. Rumor has it that Midway's Southern Equine Farm has several Bodemeister offspring on the farm. Is Midway preparing for another Derby winner? After all, Midway is undeniably the "Gateway to Thoroughbred Heritage." ... Now all the horse stuff is out of the way, I've got to tell everyone about some work that Midway's younger citizens have been carrying out. Cub Scout Pack #41 took time out with their Pack Master, Midway pharmacist Ken Glass, to clean up the litter around Walter Bradley Park and Lee's Branch, getting the areas spruced up for summer visitors. This future group of citizens set on keeping Midway great as always donated $50 out of their treasury towards the beautification of the park. A big thanks to Ken Glass for taking time to show these young gentlemen what good citizenship is all about. ... Midway Renaissance's Francisco's Farm Arts Fair had its orientation meeting the first of the week in preparation for this year's event that will be taking place May 20 and 21. The group is still in need of volunteers. Volunteer shifts are generally three or four hours long, although they can be flexible to accommodate your needs. There are a variety of jobs available with something to suit just about everyone. There are positions that involve a lot of walking and others that involve mainly sitting. There are positions inside in the air conditioning, although most positions are outside on festival grounds. The volunteer coordinator will work with each volunteer to find the best position for everyone and to meet the needs of the festival. If you want to help in keeping Midway great and volunteer to make this year's fair special, contact Debra Shockley at volunteer@franciscosfarm.org or call 859-227-8993.

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