84.7 F
Friday, March 31, 2023

Ocala and Louisville mayors make annual friendly wager on upcoming Kentucky Derby

Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer have made their annual wager on the Kentucky Derby, placing a bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon and Stonestreet Estate Vineyards wine on the line.

This is the eighth year that the mayors of both cities, which are steeped in thoroughbred tradition, have placed the friendly wager on the popular horse race.

Mayor Kent Guinn makes annual Kentucky Derby wager with Louisville Mayor
Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn (right) shares a moment with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (left) at the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Guinn and Fischer, who are friends, make an annual friendly wager on the Derby

This year, Guinn chose Simplification, a Florida-bred thoroughbred that will break from post position 13. Simplification is owned by Tami Bobo, trained by Antonio Sano, and will be ridden by Jose L. Ortiz. Guinn noted that he is hopeful that this Florida horse will take the top prize, especially since Simplification enjoys running on dirt, an attribute that will help on the Derby track.

Fischer picked Epicenter, breaking from post position 3, to win the 148th Kentucky Derby and make the time-honored walk to the infield Winner’s Circle for the garland of roses. Epicenter was bred in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is trained by Steve Asmussen, and will be ridden by Joel Rosario

Last year, Fischer’s choice (Essential Quality) finished in 4th place, and Mayor Guinn’s pick (Soup and Sandwich) finished 19th.

“This year’s contenders in the Kentucky Derby are an exceptional group of horses and I am proud to have selected the Florida-bred horse known as Simplification,” said Guinn.

Guinn continued by stating, “With a promising start in the racing community, I am hopeful this horse will claim victory in the Derby and end the losing streak between Mayor Fischer and myself. Over the years, we have developed a friendly but spirited rivalry between our two cities, with each of us watching with anticipation to see if this will be the year we come out on top. Win or lose, as Mayor I am proud to represent the Horse Capital of the World: Ocala, Florida, a city rich with our own equine history and champion spirit.”

Fischer’s wager is a bottle of Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corp.’s Woodford Reserve 2022 commemorative Derby bottle, featuring the artwork of Kentucky native Jaime Corum. Woodford Reserve is the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby.

Guinn’s wager is a bottle of Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. He noted that Stonestreet is home to many farms, including a large training facility in Ocala that is known for the early training of many racehorses.

“The Derby is steeped in tradition, and the friendly wager between Louisville and Ocala has become a part of that excitement,” said Fischer.

Fischer added, “This is my last Derby as Mayor, and it’s been an honor to watch our city beam with vibrance through the thousands of visitors we welcome each year for the most exciting two minutes in sports. And as the home of Bourbonism, we hope to welcome visitors, including Mayor Guinn, back to the bourbon epicenter of the world even after the winner has crossed the finish line.”