Local breeder has strong connection to not one, but two derby hopefuls
BOURBON, Ky. (WTVQ)- We are now just days away from the year’s biggest day for horse racing.
The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday and we found one local man who has strong connections to not one, but two derby hopefuls.
John Penn says his family has been breeding race horses here in Bourbon County since the 1930’s.
“They bought a farm that came with clients. In other words they bought a horse farm and so when the depression hit the man that they were boarding horses for tanked and so they’re in the horse business,” said Penn.
Penn now runs the family business with his son, he says it’s something that’s just in their blood.
“Why does a Labrador retrieve. I don’t know I was born to farm,” said Penn.
The farm foals and raises dozens of horses every year but this year is special.
“To get to this position, you dream of it,” said Penn.
This year two horses with strong connections to Penn actually have a good chance of making it to this weeks derby.
“I don’t know what the odds are but astronomical,” said Penn.
Derby contenders Lookin at Lee and Fast and Accurate were both foaled and raised on this farm, something Penn says has never happened.
“Well the foal crop this year was in the low 20’s, 20,000. So you have 20 out of 20,000 is what, a half a percent. Is that right?” said Penn.
Penn says he’s going to try and make it out to Churchill Downs to catch the two horses in action but he’s not going to pick a side.
“Either way would be fine. But just to be there and hopefully they’ll do well and get around safe.,” said Penn.
No matter the outcome, Penn says the road to the winner’s circle will start all over again.
“Win lose or draw we’ll be cleaning stalls and feeding horses and doing the same thing again on Sunday,” said Penn.
We won’t know the final lineup for this year’s derby until Wednesday when entries are drawn and post positions are assigned.