Vic Zast

From the perspective of being an owner, an industry pioneer in corporate sponsorship, a track president and fan, Vic Zast writes the "Destinations" column for The Blood-Horse. His five-star ratings of international events have shed light on racing in all corners of the globe - from England, Australia, Hong Kong, Dubai to Japan.

Vic is a regular contributor to, a columnist for the Illinois Racing News and has written on racing for, National Public radio and The Age, Australia's leading daily.

Vic makes his home in Chicago and lives in Saratoga Springs in August.

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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Last Words and Actions

(CHURCHILL DOWNS, LOUISVILLE, KY) If you’re interest in knowing what takes place in the one and a half hours between the Woodford reserve and the Kentucky Derby, here’s the schedule that Churchill Downs socializes.

At 5:05 pm, there will be a special presentation of colors followed by the fourth National Anthem of the day. At 5:30 pm, Chief Steward John Veitch will meet with the jockeys in the Jockey’s Room. At 5:35 pm, the jockeys will pose for their group photo.

Ten minutes later, the owners, trainers and grooms will begin to walk their horses over to the saddling enclosure from the backside. In recent years, this parade has begun to look like a May Day workers’ march in China. But it’s exciting to see the contestants in the last minutes they still have hope.

Riders up happens at 6:15 pm. At 6:15.30, you’ll hear the strains of My Old Kentucky Home – tears flow. At 6:28 pm, the horses load into the starting gate. By 6:32.30, you’ll know who the winner is. Tears flow again.

The winner is most likely to come from a group that includes Dialed In, Nehro, Archarcharch, Soldat and Shackleford. But don’t count out Animal Kingdom, Midnight Interlude or Master of Hounds. Some help, huh?

Written by Vic Zast

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