10 Fascinating Facts from the 2010 Breeders’ Cup

10 Fascinating Facts from the 2010 Breeders’ Cup

A week ago, I was scaling the stairs (several times) at Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, covering the 2010 Breeders’ Cup World Championships for an online news source.

Now that the stories are filed and the suitcase is unpacked, I am pondering the trip and reviewing the photographs and the personal insights I gained by being on-site for the highlight of the year’s Thoroughbred racing season.

Here are 10 fascinating facts I found this year, during the Breeders’ Cup trip.

These uncanny secrets are listed in no particular order, just for fun.

  1. Don’t speed in Indiana. (Don’t ask.)
  2. Zenyatta, the queen, wears an 82” blanket. (My extremely buxom Warmblood broodmare wore the same size.) Zenyatta also requires a special saddle, I’m told.
  3. Zenyatta (below - left) will be a super mom. This marvelous mare, with her uncanny ability to skip into warp speed on the home stretch, actually adores children. I watched her nuzzle a special little girl in a wheelchair, who broke into a giant grin. What a moment.
  4. Astoundingly, after nearly 30 years’ experience in professional journalism, I discovered I can still be flustered by a source. And, nope, I’m not telling who it was, although he will probably be honored as Trainer of the Year.
  5. I still cry to see a two-year-old filly or colt put down at the track. Rough Sailing was aptly named. (Of course, losing my own mare five months ago left a raw nerve.)
  6. Uncle Mo has a ‘fro, and Life At Ten will race again.
  7. Even 5’3” can feel tall sometimes.
  8. Don’t buy a brand-new camera the night before going on-location for a major event. ‘Nuff said.
  9. The secret word, which may be uttered by reporters to remove furrows from famous trainers’ brows on race day, is “tomorrow.” (Just ask Bob Baffert or Steve Asmussen.)
  10. Perhaps just once, a Midwestern basketball coach can become a cowboy extraordinaire, a racing Hall of Famer and a sincerely nice guy.
Photos copyrighted by Linda Ann Nickerson - Nickers and Ink.

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