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May 06, 2011

Pat Day, now promoting the sport, won't get dirty on Derby day


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - When Pat Day wanders onto the grounds at Churchill Downs Saturday morning, three things are certain. His media interviews will come before the Kentucky Derby; he won't get dirty and his post-race smiles will come not in the winner's circle, but on Millionaire's Row.

The winner of the 1992 Kentucky Derby aboard Lil E. Tee, Day returns to the Twin Spires this year making a guest celebrity appearance for Derby Experiences (, the Churchill Downs initiative which brings fans into Louisville with customized packages of travel, accommodations, tickets, tourism attractions and amenities for the week of the race.

"I don't miss the day to day activities as I truly enjoy the ministry work I am now involved with," said Day, who has nine wins in Triple Crown races and is the only jockey to have ridden in each of the first 20 Breeders' Cups. "But there is only one place to be the first week of May and that is Louisville, Kentucky at Churchill Downs. I have great fun interacting with racing fans and novices about our great sport and this greatest of all races."

The Hall of Fame jockey is six years removed from his last mount and now spends his time promoting the ministries,, and the marketing agency, which aligns Day with legendary jockeys Ron Turcotte, Steve Cauthen, Jean Cruguet and Laffit Pincay.

This year's field for the Kentucky Derby, the most exciting two minutes in sports, is a wide open affair.

"There are probably 10 or 12 of the entrants that, were they to win, would be no surprise," offered Day. "They all have fascinating stories -- either about the horses themselves or their connections. Having been blessed to participate in this great race 22 times and having only one victory, I know how difficult it is to win and want to wish everyone involved a safe and speedy trip."

Day, who still weighs in the neighborhood of the 100 pounds he carried while becoming Churchill's all-time winningest jockey over 32 years, will be the smallest and most popular figure in the clubhouse hospitality suites because of his decades of experience and gregarious personality. He has come to know his way around Millionaire's Row, where the other celebrities and Derby patrons gather.

"When post time comes for the Kentucky Derby, there will be some butterflies even though I'll be watching from upstairs," said Day, a tireless supporter of the horse racing industry. "It's such an unforgettable experience to be out on that track on that day."

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