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Mar 27, 2015

Steve Cauthen returns to Churchill Downs, 37 years later


Philadelphia, PA ( - With the 141st Kentucky Derby just weeks away, Steve Cauthen remains a sought-after media interview as the man who won thoroughbred racing's most recent Triple Crown, the memorable 1978 run aboard Affirmed that electrified the sporting world 37 years ago.

As he turns 55 on Derby Eve (May 1) this year, Cauthen will be back at Churchill Downs working the clubhouse suites and the hospitality tents at the famed racetrack, providing his unique rationale on why the feat has not been accomplished since. Even the close calls have been few and far between, and many thought it was in the cards for California Chrome last year, but it was not to be.

"I am surprised a little bit but at the same time I also realize how difficult it is," Cauthen says in response to the question these days. "It takes a great horse and you need everything to go right. It's hard to say why it hasn't happened, but you need a great horse and the stars need to align a little bit for you in the preparation for each of those three races."

In his role as special guest for Derby Experiences, Churchill Downs' travel/experience program for fans doing the Kentucky Derby as a "bucket list" event, Cauthen will meet people from all over the world who travel to Louisville for maybe the greatest spectacle in sports.

Fans will remember that Cauthen and his chestnut colt, Affirmed, outdueled rival Alydar in the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. It was the sport's 11th Triple Crown. Now, Cauthen is the owner of a Thoroughbred breeding farm in north central Kentucky and the Hall of Famer is an accomplished handicapper who will be interacting with Derby Experiences' guests on his birthday and on Derby Day, May 2.

He will be joined in the Derby Experiences role by another Hall of Famer, Pat Day, the winning jockey in nine Triple Crown races who scored his pinnacle triumph aboard longshot Lil E. Tee in the 1992 Kentucky Derby.

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