Epicenter represents Bowling Green at Kentucky Derby
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It’s that time of year again in the Bluegrass State. The Kentucky Derby is set for its 148th running!
While Churchill Downs is over an hour away, the most exciting two minutes in sports has deep connections to Bowling Green. Westwind farm is located on Three Springs Road in Bowling Green and is home to one of the favorites in this year’s race, Epicenter.
“I mean, it’s something you always strive to have a horse in the derby but it doesn’t happen too often,” Westwind Farm Owner Mike Harris said.
Mike Harris raised Epicenter on his farm before selling the thoroughbred to Ron Winchell. Winchell also has deep ties to Bowling Green. He is a co-owner of the Mint Gaming Hall in town and at the Kentucky Downs. Epicenter’s Bowling Green identity is huge for Winchell.
“You know, having the horse come from Bowling Green and having our facility at the man that we opened up in December,” Winchell said. “It’s just a great tie back to you know, that region and the breeder and kind of, you know, at the time we bought them, I didn’t realize this from Bowling Green. So, it was kind of a nice little extra, especially right after we opened the mint facility in Bowling Green.”
But what makes Epicenter so special?
“What made Epicenter stand out a little bit was how we moved, you know, just even at a slow gear,” Epicenter’s trainer Steve Asmussen said. “He is best described as a slinky. You know, he’s just extremely fluid and intricate mover.”
“I knew he was special,” Harris said. “I mean, that’s beyond even dreaming about him being in the Derby, but I knew he was a very nice horse. You know, one of the best we raised. But he’s all the parts that are in the right place. He’s really balanced.”
The horse born back in 2019 will be launching from post-position three, and he will be the epicenter of Bowling Green’s attention that Saturday.
“A 20 horse field is makes it tough. The best horse doesn’t always win, because there’s a lot of traffic problems, but you know, we’re hoping for the best.”