Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky is the venerable site of the Kentucky Derby–easily the most historically significant horse race in the United States. On the first Saturday in May an assortment of the best three year old race horses, jockeys and trainers gather for what is billed as the ‘most exciting three minutes in sports’. Also on hand are thousands of spectators at the track with millions watching–and betting–around the world.
Recently, however, the track was ‘invaded’ by a different kind of ‘pony’–and this one wasn’t the least bit welcome. According to the Louisville Courier Journal a local man that had been hired to do work on a new seating area at Churchill Downs has been arrested for ‘doing doughnuts’ on the infield area of the race track. At least his choice of car was appropriate–he was driving a Ford Mustang.
Thirty seven your old Benjamin S. Bratcher of Louisville man had been working for a subcontractor doing renovation work at the track. Now he’s out of work and facing charges of criminal mischief after allegedly driving his Mustang around the infield at Churchill Downs and ‘doing doughnuts’. Bratcher’s antics reportedly did more than $1,000 worth of damage to the infield grass. Bratcher is scheduled to be arraigned in a local court on Thursday. He was released on his own recognizance and is required to have no contact with Churchill Downs.
According to the arrest report, a Churchill Downs employee witnessed Bratcher’s wild ride and dropped a dime by calling authorities. Bratcher admitted that he had been driving his car in the infield but did not believe that he caused that much damage.
While Bratcher’s antics will play out in court the Kentucky Derby prep races will continue this weekend and help narrow the field for the ‘Run for the Roses’. After this weekend the list of top contenders for the Kentucky Derby–as well as the betting favorite–will start to be clear. Once the prep races have been run then Kentucky Derby bettors can start looking toward the race itself and try to handicap which of the three year old race horses will be the best.