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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jockeys call Louisville their home now



WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


-Albarado and Lanerie at CD

-Some observations on the YUM!

-Field Hockey Senior Game

With the UofL Field Hockey, Volleyball and women's basketball team busily preparing for their next contests, CARDINAL COUPLE takes a look today at another big event taking place in the "Ville" this weekend...The Breeders Cup at Churchill Downs. Pictured left, Robby Albarado, who will ride FIRST DUDE in the Classic. Pictured right, Corey Lanerie...one of Churchill's up and coming riders.

Both Albarado and Lanerie spoke to a capacity crowd at the monthly Sportsmen Supper Club meeting Tuesday night. The riders are back in Louisville to participate in the Fall Meeting at Churchill Downs. Robby and Corey call Louisville their home now, have houses here and have moved their families to Louisville. They'll compete in the weekend racing and both are "keep an eye out for" contenders in any race that they might ride in.

Corey Lanerie, originally from Louisiana, is big time now. After riding the Louisiana and Florida circuits for several years...Lanerie has committed himself to racing at Churchill, Keeneland, Turfway and Ellis Park on the Kentucky circuits. Considered a dangerous option on any turf or distance event, Lanerie is also known as being the guy who "fired" top trainer Steve Asmussen.

As Corey tells the story, several years ago...he was getting the ride on a lot of "Ass"mussen's horses. And doing well. One particular afternoon, though...he was on an Asmussen mount and the horse simply didn't respond. After the race, Steve blistered Corey for his ride on the horse. Having gone thru similar episodes with Asmussen, Lanerie held his tongue but informed his jockey's agent to turn down anymore offers to ride for Steve again. In common terms, the decision is liking refusing to drive a BMW when you're tooling around town in a washed out Toyota Pickup. The two have somewhat mended fences, but in jockey circles..the legend of the story still remains.

Lanerie won't have a mount in any of the two day Breeders Cup events but will have plenty of mounts in the Fall Meet at Churchill. He gives it his all every race and has made this writer extremely happy over the years with his ability to boot home runners at longshot prices.

Albarado will be on board for multiple mounts in the Breeders Cup. Like Lanerie, he got his start riding at Delta, Evangeline and other "bush" tracks in Louisiana. He was the rider for CURLIN, one of the best to ever step foot on a race track.

Robby will tell you, though...that MINESHAFT is his favorite ride of all time. The multiple stakes runner never tossed out a poor performance and he and Albarado teamed up for one of the most thrilling rides that this writer can remember in the 2003 Jockey Gold Cup Stakes...blowing away the competiton in the Saratoga stretch.

He'll pilot FIRST DUDE in the Classic and Robby isn't ready to concede the race to ZENYATTA just yet. He feels the "the Dude" hasn't run his best race yet and will like the 1 1/4 mile distance on Saturday. He also questions whether the big gal ZENYATTA can handle the distance and dirt at Churchill. Could be wise words.

Both jockeys are in agreement that Churchill will continue to lose riders, trainers and owner to tracks that have casino gambling available. Purses and dollars talk in this industry. Both also enjoy night racing at Churchill Downs. Albarado did confide that his favorite track to ride at was Keeneland, though...Lanerie indicated his favorite spot to mount up is where "the horses are hot and he had good mounts." Both dream of winning the Kentucky Derby. Don't we all?

Watch both these guys in the Fall Meet at Churchill. Your wallet will thank you.

CARDINAL COUPLE will post some selections for both days of Breeders Cup racing beginning Friday Morning. (You may want to skip accessing the site.) In defense, WE cleared over $200 in profits last year on the Breeders Cup days. This year is a tough one...for the fields are very full and the competition keen.

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I've been to the KFC YUM! Center a total of three times now and find more and more to like about it each time I go. Parking hasn't been a problem, I did "hi-line" it last trip and forked over the $10 to park underneath the facility. Can't say I'll be back there...but I've had no problems leaving after events and game and love the easy access to I-64 East.

Seating is also quite grand. Although CARDINAL COUPLE is on Media Row for UofL women's basketball games...our seats for the Rick Pitino pledges are lower level and right above the bourbon bar. Is this heaven? I did saunter up to the 300 level to see the view and can understand some of the complaints about visibility, height and seeing the viewing screens. Look, it isn't nearly as bad as Rupp's rafters and the seats are way more comfortable. You get what you pay for. The Arena is simply the best out there. A jewel on the Ohio. Go early, take some time to visit the lounges and food stands and enjoy the atmosphere. And, get UofL women's basketball season tickets! Jeff Walz has a Juggernaut waiting for you to come see them play. Tennessee next Friday. Be there,

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Nicole Youman and Rachel Hollenbach have been selected to play in the National Field Hockey Coaches' Association Division I Senior Game. They'll take part in the contest on Saturday, November 20th. at the University of Maryland.

Youman has been a four year starter for TEAM CARDINAL. She leads the BIG EAST in goals, assists and points this year. She also holds the UofL records for single season and career assists and most goals in a game....five of them this year against CMU.

Hollenbach has started for three years and been an integral part of Pam Bustin's offense. She's produced four goals and two assists this year.

A tip of the hat and salute to these two fine examples of doing it the right way in college sports. Good luck against the Huskies and in the BIG EAST Tournament this weekend...Flock!

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