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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday CARDINAL COUPLE. Yes I know! It's Laundry Day at Sandy's house - again!


-Sandy's Laundry Day

-More changes at Churchill Downs

(Cardinal Couple columnist Sandy gets out the Tide, Spray and Wash and's laundry day here at the C.C. She is pictured below on the left...she and Sonja patiently posing for another Paul camera-phone picture ).

Yes, I know it is laundry day, literally as my washer has been performing its duties since early this morning but as we all know that in most  any task it takes the whole team for a success to occur.  This morning both my dryer, as well as my laptop, are straining to perform as needed so both the literal laundry and the women's latest news tasks are suffering.  Thanks for bearing with me.


This week, no one has been without a huge variety of choices of sporting events to view, including women’s basketball, as the Olympics are in full swing.  Geno Auriemma, as coach of the U.S. basketball team (that is United States -- not UConn team) was reminded of the team concept in the opening match as the Americans struggled early against Croatia until Louisville and Atlanta Dream star Angel McCoughtry
was brought off the bench to help overcome sloppy play and spark a struggling US team to a commanding win with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and a blocked shot in just over 11 minutes of play. 

Monday night play saw Angel score 10 points, 2 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals in 18 minutes of play in the US win over Angola. (Editor note: The stat line says two steals, I say three.)
Tomorrow, August 1 at 10:15 PM against Turkey will be the next game in their Group A, game 30 match play. 

Might be time to rethink the starting line up Geno.



As much as some other teams would love to fuel the gossip columns and blogs with tales of Jeff Walz’s impending jump to another team we are happy to inform you of your future disappointment.
University of Louisville AD Jurich appears to have taken the pro-active route and approached Jeff concerning a contract extension which has been agreed to by all parties.  Reports are that  2 years have been added to Jeff’s existing 5 year contract which will keep him in Cardinal red through at least the 2018-2019 season.   Other details are not known at this time beyond the inclusion of reported financial incentives which occur for his fulfilling extended periods of the contract which is great news for all of the Cardinal faithful.

( Editor note: Coach Walz recently told CARDINAL COUPLE that he is "pleased and excited" about the extension and his goal continues to be bringing a national championship to the Ville)


Under the heading of day dreaming… 

It appears that the Seattle Storm are having some difficult negotiations with their city regarding the building of a facility and what contributions the city will make for the teams presence. 

If things don’t work out for you in Seattle – Storm President and CEO Karen Bryant...

You should come check out Louisville where the benefits of a city having a professional team here during the summer would be a great benefit to the city and fill the empty gap the Louisville basketball faithful feel during the summer months.

 Can you imagine the attendance with Angel and other UofL greats playing their professional careers locally?  Just a thought...

( Another great column today by Sandy! As we end the month of July, the writers at CARDINAL COUPLE are gearing up for the first month of UofL women's fall sports. We promise in-depth and comprehensive coverage of all activities and we appreciate you reading CARDINAL COUPLE!!) 



I just might need a tour guide or map when Churchill Downs opens for its fall meet in late October. Churchill has announced changes in gathering spaces and room that will start renovation in early August. 

- Champions Lounge, the second floor club where I've spent a lot of time over the past several years, will now be the track's main Gold Room...which moves from the 6th. floor, where it was next to the media center. The Champions Room has been so many things over the past several years...whether being a Gold Room will work or not is debatable.  Still no bathrooms in there.  

- The Mansion replaces the Media Center and Gold Room on the 6th floor. It's billed as a "spectacular new venue that will meld the legendary past of the historic track with an exciting future to provide a lavish ambiance, panoramic views and unprecedented  levels of personalized service, elegance and excitement." (We're guessing the $3 draft beer and hot dog Fridays won't make it up there)

- The Media Center is being moved from the 6th floor to the 1st. floor of the general offices, located by Gate 1 and the infield tunnel. From the grand view to the grandstands. 

- The former Paddock Pavillion building will be razed and will become a open gathering space for patrons of the Derby and other social events throughout the year. Wonder if they'd let us set up a Cardinal Couple UofL Women's Sports Concierge kiosk there? Thought not...

All I want to know is what's the name of the room where the Pick4 plotters, daily handicappers and trifecta terrors are supposed to meet? It's sounding more and more like "the bricks". 

It all about the benjamins, ladies and gentlemen. The decline of the Twin Spires Club unless you're wagering the income of a family of four, cut backs on giveaways and promotions (whatever happened to the Chili Cook-off?) and general indifference to the $2 regular bettor and attendee continues. 

And they wonder why they can't get enough horses and trainers to run more than 4 days a week? 

Churchill is spending $9 million dollars to fete the folks who attend four days a year (assuming they still are part of the Breeder's Cup rotation down the road.) 

Looking at the "regular fan-friendly" efforts of Saratoga, Del Mar and Monmouth (none of which are CDI owned) and the successes there lead us to believe that Churchill is content to throw Ms. and Mr. Joe Public a bone occasionally (Downs after Dark) but if you aren't in a Armani suit, flying in on a Lear jet or throwing $100 dollar bills around like pennies...then try not to mess up the red carpet rolled out to the 1%

This goes way beyond a casino gambling issue. It's a corporation tailoring its' image to service greed. And, greed is good, according to Gordon Gekko.  

Greed is Good

This article probably won't please the admins, muckity-mucks, media wizards and brass of Churchill. They don't please me much lately, so it's tit-for tat. 

Nevertheless, the fan's view must be told. Yes, we're still out there...decreasing in numbers, reeling with the changes. We may be war-torn Poland in this latest Churchill blitzkrieg, but the fact of the matter is, it just doesn't matter. 

We're only the other 99%. 

I'd like to see a position created at Churchill. I'd name it Director of Average, Everyday Person Operations. I'd volunteer to be that director. At least the little guy would have someone to go to who would listen. Probably couldn't accomplish much, but at least they'd have an ear to bend. 

Yep, sitting here waiting for the phone to ring...




  1. I have long thought Louisville could easily handle a WNBA franchise, more so than an NBA one. As you say, it would be the perfect gap filler between spring and fall sports. I know I'd go to some games!

  2. WE can easily see a 8-10,000 fan base. Add Angel, UK star Victoria Dunlap, Shoni in a couple of years and you have a marketable and fun to watch product. Louisville mayor Greg Fischer says he isn't opposed to a NBA franchise. Time to broaden your thinking, Greggie...


  3. A WNBA franchise in Louisville most likely would have to try and survive without Angel. Can't
    see the Dream ever parting ways with her. I'd love to see a team that had future WNBA prospects Brit Griner, Shoni Schimmel, Skylar Diggins, Anna Martin and Natalie Novosel.The last four have local connections. Add Candace Parker from the Vols and you draw 10,000-15,000 each home game.

    Why not bring Becky Burke into this mix also...while we're speculating? Most WNBA team struggle to find a consistent three-point shooter. Becky knows threes.

    Blue Lou

    Curtis Franklin

    1. Not sure how Curtis's name ended up on Blue Lou's comment. Curtis's original comment was:

      The USA Women's Basketball Olympic Team will smoke Turkey by 20+

      Might have been the rare but documented phenomena of two commenter's posting at the exact same time.



  4. Straight forward "tell it like it is" stuff about Churchill, Paul. I stopped
    going over there for simulcasting. The Clarksville OTB shows the same races,
    has lower prices for food and drink and you don't have to deal with the drama.

    Churchill has forgotten the average race track attendee. They reap what they

    Ex-Churchill attendee

  5. Churchill lost me as a regular fan many years ago, and the last straw was two years ago when they took a friend's Oaks box that she had for 30+ years and used it in their "corporate marketing program." I grew up at CD - learned to read the Daily Racing Form at age 12, placed my first winning Derby bet at age 15 (Northern Dancer), and spent every Saturday there with my Dad, Spring meet and Fall meet, until he died in 1997. I was the kind of customer that racetracks USED to want - an on-track bettor with an average daily handle in the mid-hundreds and a co-manager of a very successful syndicate that made multi-thousand dollar plays on big Pick-6 pools. I figured out about 10 years ago that they really didn't care about me anymore so they lost my business. If they had their way, they would reduce the Spring meet to a one-week "boutique" meet that totally caters to the wealthy.

    1. I still go, Mike...but mostly for the friends I've made there over the years. My handicapping skills, questionable at best (that's Sonja's skill) are directed toward jockey/trainer combinations and getting into pick 3's and 4's with buddies.

      Churchill tolerates us. The big grins and greetings come out when the Mercedes and Cadillacs hit the lot.



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