TOPS March 2014

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TOPS AROUND TOWN 25 Out & About 26 Lexington Catholic Mid-Knight Stakes I 28 Lexington Catholic Mid-Knight Stakes II 30 TOPS February Preview Party I 32 TOPS February Preview Party II 34 H’Artful of Fun 36 Bring on Da Funk at Lexington Country Club 38 Bluegrass Sports Awards I 40 Bluegrass Sports Awards II 160 Commerce Lexington Annual Dinner I 162 Commerce Lexington Annual Dinner II 164 Commerce Lexington Annual Dinner III 166 Lexington Art Ball Luminosity I 168 Lexington Art Ball Luminosity II


170 Friends of the Kentucky Theatre Appreciation 172 Luke Bryant Concert 194 TOP Shots

25 160 16


IN EVERY ISSUE 43 Sports: There is Still Time 44 Dining: Brasabana 47 TOP 5 Dining: Burgers & Brews


51 Taste of Thyme: The In-’Beet’ween Season 52 Parties: Birthday Party Ideas for Boys 59 Fashion: The New Neutral 67 Gardening: Flowers & Plants 68 Posh Paws: A Doggone Good Mudroom 143 In the ‘Buf’: To Snoop or Not to Snoop, That is the Question 145 Family: 30-Minute Meals 151 Health & Fitness: What is Your Fitness Personality? 153 Lifestyle: Birthday Madness 154 Etiquette & Entertaining: A Pillow Present! 157 Business News 182 Weddings: Wedding Florals Without Flowers, Make it Succulent! 184 Arts & Entertainment 189 Up & Coming


184 The views and comments expressed by the authors are not always that of our editors or publishers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, TOP Marketing Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences, including any loss or damage arising from the reliance on information in this publication. All images contained in TOPS in Lexington Magazine are subject to copyright of the artist or photographer as named, but not limited thereto. Reproduction of any part of this magazine without prior written permission is prohibited.






by Blake Hannon Photos by Ron Morrow

Brasabana is more than just one of Lexington’s latest restaurants, it also reflects the city itself. As the dining scene in Lexington grows, there also continues to be an ever-increasing Hispanic population willing to share its culture with the Bluegrass. So, as far as Brasabana is concerned, what better way to bring people to the table than, well, making something that brings just about EVERYONE to the table. “We wanted to blend the cultures together,” said Brasabana’s executive chef Miguel Rivas. “What better way to do that than food.”

THE ATMOSPHERE Brasabana was opened by AZUR Restaurant Group just over a month ago. If you’re familiar with AZUR’s location and décor, you’ll find a few similarities. Located at 841 Lane Allen Road at the former home of Friends and Co., it is a bright spot in the relatively non-descript shopping area of Commonwealth Plaza, kind of like how AZUR is over at Beaumont Centre. Its décor is more on the casual side compared to AZUR, with walls painted in warm colors and a full, oval-shaped bar with flat-screen TVs. But the walls are adorned with the vibrant



artwork of local artist Enrique Gonzalez, and the restaurant plans to curate other Latino artists.

THE DRINKS The restaurant offers wine and plenty of import beers from Latin and island countries, but you’re better off getting something either sweet or tangy with plenty of kick to it. First of all, Brasabana wouldn’t be a Cuban restaurant if it didn’t serve up mojitos, and you can get them served up either the classic way or one flavored with either mango, passion fruit, pineapple or


raspberry. They also have both traditional and flavored margaritas, but their specialty drinks are sweet, often fruity and all over the map. Tell me where else in town can you get a cocktail flavored with guava juice?

The Food Rivas, born in the Dominican Republic with experience in both French and Latin cooking, described Cuban food as emphasizing freshness and bold flavor, and that certainly rings true here. Appetizers include Brasabana’s take on Latino street food staples like empanadas and croquettas and more refined starters. Meanwhile, the restaurant may make you rethink getting something green with its tropical salad, with the sweetness of pineapple, mango, papaya and a guava vinaigrette balanced out with savory elememts from cilantro, roasted red pepper and queso fresco. Whether you’re going for chicken, pork, beef or seafood entrees, you’re going to get a very tender piece of protein. Cuban’s love to braise their meat, while going heavy on the spice without being spicy, so the flavors are anything but pedestrian.

What I Like First of all, I like that a restaurant like Brasabana exists in the first place because it offers yet another layer of diversity to Lexington’s dining scene; which I especially appreciate since many of our city’s Latin cuisine options are Mexican or…well, more Mexican. As far as the food goes, there’s a lot I like. This writer loves some plantains, and this restaurant will serve up to you every which way, whether it’s fried plantains, using it to crust their whitefish, plantain mash in the delicious and delightfully plated chicken chicarron or plantain chips on the side of a classic Cuban sandwich with roasted pork, ham, pickles, mustard and Swiss cheese. The meats served at Brasabana are definitely tender but certainly not timid. You’ll get a lot of richness in the shredded pork on the Puerco Brasabana, served with peppers, onions, rice, and beans that I would rank right up there with some of the best black beans I’ve ever tasted. But if you don’t go in and order the Arroz con Pollo, a literal small mountain of panroasted adobo chicken confit over softrito chicken rice topped with peppers and an avocado salad, you would be doing your stomach a great disservice. Brasabana is giving Lexington diners a taste of something different while offering some of the Hispanic population a small taste of home, which Rivas said is a win-win for himself and everyone who walks through his doors. “It’s just so important that people here have an experience that takes them to another land,” he said. 859 303 5573

84 Lane Allen Road

Executive Chef Miguel Rivas

brasabana com



Photo & Styling by Mirabelle Creations


Birthday Party Ideas for Boys If

you have a little boy in your life, you probably already know that birthday parties for little boys can be lots of fun! But, you also understand that playing pin the tail on the donkey and having a party craft just isn’t going to cut it. Planning a successful party for boys does not have to be tough. The following ideas can help you make your next little guy’s party a celebration to remember. Ask your child for his input Before getting started on planning your son’s party, do a little research. If you talk to him about what he wants, he may have definite ideas about where he’d like to have the party, who he’d like to invite, and what type of entertainment he’d like to have. So, before asking your child about his party, you might want to first do a little investigating. If you think he may ask to have his party at a certain venue, call first to make sure that it is available and is within your party budget. Then, you can ask him for his input and come up with a plan on which you both can agree. Decide on the venue One of the first decisions that will need to be made is where to have the party. Having the party at your house will allow you to keep all the party supplies in one place and will likely be cheaper than having it at an outside venue. One hallmark of a party for boys is the high level of physical activity. Since boys need a lot of physical activity and will likely do better with energetic activities, consider whether you have the space at your house for such activities. If you do not want to host the party at your house, there are many great venues for parties. Some local ideas you could consider are: bowling alley, trampoline park, gymnasium, gymnastics facility, batting cages, children’s museum, horse park, arcade, and indoor or outdoor swimming pool. Party theme ideas Picking a party theme can make the planning much easier. Decorations, activities, and food can all reflect the party theme. So, picking the theme



early can help you make decisions about all aspects of the party. Look to your son’s favorite movie, toy, sport, or book for inspiration for a theme. Some of the more popular party themes for boys include pirates, sports, Lego®, dinosaurs, Star Wars®, little man, trains, superheroes, monsters, and robots. Be flexible Boys certainly need some physical activity to burn off some of that extra energy. Generally, boys also work better if there is not a bunch of different structured activities. Crafts and games with many rules may not work as well for a boys’ party. Instead, try an activity, like a bounce house, that is open-ended so that kids can participate in the activity on their own schedule. Provide snacks No boys’ party would be complete without snacks. Since boys parties are often full of physical activity, they are going to want lots of drinks and snacks once they are done with the party activities. Having water bottles available during the party is a great plan. Then, you can serve snacks and other drinks once there is a break in all the fun. For more party ideas, visit

by Deanna Talwalkar Party Planner Extraordinaire

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TOP People to Know in Home & Garden

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Chase Holman Mortgage Loan Originator

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The New Neutral

Some people may say leopard is a neutral.

You know what I say to those people? “You’re a dang genius!” I, too, am a believer that leopard need not stand alone or only be paired with black—boring times ten! Why don’t we instead treat leopard as though it IS a black, navy, gray, nude, or even a metallic? If we quit treating this lovely little print as crazy and loud, I think we’ll be quite surprised how versatile that little vixen actually is. Let’s break down these looks shall we now? A red suit is a smidge bold, I won’t deny that. Typically you may grab a white, black, or possibly a striped blouse to anchor the look. I say kick that boldness up a level and grab some Leo. Here’s my advice however, keep it polished. Tuck in the blouse, pull back the hair in a topknot or slicked back pony and accessorize with classic gold jewelry. You’ll definitely turn some heads in a great way! On the flip side, the leopard jeans pictured are a statement all their own. Again, it may feel comfy to pair them with black or white – but wait a second – let’s choose my fave neutral, navy, with a side of striped print mix instead. Little more impactful wouldn’t you agree? Let’s anchor this look again with some gold in the way of a d’orsay flat (super flattering shoe by the way). Here’s looking forward to warmer weather with the top look. Wishful thinking, I know! I think our first inclination with this green frock is to pair her with a metallic. Not bad at all—quite pretty indeed. But personally, I always try to add a little unexpectedness to my rigs. These leopard heeled booties definitely do the trick and also allow for the addition of turquoise in the way of jewels and a clutch. Start small gang, if jeans or a blouse seem a bit much, I suggest starting out with a leopard belt or ballet flats. Toss them on next time you go for the stereotypical neutrals—bet you’ll be happy you did!

by Beth Parker Fashion Blogger/Stylist



TOPS Cares

Annual Community-Wide

Fund for The Arts Initiative Focuses on

Engaging Even

More Citizens

by Mary Ellen Slone

“Art is a human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen.” – Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi, What Is Art (1898)

In April of 1782, the local inhabitants of our fledgling community petitioned for permission to become an independent entity, separate from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The request was granted, and our determined forefathers began to morph their settlement into what was subsequently named “Athens of the West—Lexington”. Two-plus centuries later, our metropolis is internationally recognized as being the “Horse Capital of the World”, concurrently being home to the headquarters of several major corporations, a mecca of urbane sophistication, and for an arts community which has taken its collective levels of inspiration and creativity to new heights of sophistication. More precisely, our community has embraced the concept of the conscious use of skill and creative imagination in the production of a variety of all forms of aesthetic art. In addition to significantly supporting the more ‘traditional’ art forms which continue to expand their respective visions and genres, Lexingtonians are now seeing a growing and enthusiastic support for outdoor mural and public art programs. One very high profile example was “Horse Mania”, a hugely successful project that transformed nearly life-sized fiberglass horses into extraordinarily creative works of art



Photo by Richie Wireman

prominently displayed around our city’s most visible locations. Today, the community has embraced the concept of having more unique and visible art which can be enjoyed and appreciated throughout the city. The fall of 2013 brought a similar project to the streets of downtown Lexington, yet this time a bourbon barrel was the canvas. “The Bourbon Barrel Project” on Town Branch was a unique public art project that celebrated not only the history and lore of bourbon, but also the chronicle of a long-buried stream that was the formative basis of Lexington, the Town Branch. Thousands were intrigued by 41 barrels, stunningly decorated by local artists, that dotted the cityscape for over two months. The sheer value of the project is revealed in the results: $57,000 in local artist wages, $145,000 in sponsorships, $64,850 in auction proceeds and a total of $216,000 raised. With the City’s annual “Fund for the Arts” campaign now underway, Jim Clark, current President and CEO of the not-for-profit organization LexArts, notes that there are numerous, positive reasons to anticipate that this year’s campaign will reach or even exceed its goal of $1.25 million. “The cultural scene here is more vibrant than it has probably ever been – the maturation of our arts groups has been excep-

TOPS Cares

Concordia, Photo by Richie Wireman

tional – there are more people involved, people with passion, people who understand the key contributions that arts of all genres make to the quality of life in our community.” He added, “Lexington’s ambiance and its numerous attributes have attracted new highprofile companies to our city.” Clark noted that Tracee Whitley, Chief Operating Officer for Boston-based law giant Bingham McCutchen, is proud to be a new Lexington resident. Her office is at the firm’s new service center at Coldstream, and she has accepted the challenge to serve as Campaign Chair for this year’s LexArts Fund for the Arts initiative. What prompted her decision? Ms. Whitley noted, “I fell in love with Lexington! I’d been living in the Boston area nearly 30 years, but the beauty of Central Kentucky, the great quality of life, the historic downtown, the vibrant activity, the university community, the arts scene and the diversity all influenced me. My team members and I want to participate in the community which we will proudly call home!” Further, according to Clark, “We have so many quality options for both appreciating and participating in art here in Lexington. Our level of culture is more vibrant than ever before; we have established a kind of ‘arts eco-system’ with more people not only being directly involved within the arts, but also proudly supporting the concept. Contributing to the evident enthusiasm for public art is a positive willingness on the part of many of our citizens to view our expanding portfolio of created pieces and to engage themselves with these works. As evidence, Clark sites the dedication of the neighborhood mural located at Race and 3rd Streets here in town. Through a statewide Request for Qualifications, 21 Kentucky artists applied for consideration to design and create the mural. After a detailed review of all applicants, three semi-finalists (coincidentally all Lexington residents) were each paid $500 to create a proposal specific to the East End. The selection committee then engaged the community through public review and feedback at the Lyric Theater and Cultural Arts Center, the William Wells Brown Center and the former Pak-nSave, which is the planned physical location of the new mural. A very impressive number of creative submissions were received for the design, and after extensive consideration the $12,000 mural commission was awarded to EastEnd resident Sundiata Rashid to bring to life his 15’ x 50’ mural titled “Know Your History, Then Make History”.

East End Mural, Photo by LexArts Staff

Clark explained, “The East End mural project engaged folks from all across our community as it was being created. The mural’s dedication drew an exceptionally large number of individuals and media, as well as renowned Jazz musician Les McCann, a former East-End resident himself. We may not yet be at the “if we build it, they will come!” stage with our public art program, but we’ve certainly engaged a significant percentage of the community with our activities.



TOPS Cares

Water Street Mural, Photo Courtesy The Archive Louis Zoellar Bickett

Another outdoor mural will be created soon. LexArts has asked for submissions from local artists to craft a visual landmark this spring at 572 Georgetown Street. The Lexington Mural Project is planned to be a multi-year transformational effort to ‘morph’ blank walls and surfaces into works of art. “The ongoing and expanding success of this initiative will depend on how many more individuals and groups we can move from ‘being interested in civic art’ to ‘becoming active in its proliferation.’ There’s a sizeable plan to invest intellectual capital in reaching out to the community to nurture more understanding and appreciation of how arts groups can and should structure themselves for success. LexArts will lead this intriguing initiative for the benefit of the entire community. “High up on the list of hoped-for results is to encourage our younger adults to help us to provide cultural incentives that will motivate them not to leave our city in quests for another metropolis, which may be further along in its list of ‘things to see, to do, and to participate in’ than we are here in Lexington.”

About LexArts’ Fund for the Arts Last year, LexArts’ United Arts Fund distributed $479,500 through General Operating Support Grants - providing unrestricted grants to arts organizations which demonstrate strong arts mission fulfillment, fiscal responsibility and sound management; $71,600 through Community Arts Development Grants; $71,000 through LFUCG EcoArt Grants; and $206,990 through Public Art programs. The 2013-2014 General Operating Suppors Recipients were the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Lexington Children’s Theatre, Living Arts & Science Center, Lexington Art League, Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, and Balagula Theatre.

Community Arts Development Program and Project Grants went to Balagula Theatre, Bluegrass Youth Ballet, Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, Explorium of Lexington, Institute 193, Kentucky Ballet Theatre, Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Lexington Ballet Company, Lexington Chamber Chorale, Lexington Singers, March Madness Marching Band, Nia Urban Ministries, Inc., Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition, and PRHBTN.

About LexArts LexArts is the non-profit community organization that works for the development of a strong and vibrant arts community as a means of enhancing the quality of life in Central Kentucky. In addition to the previously mentioned grants, LEXARTS oversees the management of both the Downtown Arts Center on Main Street, and ArtsPlace on Mill Street-both in the heart of our city. Major support for LexArts programs and services is provided by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Through the annual Fund for the Arts campaign, LexArts raises money in funding support of local arts. In turn, the high-profile not-for-profit entity underwrites the operating expenses for a variety of partner organizations; offers affordable exhibition and performance space for arts organizations, as well as funding competitive grants for community outreach projects. The Kentucky Arts Council, the State arts agency, provides operating support to LexArts with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Support the cause! MARCH 2014 | TOPS MAGAZINE


Posh Paws

A Doggone Good Mudroom

Mudrooms have been the “it” add-on for homeowners for several years now, and for good reason! They’re incredibly helpful spots for getting the whole family in and out with as little chaos as possible. Niche organization keeps everyone on-task and the whole home clutter-free. Considering adding or converting a mudroom space? While you’re selecting clever catchall bins and coat hooks, take a minute to consider how incredibly helpful your mudroom could be in keeping your pet’s messes in control, too. If ever there was an opportunity to get a handle on your four-legged friend’s accessories, now’s the time. For the Dogs If your dog’s water and food is being served somewhere else, consider moving it here. Mudrooms are meant to sort of gather the messes into one quick clean-up spot. Spilled dog bowls and lost kibbles? Get it when you’re mopping up after the kids trot in. Make use of hooks for your dog’s collar, leashes and jackets. Bins can hold toys within easy reach for your pet. Shelving can hold his food up and out of the way. by Amanda Harper, Pet Aficionado


Should you move your kennel into the mudroom? This depends on the traffic


this room will see. If it’s going to be a reasonably peaceful place, it could be perfect! It’s called a mudroom for a reason. Does your dog sometimes get messy outdoors? This is the perfect opportunity to put the kibosh on muddy paw prints and tracked-in grass. If you’re converting a space to be a mudroom, just keeping pet wipes and old beach towels will help you clean your pet up before he goes running through the house. If you’re building from scratch, consider installing your own pet tub with an adjustable shower head to really get Rover sparkling. For the Cats Your cat probably doesn’t go outside very often, but that doesn’t mean a mudroom is a no-kitty zone. Install permanent carpeted shelves in this space to create perfect perches. Bonus points if there’s a sunny window for her to enjoy. Mudrooms are a great opportunity for clever cat storage. Food, litter and toys will all find a new home in the mudroom, freeing up space elsewhere in the home. You may wish to move her litter box here. Do so slowly, perhaps leaving a second box in the previous spot. Curious what else you can do? One word, my friend—Pinterest.

H&G Interiors

Architectural Kitchens & Baths

M. Brent Richards, AIA, Owner | 345 Lafayette Ave. | 859.268.0800 | In 2005, the opportunity arose for Brent to join his father-inlaw, Gary Bello, in creating a business. Brent simply couldn’t pass up the chance and so Architectural Kitchens & Baths was created. They specialize in incredible commercial and residential transformations, which Brent says is the most satisfying aspect of his career. Before forming AK&B, Brent was a Principal and Board Member of Ross Tarrant Architects, where the team worked on many award-winning, large-scale educational facilities. Brent was born and raised in Lexington where he lives today with his wife and three children. He says that being a husband and father is his proudest achievement, far above professional accomplishments. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Kentucky School of Architecture. Passionate about sports, Brent enjoys baseball and playing golf. He calls himself a diehard UK fan and he attends as many home games as possible– and some away games! Favorites Movie – The Breakfast Club TV Show – The Office and Seinfeld Vacation Spot – Sanibel and Captiva Performer – Bono Song(s) – Anything U2



Tour of Homes

An Energetic Home that Sparkles with Pizzazz and Tasteful Creativity B

ling artist Rita Sue Memering’s home sparkles with alluring elements, exciting color combinations and unapologetic fun. Using neutral tones throughout the house as her backdrop, Memering dressed up her home with pops of personal character, pulling inspiration from nature, her artwork and her family. With a fireplace on every level and many spaces for entertaining, the home demands to be filled with the warmth of company. The designer incorporated rustic rejuvenated pieces with energetic contemporary elements throughout the home. The homeowners worked closely with builder Mike Maverity and electrician Donnie Hendrix to create this original, intricate house at the summit of a sloping hill along the Kentucky River.

Visitors enter through a stately door bearing the fleur de lis emblem. Mindful of her budget and with a mission to repurpose pieces, Memering bought the grand mahogany doors online from a restaurant in Colorado that was closing. The foyer includes smooth ecofriendly bamboo floors and Memering’s self-designed flower arrangements in wall-mounted vases. The high foyer ceiling is illuminated by three staggered Le Klint pendant replicas, which Memering retrofitted to fit the sloped ceiling. by Elizabeth Troutman Adams Photography by Shaun Ring



Tour of Homes

The home includes an office space and guest bedrooms. The hallway bathroom is painted in thick stripes of gold and white with an overlapping decal of a birch tree. This rainforest-inspired room includes a textured tile corner shower that resembles the bark of a palm tree. The flooring tile complements the earthy theme with yellow-gray tones.



Tour of Homes


The basement turns right into a second kitchen with gray granite counter tops and clean gray tones. The wide kitchen windows provide one more expansive view of the multi-tiered patio that hovers among the tall trees that surround the home.



Bronze by George Claxton Lisa Sheehy, Equine Features Editor 119 Horse Park Happenings 124 Derby Glam!


129 Filly in the Workplace: Ann McBrayer 131 The Lady is a Champ 132 Road to the Derby: Countdown 136 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event 140 Equine Art: Purpose 141 Equine Out & About MARCH 2013 | TOPS MAGAZINE


Other aspects of the job were more sobering, but no less gratifying. “Giving the eulogy for John Henry’s funeral was a day I will never forget. It was a great honor and a great responsibility,” Nicholson recounted. With hundreds of people in attendance for this great horse’s final goodbye, it was a witnessing of a historic moment in the life of the Park. The Park has also seen Nicholson’s two sons - Chris (15) and Colin (11) - grow up. His time as Executive Director also provided Nicholson the chance to see the world through the lens of the horse. He was able to meet with high level Chinese government officials when discussing the exhibit that would become known as “Imperial China: The Role of the Horse in Chinese History,” the largest international cultural exhibition to make its stage in Kentucky. But in seeing the world, Lexington became a microcosm of the

world replete with possibilities. Nicholson was involved in the cutting of the ribbon for the new USEF headquarters (which had always been in New York). “It was a huge recruiting effort and set the stage for so many important developments at the park.”


The culmination of the Games began 5 years earlier when Nicholson was at an FEI Board meeting in Bahrain. “I phoned in to a press conference at the Horse Park, led by Governor Fletcher and attended by over 400 very enthusiastic people. I was able to make the announcement over the phone from thousands of miles away that Kentucky would be the host of the 2010 Games.”

In a position where politics matter, Nicholson was able to see the 50,000 feet view in the day-to-day. While its impossible to be everything to everyone, having the perspective to figuratively see through the muck served Nicholson well in his tenure. He treasures a letter that he received from Former Governor John Y. Brown, who in 1980 referred to the KHP as a “white elephant” and suggested that it be sold. Eating his words, Brown wrote to Nicholson that instead of being a burdensome possession, the KHP had transformed into a premier venue for the best of horse sports. A Tradition Steeplechase





After a year’s hiatus, the beloved High Hope Steeplechase is returning to the Kentucky Horse Park on Sunday, May 18. For nearly fifty years, the Steeplechase has been an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the horse with an event that is only

Image Courtesy of High Hope Steeplechase




hosted in a few select places within the U.S. Held at the Horse Park since its first year in 1966, Lexington has enjoyed an exciting day of what the Bluegrass does best - horses and hospitality. A sport with its origins in Ireland, a steeplechase is a type of horse race that can include flat races and races with obstacles (or hurdles). Horses are trained to jump in stride so that their speed is maximized but hitting the jumps at the perfect distance every time is a rarity. The horses and jockeys must also contend with jumping out of stride which can, at times, decrease a horse’s speed on the course drastically. The 2014 High Hope Steeplechase will treat spectators to six hurdle and flat races while the proceeds will benefit the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and the Central Kentucky Riding for Hope. With over 15,000 spectators, the Steeplechase offers plenty of opportunity to mingle and gather with friends. Tailgate spots offer the ideal setup for a picnic with guests while entertainment tents provide the visual excitement of being close to the finish line. Kicking off the day and festivities at high noon, Jack Russell Terrier races are a tradition par excellence, and children’s activities will also be part of the day. With a family friendly atmosphere, its a great way to spend a Sunday in May in the Bluegrass. Mark your calendars…the High Hope Steeplechase is back! Better To Give... In November, the Horse Park unveiled its new Volunteer Center that is located inside the Visitor Information Center. Designed with the idea in mind for a distinct gathering place for the dedicated volunteers of the Park, the Center is now a place for social gatherings and the go-to spot to work on the myriad of projects. Interested in volunteering? You’re invited to stop by!



Calendar of Events Springtime in Lexington is just around the corner! And with sunshine, grass and blue skies, comes a full calendar of events at the Horse Park. Mid-March also marks the reopening of the Park’s regular season with new exhibits and visitor attractions. It’s a great time to be in Lexington. March 13-16:

Road to the Horse (Alltech Arena). An event that showcases the partnership between horse and hu man

April 24-27:

Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and Kentucky Rein ing Cup

The Horse Park also recently announced the Cross Country Schooling Dates for 2014. On these dates, riders have the distinct opportunity to test their mettle and … on the Park’s legendary cross country schooling course. Dates include: Sunday, May 4 Monday, May 5 Saturday, June 7 Saturday, September 6


Derby Glam! by Anastasia Austen

Let the games begin! No, not the Olympics, that’s yesterday’s news. I’m talking about the upcoming 2014 Kentucky Oaks and Derby. It’s time to get your Derby groove going again; training begins this month! Horse racing enthusiasts are antsy with Spring Fever and are ready to enjoy the current Kentucky Derby Prep season and the upcoming Kentucky Derby Championship Series races that will determine which lucky horses will run in “America’s Greatest Race.” It’s time to put away the flannel shirts and winter blahs and get glamorous for racing! Impatient girls like me will be pulling out bright, cheery Spring dresses in fantastic light fabrics to hit the Spiral Stakes —and most likely freeze—on March 22 at Turfway Park. This quaint track in Northern Kentucky throws a huge party with big style for this Grade III Stakes Race. Last year, I totally regretted not getting the VIP Tent tickets…all the movers and shakers from the Cinci area were hovering around valet as they entered the exclusive tent and looked amazing dressed in hats, feathers and really nice clothes. I could tell there was a full, open bar somewhere! What better way to dust off the cobwebs then to head out

for the Spiral Stakes? Go handicap a few horses and see a possible Oaks or Derby contender to get the juices flowing for Derby. The “Road to the Kentucky Derby” is unwinding with other local racing classics such as the always lovely Bluegrass Stakes. Run during Keeneland’s fantastic Spring Meet, this is one of the best races at one of the best tracks, period. The architecture, the flowers and ivy, the hospitality— and of course great horses —all make for a spectacular day at the races. The best seats are in the Lexington Room they say, but I prefer the Phoenix Room because you have a good spot to spy right into the Paddock. A nice window table provides ample omniscient viewing from above —not just to check out the horses but to ogle outfits and people-watch as you drink champagne or bourbon! What a perfect day. But prepare yourself. The terrible, tragic news is that this year the folks at the Kentucky Derby Festival decided to— gasp—schedule Thunder Over Louisville on the very day of that storied race, April 12. Boo! Every year, they push it earlier and earlier into April to the dismay of many, and now some silly executive did not think to check the racing calendar. Now the challenge is to figure out how to be in two

Keeneland Racetrack


TOPS IN EQUINE places at one time. What’s a girl to do? Time to get a Limo! Private transportation is always a plus. When there’s a will, there’s a way to get from the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland to the biggest fireworks show in the nation to kick off the Kentucky Derby in style. Are you Hot to Trot? It’s time to ring in the Chinese New Year and celebrate the Year of the Horse—the fashion world already has. According to fashionistas, the look on runways this Spring is reigned in, not unbridled—crip, clean lines and rich textures add an elegant vibe to sporty ensembles. Look for pony prints, structured leather handbags and buckled shoe accents. This Chinese zodiac sign symbolizes strength and energy so kick it up a notch with embellished accents at the track for a polished look. Some news from Churchill Downs—the very posh and popular Sky Lounge is back for the opening of the Spring Meet. Set up just for Night Racing dates, these little VIP clubs offer food and wine tastings and a great view of the track behind red ropes in a private prime balcony area. Churchill Downs has not yet decided how many lounges they will set up and the locations yet, but based on what we




saw last time it will be luxury galore! This fun area is always completely sold out in advance so plan ahead. The rumor mill here in Derby town has is that the Thursday of Derby Week will soon be unveiled as the new “locals day” to be called…drum roll please… “Thurby”. Yes, Thurby. The cute name is Thursday mixed with Derby, clever huh? Ummm, we are not too sure on the name yet...Well, locals are a bit confused anyway since the Kentucky Oaks has long been promoted as the local’s favorite, but most seem happy to spend extra time at the track Derby week. After all, we need that training for the First Saturday in May. I’ve always taken off Thursday to host a bunch of girlfriends in my season box and we have a ball! Evidently, new marketing strategies have now rebranded the sister race to the Derby as “Ladies Day” instead —so break out the Pink for the “Lillies for the Fillies” and enjoy a special day no matter what it’s called at the world famous Churchill Downs. Plan on being at various horse racing tracks this Spring and looking fabulous! There are lots of opportunities from the Spiral Stakes to The Bluegrass Stakes and the Skye Lounge to start your training immediately for the Kentucky Derby— after some prep races, trackside cocktails and a few winning tickets you can plan on being ready for the Derby like a true pro! Anastasia Austen is the Brand Development Manager for DerbyDeals. com, a Louisville-area sports travel agency specializing in Thoroughbred Horse Racing events and the Kentucky Derby. Originally from Carmel-by-the Sea, California, she earned her BS in Sport Administration from the University of Louisville and a Masters in Marketing from Webster University. She has worked in various aspects of the horse racing industry including equine fashion, sports journalism and special events.


Owner, Kentucky Eagle, Inc.


Fillies in the Workplace: Ann McBrayer

By Kathie Stamps

You may know

Ann McBrayer as president of Kentucky Eagle, Inc.–the company that distributes craft and domestic beers, wines, spirits and non-alcoholic energy drinks–or you may know her from her involvement with Commerce Lexington, the Shakertown, KY State Fair Board, Child Development of the Bluegrass, Triangle Foundation, Kentucky Grape & Wine Council or because she has been honored by NAWBO and Junior Achievement Hall of Fame. What you might not know is that she is also a horse farm owner and breeder of Thoroughbreds, with a passion for these magnificent animals and every aspect of the horse industry. Born and reared right here in Lexington, McBrayer ventured past the boundaries of the Bluegrass out of high school. She graduated from St. Mary’s College in Raleigh, NC, and then pursued a degree at the Atlanta School of Fashion Design. When she returned to Lexington, she worked for two years in the advertising department at McAlpin’s. She got married and moved to North Carolina where she ran the advertising department for Brody’s Department Store. Her first child, Tate was born in North Carolina, before McBrayer moved back to Lexington for good. After having her other two children – Kelly and Michael–and enjoying every minute of their child-

Ann McBrayer (Photo by Keni Parks)




hood, she got involved in her father’s business. That company was called Bennie Robinson Distributing, which her father, O.A. Bakhaus, bought in 1948. “We kept the name for years,” McBrayer said, “but people would call and ask to speak to Bennie Robinson, so we changed the name to Kentucky Eagle, Inc.”. As a distributor, Kentucky Eagle is the link between brewer and retailer. “Anheuser-Busch is our main brand, and we also have wonderful local and regional craft beers,” McBrayer explained. Before she studied business and design and long before she became president of Kentucky Eagle, McBrayer grew up loving horses. “I rode my first horse at seven or eight years old,” she said. She rode hunters and jumpers, but her father wouldn’t buy her a horse of her own. When she had the opportunity to purchase a horse farm and start breeding horses, she did. The date is imprinted in her brain: November 1, 1994. The Fayette County property has just about 170 acres. She named it Keene Ridge Farm, because from a ridge on the highest point of the land you can see Keeneland, one of Lexington’s most famous landmarks. “We are blessed with the most beautiful racetrack in the United States right here in Lexington,” McBrayer said. “Everyone at Keeneland does a terrific job in taking care of it and making it very special.” McBrayer breeds 14 foundation mares each year and board and foals out customers’ horses, as well. She bred an Eclipse Award Winner named English Channel. The chestnut thoroughbred won 10 stakes races, including the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Monmouth Park in New Jersey, with John Velazquez on board. English Channel was trained by Todd Pletcher. English Channel now stands for stud at Lane’s End Farm and is ranked No. 1 Sire for producing the most Stakes Winners in 2014. “I now have his full brother, Channeled. Channeled couldn’t race because he had physical problems before I could get him to the track, so I’m breeding him. I have two colts by him. Both will be born next month,” she said. “It should be tons of fun.” Although she doesn’t have any horses on the track right now, some are being broken and are in early training. “I mainly breed to sell and only keep and race fillies that I want to carry on their family prodigy. Channeled is my only boy,” McBrayer explained. Naming the foals on her farm is “one of the most fun parts,” she said. “I try to incorporate the name of the mare and stallion, so people will know from the name what the breeding is.” McBrayer is appreciative of the horse industry and what it means to the Bluegrass, from breeding and racing to eventing. She was an early participant in the social club and racing syndicate for women


called It’s All About the Girls, formed by Anna Seitz Ciannello. “I go to every meeting I can get to,” McBrayer said. “It’s fun meeting other girls in the horse business. Everyone who gets involved has a true passion for the thoroughbred.” She is also involved in other equine organizations. She serves on the board of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and is a member of Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders’ Association (TOBA) and Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA). Because she cares so much about horses, it pleases her to know that horses she doesn’t plan to breed after racing can go on and have a second career when they finish racing. She sent one of her race horses to Camden, SC to a young girl to train as a hunter-jumper. “Horses love all the attention they receive in their racing careers, so it’s pretty hard for them to be turned out in a field when they retire from racing,” McBrayer said. Having the opportunity for a second career after racing is equally beneficial for the horse and new owner. The racetrack is an exciting place for participants and spectators alike. McBrayer would like to see Kentucky put more emphasis on the horse industry in general. “It is one of our two signature industries of our State,” she said, citing bourbon as the other. “We need to support our horse industry in our state to assure that we stay The Horse Capital of the World. We are so blessed to have what we have and we need to protect it and nurture it.” McBrayer would like to see Senate Bill 33 pass this Session. Senators Dan Seun and RJ Palmer introduced it in January. The proposed bill would finally allow gaming to be put on the ballot and allow the people of Kentucky to decide if gaming will be allowed to support the purses for the Thoroughbred Industry, among a number of other aspects in the horse industry, according to McBrayer. She also hopes everyone in Central Kentucky will showcase the horse industry every chance they get. “To me, it’s what makes Lexington so special. You can get to the country in a matter of minutes, and the country is a big part of our community,” she explained. McBrayer doesn’t have much spare time, between her civic involvement, running a business and horse farm, so what little “me time” she does manage to carve out is often with her horses. Running alongside of her at the farm are her three dogs; a golden doodle, black lab and her Papillion, which goes to the office with her everyday. She also enjoys hanging out at Herrington Lake with her kids. For McBrayer, it’s all about the horses. “I hope I can keep breeding and racing them for a long time,” she said.

The Lady is a Champ

By John C. Engelhardt

Named Groupie Doll, she was trained throughout her career by “Buff ” buoyed by the detailed dedication of exercise rider Jada Schlenk and assistant trainer Matt Hebert. That team took her through a carefully calculated career that saw her win 11 of her 21 lifetime starts for earnings of over $2.4 million. Three days prior to entering the sales ring at Keeneland, Groupie Doll captured the $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint for the second consecutive year, locking up honors for her second Eclipse Award as the quickest miss in the land. With mixed emotions after a well thought long-term business plan for the farm, the Bradley’s and minority partners Carl Hurst and Brent Burns followed through with their decision to sell her. The gavel fell at $3.1 million and the striking chestnut mare now belonged to Mandy Pope, who lists along in her broodmare band Horse of the Year Havre de Grace. As we believed the end of the story was seeing “Buff ” sitting down in the sales ring with Mandy Pope, thanking her for her generous bid and knowing he could still visit his stable star as she boards her horses in Central Kentucky. So much for the end of the story, after returning to her stall and feeding Groupie Doll some peppermints, Pope and Bradley entered into conversation about keeping her in training rather than rushing her off to her elite broodmare band. There was a $600,000 bonus to any Breeders’ Cup winner that could capture the $400,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct – a race she lost by a nose in 2013 to the Grade 1 Travers winner Stay Thirsty. They set their sights on that goal this year, but Lady Luck glanced away into the lane. Facing older males, Groupie Doll settled into her routine stalking position and under regular rider Rajiv Maragh who was now wearing the silks of Mandy Pope. The field was tightly bunched as they turned for home and Groupie Doll appeared to jump the heels of a tiring pacesetter and then was bumped as Maragh attempted to get her to the outside. She finally found

some daylight, but it was too late and she finished fourth behind top males Flat Out, Private Zone and Verrazano. There was a stewards inquiry into the running, but the placings remained the same. So much for a fairytale ending…or was it.


It is a difficult task to pen a story that doesn’t have an ending. In the December 2013 copy of TOPS In Equine we told the tale of a horse from humJada Schlenk gives Groupie Doll a ble Kentucky roots goodbye pat and peppermint that spiraled to the top as one of the fastest fillies of her generation. Without the world’s top bloodlines coursing through her body, she still developed into a magnificent physical specimen under the watchful eyes of breeders Fred and William “Buff ” Bradley.

Bradley knew it was racing luck and not a case of Groupie Doll tailing off in training. Pope concurred and her new acquisition was sent to Florida for an eye on one more prize. Yes, it was a gamble for all involved. Could she tarnish her already established reputation or, God forbid, take a bad step in training or a race and become injured? Buff knew she was race ready and put a plan in place with several races as a goal for her career Swan Song…and take flight she would. The Grade III $200,000 Hurricane Bertie at Gulfstream Park would be the stage for her final bow – and she did it with a dramatic flair. Breaking from the inside as the heavy favorite she disappeared from the video screen as the others ran away from her on the front end. Surely thousand of hearts dropped back with her. Not only those that backed her at the windows, but the throngs of Groupie Doll fans she earned over her career. Rajiv Maragh confidently knew he was sitting on the fine tuned Groupie Doll Bradley always sent him to post with. As if the rest of the field was tied to the quarter pole, in a matter of a few strides he rubbed her neck and they drew away to a seven length win to put a final stamp on her illustrious career. “I’m in tears...very excited,” Pope said afterward. “I’m so happy for everyone, the fans, Buff. It’s just so wonderful. I was so worried when she was so far behind, but they were telling me, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ It was just wonderful and amazing.” “I know she’s going to have a good life,” Bradley quoted. “Mandy is going to take good care of her and I can see her whenever I want. I’m just happy with the career she’s had. You know she’s got to move on at some point. I wish she could keep racing this year, then retire, but I understand the business part of it. She got to stay around another year, and now she’s a winner as a 6-year-old. That’s something on her resume too.” “I love her going out a winner,” said Buff Bradley of his longtime stable star. “Seeing her on the backside (trailing), I was about sick to my stomach. I just thought, ‘Man, she got left at the gate. There’s too much to do.’ I was afraid there was too much to do, but when she made that move on the turn, she was just gone.” Where she is going is to a wonder life in Central Kentucky where Mandy Pope boards her boutique band of broodmares. After being relaxed from her recent racing days, Groupie Doll has a date with red-hot stallion Tapit at Lexington’s Gainseway Farm. Don’t you just love stories with happy endings?




Road to the Derby:

Countdown by John C. Engelhardt

Through this monthly column were are hoping to provide a guide for our readers to help with their selections and cash winning tickets on the world’s most iconic horse race – the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands and its companion race the Longines Kentucky Oaks held on the first Friday and Saturday in May. While Mint Juleps will flow, expensive cigars will glow and the Belles of the Bluegrass will don their unique hats and dresses for show – nothing caps off this weekend like a long visit at the cashiers window when the day is done. As noted in last month’s edition, entrance into these races are no longer based on money earned in graded stakes races, but in success through a carefully mapped point system that builds as the racing calendar edges closer to that weekend in Louisville. That system proved in its inaugural year in 2013, traditional Derby and Oaks prep races properly put the best of their generation side by side in the starting gate. The pointoriented road to the Derby and Oaks started with these horses as 2-year-olds on September 7 at Churchill Downs and will end at Keeneland in mid-April.

Anyone who plays the ponies knows that there are many variables that can effect to outcome of a race. Sometimes a track develops a bias for closers or speed horses, the rail can be the place to be or the kiss of death, a bad gate break can change tactics for the rest of the race, while an unfavorable post position can force a jockey to alter a horse’s running style and in a bulky field there is nothing worse than having a horse ready to roll and nowhere to go. Practically every one of these factors touched upon the outcome of some of these key prep races. One of those was The Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth, the race that served as a springboard for Kentucky Derby winner Orb last year. Lexington’s Claude “Shug” McGaughey III was not known for pointing his bluebloods to “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports”, but Orb’s early development put him on the Derby trail and eventually to wearing the garland of roses. That stop to smell the roses must have been a sweet one, as Shug has two top 3-year-olds in Honor Code and Top Billing nominated to the Triple Crown. The highlyregarded Honor Code has had some training setbacks and may have to play catch up with a single high-point Derby prep win.

Tapit at Gainesway Dubbed the “Kentucky Derby and Oaks Prep Season” the earlier races carried a 1st through 4th point score of 10-4-2-1. There are 18 races for the boys and 16 In the $400,000 Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, Top Billing atfor the girls. The “Kentucky Derby and Oaks Championship tracted the attention of the bettors who made him the 2 to Series” starts on February 22 and the eligibility numbers grow 1 favorite, but he did not attract a favorable post position in to 50-20-10-5, with colts and geldings carded 16 races and the the 1 1/16 mile test and had to break from post position 12. fillies 14. Before a “Coalition for Fillies Rights” is formed, let Top Billing, a son of Horse of the Year Curlin, had won two it be noted that fillies may enter any of the races carded for of his three lifetime starts from off the pace, so a quick run males. We pushed press time back so we can give you latest to the first turn was off the table. What was in play that day results that could impact the fields as we cracked the ice on the was a speed favoring surface and two front runners took off at the gate break and separated themselves from the rest of Championship Series.


an amazing game of Chess he has to play with his talent laden stable, placing each one a move forward while not eliminating another. He elected to choose to run Intense Holiday in the Risen Star, a $300,000 Keeneland Sale purchase that had won only one race in his six-race career.


the field. Wildcat Red, the recent Grade 3 Hutchenson Stakes winner at Gulfstream and General a Rod, who finished a head in front of Wildcat Red in the Gulfstream Park Derby turned it into a virtual two-horse speed fest. They ran as if glued to each other for the entire race and it was a head bob at the wire in a photo finish that gave the win to Wildcat Red. Ironically, jockey Javier Castellano who had won six races on the card, opted for the mount on General a Rod rather than Wildcat Red, whom he rode in the Hutcheson.

After breaking his maiden, Intense Holiday competed in four straight graded stakes races losing to top Derby contenders Havana, Honor Code and Cairo Prince. In his last start he circled a large field to run a solid third to Cairo Prince in the Grade 2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park. He was installed at odds of 5 to 1 in the Risen Star after Pletcher obtained the riding services of Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith – and a Hall of Fame ride he got.

Finishing third, two lengths behind was Top Billing who was 11th after a half-mile and split horses to put in a belated rally. Was he a victim of a speed favoring track or a bad Todd Pletcher at Keeneland post position? We may get to find out in the March 29 Florida Derby as Looking a lot like the Fountain of Youth, the inside horses the connections of the top two have already indicated they will Albano and Rise Up made the lead and went head and head use that race as their pre-Derby appearance. At this writing down the backstretch while Rise Up appeared to fight his McGaughey has not committed where Top Billing will next jockey every step of the way. Rosie Napravnick did her best appear. Perhaps the biggest question mark coming out of to get position with Vicar’s in Trouble but was parked outside the Fountain of Youth was the performance of third-favorite for most of the race. Smith was able to guide Intense Holiday Commissioner, a Todd Pletcher trainee by Horse of the Year closer to the rail to save ground and as the race progressed A.P. Indy who ran in mid-pack for most of the race. In their he deftly moved his colt outside of tiring horses one path at a only meeting, Commissioner defeated Top Billing by a head. time. Rise Up finally tired from fighting jockey Gerard MelThe second race run in the Championship Series for males was the $400,000 Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on the same afternoon and the finish was even more thrilling while producing yet another favored show horse with a legitimate excuse. The top three finishers in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes at the Fair Grounds were back in the gate for the Risen Star and Vicar’s in Trouble, the authoritative winner, while running a bit greenly in that race was installed as the favorite in the Risen Star at 2-1. Like Top Billing in the Fountain of Youth, he had the unfortunate luck of drawing an outside post position – the unlucky 13. Trainer Todd Pletcher has a problem every trainer in America would like to have. A record-shattering army of 42 talented and promising young stars from the stable of six-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer top a roster of 413 3-year-old Thoroughbreds – an 11.9% increase from last year – that are early nominees to compete in the 2014 Triple Crown. It must be

ancon and as he faded Albano and Kerwin Clark kicked clear and the colt owned and bred by former Governor of Kentucky, Brereton Jones, dug in through the final furlong looking like a winner. In the final 100 yards Mike Smith and Intense Holiday wore the pacesetter down and scored by a nose at the wire.

“In the very beginning he kind of slipped leaving there; it kind of scared him and he got up into the bridle,” Smith said. He went on to describe how he had to rate and urge the colt throughout the 1 1/16-mile event while weaving his way through the 14-horse field. “There’s a lot of room to improve and a lot of room to grow...we didn’t get to the bottom of him.” Vicar’s in Trouble was urged on to finish third after a wide trip throughout and will be a likely starter for redemption in the Louisiana Derby. Moving back to key Prep Season races, Cairo Prince may have made the biggest impression with a powerful 5 ¾ length victory in his 3-year-old debut in the Grade 2 $400,000 Holy Bull.




His only loss as a 2-year-old was by a head to Honor Code in the Grade 2 Remsen after his solid win in the Grade 2 Nashua at Aqueduct. What stamped his win in the Holy Bull so legitimate is the fact that third-place finisher Intense Holiday came back to win the aforementioned Risen Star. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee is scheduled to make his next start in the March 29 Grade 1 Florida Derby.

in mind, you may get to watch him punch his Derby ticket up I-75 in the Horseshoe Casino Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park on March 22. In his final start as a 2-year-old, Candy Boy finished second to Shared Belief and just in front of Tamarando in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at the now defunct Hollywood Park - that’s pretty good company. He made his return to the races in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita and after rating nicely off the pace he left in his wake the previously undefeated graded stakes winner Midnight Hawk and held off two-time winner Chitu. Aboard the John Sadler-trainee for the 1 1/16 mile win was the red-hot Gary Stevens who may have settled on his choice for Derby Day.

Oaklawn Park hosted two early Prep season races with Tanzanite Cat having to fight for every stride while winning the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes on the front end. That colt came back in the $300,000 Grade 3 Southwest Stakes to meet D. Wayne LukasRosie Napravnik trained Strong Mandate making his 3-yearold debut after winning the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes and In out next TOPS edition of “Road To The Derby” we will take running third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Strong a closer look at its companion race The Kentucky Oaks. At Mandate was sent away the even-money favorite, but Steve As- the moment, two fillies have shot to the top with 60 points mussen trained Tapiture rated on the rail and dominated the on the leader board with dominating last-out performances. field through the lane. The son of Gainseway stallion Tapit has Untapable looked unstoppable in the $200,000 Grade 3 Rachel scored in three points system graded races now and may well Alexandra at the Fair Grounds. The Winchell Thoroughbred be insured of a Derby berth. Long striding Strong Mandate homebred came from off the pace to pull away by an impresshould improve off this race with a solid second after encoun- sive 9 ½ lengths dominating Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile tering traffic problems early. winner Ria Antonia and the favored Grade 1 winner StreamWho is the best in the West? It looks like the outcome of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 5 will have a lot to say about that. The stallion Candy Ride has two sweet prospects for the race – one is on go and the other on whoa. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer looked to have the front-runner for this year’s Kentucky Derby in Shared Belief. He won all three of his starts in 2013 and was rewarded with the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male. But Shared Belief has had a setback owing to a foot injury that developed into a quarter crack and needed to be patched. “Like every horse trainer, I want to win the Derby,” Hollendorfer quoted. “He’s started galloping. We’ll observe and analyze all the information we see at the barn every morning. The difficulty is not doing something too soon, or too late.” A fact that has to be considered in Hollendorfer’s patient approach is that Shared Belief is gelded, so there is no upside to his value as a stallion with a win in the Derby. There are plenty of big purses down the road if he is not ready by the first Saturday in May. Hollendorfer has a Plan B in his barn with Tamarando, recent winner of the 1 1/8 mile El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. He has a running style that suggests he can run all day, but all of his wins have come on synthetic surfaces. With that


ing. She was ridden by Rosie Napravnik and is trained by Steve Asmussen.

Todd Pletcher-trained Onlyforyou toyed with her competition in the $200,000 Grade 2 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park. With Javier Castellano in the saddle she took the lead and repulsed several rivals to remain undefeated in four career starts while holding a 2 ½ length advantage at the wire. She was recording her second Grade 2 stakes victory and most importantly proved she could hold her speed over a route of ground by winning at 1 1/16 miles at first asking. There are still plenty of racing to be run and a rising star could appear in any of these Championship Series races. We’ll do our best to keep you informed. Until the next edition, if you go to the races, “Bet WITH your head, not over it.”

John C. Engelhardt has been an equine photographer and turf writer for 30 years and served as the President of the Turf Publicists of America. He hosts a weekly radio show on For reprints of his images or future assignments you may contact him at


Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event:

The Best Weekend All Year!

By Susan McDaniel

Between the last week of Keeneland’s spring meet and the beginning of Derby festivities lies what many folks around here consider the best weekend all year: The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, April 24-27, out at the Kentucky Horse Park. There’s good reason for that. RK3DE delivers X-Game-level thrills along with master horsemanship in a multiday competition of Olympic-level horses and riders. Add Kentucky’s beautiful spring weather in delightful Horse Park surroundings, plus tailgating and world-class shopping, and you’ve got a weekend experience that really is hard to beat. The Competition

• Cross-Country (Saturday), an exhilarating test that requires horse and rider to negotiate – at a gallop – course obstacles such water hazards, banks and ditches.

Here’s how RK3DE Facebook fans describe the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event:

“Amazing food, shopping, atmosphere, community and talent, rolled up in the beautiful Kentucky April landscape.” “A Bucket List event!” “Exciting, nerve-wracking & adrenaline pumping!” “As close to the Olympics as some might get!” “A Horse-centric Extravaganza!” “Simply Awe-inspiring!”

• Jumping (Sunday), which tests the competitors’ abilities to clear a course of obstacles, where a rail can be knocked off by the slightest touch of a hoof. “This competition requires a special horse to be able to run and jump the cross country jumps – with the fitness level that requires – yet be able to contain themselves to do the dressage and perform like that, then come back on the third day and be careful enough and have enough energy to jump a clean show-jumping round,” said Meghan O’Donoghue, who competed at Rolex Kentucky last year and hopes to compete again this year. “There’s no sport like it.”

“The best weekend all year!” The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is the pinnacle of Eventing in the United States, a sport that requires horse-and-rider pairs to compete in three phases: • Dressage (Thursday and Friday), during which competitors A qualifier for the Olympic Games and World Championperform prescribed movements that test the gaits, suppleness ships, RK3DE is a competition of the highest level on the international stage and one of only six Four-Star equestrian and obedience of the horse.

(Photo: Michelle Dunn) 136 MARCH 2014 | TOPSINLEX.COM

by Greg Ladd



Save the Rhino by Emily Lamb

Hornbills by David Quinn I opened Cross Gate in November 1974, moved to our first real location in May 1975, and took our first show on the road to Saratoga Springs, NY in August 1978. Rock and I loaded the van with 35 paintings, drawings, sculpture and porcelain works by George Claxton and hit the road. The old van had a flat tire before we got out of Fayette County, and then another on the interstate in the mountains of West Virginia about 11:30 that night. Walked to the nearest service station, bought 2 new tires and were back on the road by about 8:30 the next morning. I think I realized pretty quickly that you have to get the work in front of the people.

by Thomas Coates

Everybody needs a ‘purpose’, and my love has always been to find the best work out there and get it in front of the people. I have a ‘good eye’ and have always been able to spot quality work that is under-valued. If you broaden the market, the demand goes up. If an artist can’t keep up, the price goes up. Supply and Demand. Since that first trip to Saratoga we’ve taken many exhibitions on the road, and to name a few: Aiken, Atlanta, Boston, Baltimore, Camden, Cincinnati, Columbus, Delmar, Denver, Leesburg, Los Angeles, Louisville, Nashville, NYC, Palm Beach, Radnor, Tampa, The Hamptons, Toronto, Tucson, London. There were many others and most several times including Saratoga (25).

Secretariat by Andre Pater



An interesting side note: On the way home from our first Saratoga exhibition, Rock and I decided to invest our earnings with a short stop in Atlantic City.


30-Minute Meals I’ll admit, I really hoped Rachel Ray had something with her 30-minute meal concept, but in all my years of motherhood, I have never managed to conquer a recipe in 30 minutes.

Don’t get me wrong—between Food Network and Pinterest, the motherly art of throwing a meal together has gone to a new level. What I’m missing here is the healthy dose of reality. I mean, an obvious talent for simplifying meals without sacrificing taste is one thing, but what average Mom cooks in relative peace for even 5 minutes, never mind 30? Have you ever seen Rachel trip over a toy and land face first in a puddle of chicken stock? Did you ever hear her ask, “Where is the baby,” only to have the camera cut to a darling toddler showering herself with cocoa powder and dancing in the resulting pile? I used to count it a great achievement when I could get a salad together without having to extract Legos® or loose change from the oral cavity of a toddler. Or how about refereeing an argument between boys while sautéing onions? By the time I ask the definitive question, “Did any part of your body or anything touching a part of your body come into contact with any part of his body or anything touching a part of his body?” The onions are black. And don’t get me started on the dog. “Just what is he chewing this time? I don’t want to find out in three days! Stick your hand down his throat and pull it out.” And what is it about the smell of dinner being prepared that causes kids to remember what they needed you to buy at the store. “Mom, did you get the batteries? The poster board? The gift for so-and-so’s party? And don’t forget, you’re in charge of snacks for 40 kids tomorrow!” Which brings me to another dose of reality. Is Rachel really doing all that shopping? A well-stocked kitchen is a luxury with kids, especially when teenage boys are involved. And going to the grocery store without kids in tow is also a luxury – one that I never take for granted. I well remember trying to find room for groceries with a car seat in the cart. And trying to keep track of what went in the cart when I wasn’t looking. And trying to keep track of my list. Oh, and trying to make a list! I’m grateful these days I usually get to go to the store alone. Of course, the trade off is an overflowing cart with enough food to keep growing kids full. And none of it gets done in 30 minutes. by Hallie Bandy




Still, I’m grateful to enjoy a meal with my family, no matter how long it takes.



Rupp Arena



Health & Fitness

What is Your Fitness Personality? Today’s media is obsessed with showing us the latest fitness fads to boost ratings and make mucho dinero. We are all inundated with countless “lose 10 pounds in 6 weeks” tag lines everyday of our lives. From P90X to Insanity, to diet pills and the latest fad diet, this country is on fitness overload. Why? Why do millions of Americans sign up for a gym membership and stop using it after three months? Why are diet book sales at an all-time high but obesity rates continue to climb? I have found a glaring hole in this fitness lexicon—personality. After 10 years as a personal trainer, I will say the most important lesson I have learned is that an individuals’ personality factors into how successful an exercise program will be. TODAY WE START. HERE ARE A FEW QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF: For your workouts to be a success, do you find you need to be continually challenged or have more structure? This is a great question that will forecast where your fitness journey will take you (at least at first). If challenge is what you need, you must first define what challenges you. Running, lifting, obstacle courses, and cross training can each be challenging on different levels. If your personality drifts, keep it fresh to keep from getting bored. If structure is what you need, switching things up too quickly may overload you. CrossFit or P90X may not be something for you if structure is your goal. Keeping your exercise somewhat predictable may allow for more adherence and consistency. What if you don’t know or you have never exercised? Think about what you prefer in everyday life and apply it to your exercise program. When you need to reduce stress, do you pick activities that allow you to relax or ones that allow blowing off steam? Stress is a huge part of our lives these days. Working out for some is stressful; add work, life, and kids to the equation and things get hairy quickly. For some, exercise adds unwanted stress, so to create adherence and long term participation with the possibility of results, I advise people to pick what fits their personality. For example; if blowing off steam is your preference you may pick activities like boxing, weightlifting or cross training. If something more relaxing is your preference yoga, massage or taking a nice stroll may be more suitable for you. Again, this can change based on the day, but I pick my workout based on my personality. People, I have found, are more likely to keep working out doing something that they enjoy versus something they don’t. Do you enjoy exercise more when it involves a routine that you can adhere to or one that offers a variety? Variety is said to be the spice of life but not everyone needs/wants variety. Yes, we Americans get bored very quickly, but not everyone is created equal. Think about what your personality would be best suited for and get the most out of. Would it be a program that you can use to serve as a stair step for accomplishment, or would it be a program that is progressive and constantly changing? Either way, it doesn’t matter. Your adherence and how you feel about the program matters more than if it’s routine or offers variety. Ninety-seven percent of people will stop an exercise program at some point. The main culprit is the lack of support, but I think not factoring personality into the equation is also a big reason. We must realize, too, that fitness doesn’t need to take place in a gym. Recreational sports, outside fitness, and yoga all create adherence to fitness depending on the needs, wants and personality of the person.

by Josh Bowen Personal Trainer





Birthday Madness

t’s March! To some, this means the start of spring, the luck of the Irish and the thrill of watching UK basketball. To me, March means all of these things and more – it represents a little something I like to call “Birthday Madness”.

(Cue party horns.) Yes, March is my birthday month (cue balloons and streamers) and I think birthdays should be celebrated like national holidays. With parades, fireworks and maybe even a flash mob! (Actually, I take that back. Flash mobs kinda freak me out.) Now, I realize it is a little ridiculous to be so geeked out about a holiday that represents getting old. But I think it all stems from this; growing up, I had some serious birthday trauma. So traumatic, in fact, that it’s probably best to share it in poem form. Bad Birthday (I) Second grade. Cute outfit. Grey kitty cat cake. Snowstorm. School cancellation. Devastation. Phew! Powerful stuff. So powerful, I think we should hear the sequel:

in the middle of the day. The birthday kid also got to do something amazingly cool, like be the first to line up to go to lunch. We’re talking serious privileges, people. So, the fact that I was born on March 22, two days after the official start of Spring, mind you, one would think the sun would shine down and those classroom birthdays would have been idyllic. Instead, Old Man Winter decided to show up and blow his smelly old snow-sneeze all over my birthday dreams! For years, school got cancelled on my birthday. Even though I got to play in the snow and skip a day of school, I wouldn’t be able to bring in my birthday cake until my birthday was long gone. Even though the class would still celebrate, it just wasn’t the same. As the years passed, I wised up. I learned that life rarely goes as we plan, so it’s best to embrace a celebration whenever you can. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating a birthday a day later or for that matter, for the entire month! So, these days, I stretch out The Birthday as long as I can make it last. Because birthday madness is a great excuse to… 1. Eat ice-cream cake at all hours of the day 2. Buy ridiculous things like hand paraffin machines

Bad Birthday (II)

3. Get excited about getting mail

Third grade. Super cute outfit. White kitty cat cake. Snowstorm. School cancellation. Devastation.

5. Say things like, “Ooh. No, I can’t do the dishes because (checks calendar) yup, it’s still my birthday”*

Listen, when you are a kid – at least, when I was a kid – the classroom birthday celebration was a big deal. That was the day where all the learning came to a screeching halt to eat cake and ice cream

*There is a slight flaw with these two, as my husband’s birthday is two days after mine, but hey; you can’t blame a girl for trying.

4. Cartel the remote control and watch romantic comedies for a month*

by Cynthia Ellingsen Lifestyle Novelist



WOW Wedding



WOW Wedding

DETAILS Reception Venue & Catering: Andover Golf & Country Club | Wedding Photography: Brooke Roberts Photography | Wedding Planner: Andrea Crane (bride’s Mother) Reception Photography: Andrew Kung Photography | Flowers: Beth Cantor, Floral Advantage | Makeup: Kate Cramer, Pure Aesthetique | Photo Booth: Mango Photography | Bridal Gown: Ruth’s Bridal | Cake & Cookies: European Delights | Reception Gifts: Old Kentucky Chocolates | Reception Entertainment: Big River Band




Wedding Florals Without Flowers

Make It Succulent! A

very new trend for brides who feel that fluff and flowers are just not “them” is to opt for using succulents as your botanical choice—a more unusual form of live greens that still conform nicely for bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. Succulents – a relative of cacti – is a more architectural form of live plants that range in color from a variety of green hues to green tinged in red or yellow. Succulents are available online,, or from local nurseries. Completely cool, a succulent bouquet can be magnificent; especially if green or cream is your color scheme. Because these plants have a lot of body to them (because they hold water), these bouquets can get heavy, so try not to ask for too grand a scale. This is a look that requires building a strong foundation, so a professional florist with artistic taste is going to be your best bet. This is a perfect choice for the non-traditional or even a sporty bride who doesn’t want to be too girly. The wonderful thing about this choice is that the plants are live, and could be planted or started from pieces of each plant after the wedding to carry on for years. It’s certainly a ‘green’ option! Also magnificent are mixing succulents with fresh flowers, like roses or peonies—FAB! Here are a few ideas to make your wedding decadently succulent! For Grooms, Moms and Beyond A great look and just unusual enough to make a statement – especially great in your handsome guys’ boutonnieres. Mix several succulent types alone, or add a bit of greenery or red or green hypericum berries – smashing for the men’s boutonnieres and interpreted again into corsages for the ladies in your family. Low Maintenance Wedding Favors

Your guests will love taking home a live low maintenance mini succulent plant that will last for years, and can be a fun DIY project for you. Plant or buy each in tiny terra cotta pots or mini galvanized pails, or tiny teacups. Take it to the next level by painting the terra cotta pots with a semi-transparent wash of gold paint, or wrap in burlap or beautiful paper. If you are ambitious, a mini arrangement of a minimum of three different succulents as a wedding favor is a wonderful idea. Because these plants are so sturdy and require little water, you can get these ready months in advance with little or no maintenance to keep them wedding ready. Considering Flower Girl Options Don’t even think about flower girls throwing succulent leaves as they walk down the aisle – it just won’t work. You could substitute something more non-traditional than rose petals like dried lavender, or the girls could carry a basket of succulents and not scatter anything at all. And top off the flower girls with succulent wreath crowns. They will be the hit of the wedding! Simple, beautiful and elegant – that is the look that you will achieve by choosing succulents as your wedding greenery. And your guests will not be able to take their eyes off the natural beauty and simple statement that succulents can make on your wedding day!



by Marsha Koller Wedding Consultant

MARCH 7 FRIDAY Blue Grass Trust Antiques & Garden Show 10a-6p Kentucky Horse Park, Alltech Arena bgantiquesandgardenshow. org

8 SATURDAY Kentucky Crafted: The Market 9a Heritage Hall

Stitching Art Headley-Whitney Museum

Aziz Ansari 8p Singletary Center

Cardinal Hill’s Run for the Hill 8a Keeneland

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast 3p EKU Center for the Arts

Dreams & Fairytales 7p-10:30p RJ Corman Hangar

Central Kentucky Heart Ball 6p Lexington Convention Center

Snow White Featuring The Lexington Ballet 11a Joseph-Beth Bookshellers

9 SUNDAY Kentucky Crafted Lexington Convention Center

Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition 2p-5p Singletary Center

11 TUESDAY Celtic Woman: The Emerald Tour 7:30p EKU Center for the Arts

12 WEDNESDAY Women Leading Kentucky: Winter Networking Roundtable 12p-1:30p Sal’s Chophouse



Up & Coming

An Evening With your History... Adolph Rupp: The Coach


Winter Jam


Lexington St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival

Road to the Horse International 201 9a Kentucky Horse Park

14 FRIDAY The Miracle Worker Lexington Opera House

Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra: Gold Rush

Celtic Festival 6p-8p Richmond Area Arts Center

Lexington Comic & Toy Convention 5p-10p Lexington Convention Center

15 SATURDAY Pablo Ziegler Quartet and Stefon Harris in Tango Meets Jazz 8p Norton Center for the Arts


8a Downtown

5:30p-7p Lexington Public Library, Central

7:30p UK


Shamrock Shuffle 3K

3:30p Rupp Arena


18 TUESDAY Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards 6p Lexington Convention Center

19 WEDNESDAY KHSAA Boys Sweet 16 12p-6:30p Rupp Arena

The Lexington Calendar Project 4:30p-7:30p Loudon House

Hamlet 7:30p EKU Center for the Arts

21 FRIDAY KHSAA Boys Sweet 16 12p-6:30p Rupp Arena

Poetry in the Moonlight 6p-8p Triangle Park

Up & Coming

22 SATURDAY Walk It! Run It! Cure It! 5K 9a Keeneland

Snow White 2p Lexington Opera House

KHSAA Boys Sweet 16

Shrek the Musical 7p Lexington Opera House

28 FRIDAY Central Kentucky Home, Garden and Flower Show

12p-6:30p Rupp Arena

Heritage Hall

The Down Syndrome Association of Kentucky Presents: A Red Carpet Celebration


10:30a-12p Kentucky Theatre

Mama Mia! EKU Center for the Arts

10th Annual Walk with Sidney 8:30a-12p Fayette Mall

23 SUNDAY Mamma Mia! 3p EKU Center for the Arts

26 WEDNESDAY Take Back the Night

Wine Barrel Tasting for The Springs 11a-5p 416 Rebman Ln

Bowl for Kids Sake 12p-12a Southland Bowling Lanes

Central Kentucky Home, Garden and Flower Show Heritage Hall

Yellow Tie Affair: Benefit Concert for Endometriosis Awareness 7p-2:30a EXO Ultra-Lounge

7p-9p Courthouse Plaza



Central Kentucky Home, Garden and Flower Show

Central Kentucky Home, Garden and Flower Show


Heritage Hall

Heritage Hall



Up & Coming




Pat Benetar with Neil Giraldo

Lexington Farmers’ Market Spring Kickoff

7:30p Lexington Opera House

8a-2p Cheapside Park

2 WEDNESDAY Dublin Guitar Quartet with Brian Bolger, Pat Brunnock, David Creevy and Thomas O’Durcain 7p Norton Center for the Arts

3 THURSDAY Legends Opening Day! Lexington Legends v West Virginia Power 7p Whitaker Ball Park


6 SUNDAY RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles 7:30p EKU Center for the Arts

8 TUESDAY BB King: King of the Blues 7:30p Lexington Opera House


8p Norton Center for the Arts

Lexington Opera House

Keeneland Spring Meet Opening Day

The Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra: Saykaly Garbulinska Composer-in-Residence World Premiere

Artists Conversations: Art & Technology 5:30p-8p Loudon House


9a-10a Kentucky Horse Park

Motionhouse presents Scattered: A Metor Shower of Unlikely Moments



Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky 5K

Bring it On: The Musical

7:30p Singletary Center