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HRN Original Blog:
Behind the Scenes at the Kentucky Derby

2012 Firecracker Handicap

It was quite fitting that the leading trainer of the Spring meet at Churchill Downs Dale Romans and leading jockey Corey Lanerie would team up to win the Firecracker Handicap.

As expected, Turallure would be the post-time favorite at odds of 1-5. However, he would not have enough on the yielding turf course to keep up with Guys Reward. Guys Reward sat just off the pace and was easily able to hold off Seruni. This became the third win in the Firecracker Handicap for trainer Dale Romans. He previously won the race with Thorn Song and Kitten's Joy. Romans said "Guys Reward is a really good horse. He's always been a nice horse, but the older he gets the better he gets. He just seems to be maturing and improving."

Lanerie called the race "the icing on the cake." Prior to the Firecracker, Lanerie and Romans were presented with awards for the leading jockey and leading trainer of the meet.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The night was put on hold for almost 45 minutes with a severe weather delay. Almost a repeat from the beginning of the meet, severe thunderstorms rolled through the area causing havoc on the grounds. A large pagoda fell from the fifth floor balcony onto the empty concourse. Luckily, no one was injured. However the track lights and air conditioning remained out for almost a half hour. This all happened prior to the running of race 5. Along with the weather delay, the Firecracker had the slowest run time in the history of the race. Starting on Wednesday, leading jockey Corey Lanerie will move his tack to Ellis Park for their meet.

 

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Disappointing run by Turallure. I was looking forward to seeing a big effort from him! Kevin, thanks for your great coverage at CD.

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Meet Kevin Kerstein 

Long story short, I took the long road getting involved in the industry. I did not get into horse racing until 2008 when I came to Louisville for college.

I'm originally from outside of Philadelphia and attend college at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Since I was 15 I was involved with working in radio and TV. I first covered horse racing at the 2011 Kentucky Derby and my passion just continues to grow. Let the early mornings begin and the Derby fever heat up as we hit the backside to get the exclusive stories leading up to the first Saturday in May.  

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